How to Visually Compare Two Pages in Application Designer

By Chris Malek | Tue, Feb 26, 2013

There are two options to compare a PeopleTools Page definition between databases or project exported as a file.

  1. standard compare reports
  2. visually compare

The standard compare reports has been around for as long as I have worked with PeopleTools. However, when looking at a compare report for a page, it can be very cryptic because the output is extremely verbose. This method works fine and is probably the default for 99% of developers.

The second method of visually comparing a page definition was released in the last 5-10 years (I can’t remember exactly) and it is something that can be extremely useful but is easy to forget about. Access to this feature is not obvious as you launch the visual compare from a project’s “upgrade” tab. Let’s look at a few screen-shots to see how easy it is.

  • Open an Application Designer project that contains the page you want to compare.
  • In the application designer upgrade tab, open the page definitions
  • Right click on the page you want to visually compare and choose: “Diff/Merge Page”
    • Choose “database” to compare to another database
    • Choose “file” to compare to an exported project file

If you chose to do a database compare then login to the remote database. If you chose file compare, you will be prompted to find the exported project on disk.

You will then be launched into the visual compare. Where the remote database page definition is shown on the right and the local page definition is shown on the left. If you click and select different controls their properties differences will be displayed. In the example screenshot below it is easy to see that a new field was added and some fields were moved to make room.

There are some merge buttons in the tool bar with an “A”, “B”, “Up Arrow” and “Down Arrow” that will allow you to merge the definitions. I have never had much luck using these. I generally just use the visual compare to double check what is going to get migrated.

The visual compare method makes more sense to me than looking at page compare reports.

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Chris Malek

Chris Malek is a PeopleTools® Technical Consultant with two decades of experience working on PeopleSoft enterprise software projects. He is available for consulting engagements.

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