Sunday, November 19, 2017

PeopleTools 8.56 Hidden Gem | HTMLAREA 'Respond Only Once' Property

While working on some quirks with reCAPTCHA implementation in a PeopleSoft PIA page, I stumbled on this scarcely documented, hidden gem in PeopleTools 8.56. For many years, we struggled with HTMLAREAs and how they behave with AJAX requests in PeopleSoft. Basically, HTMLAREAs get reloaded every time there is an AJAX request on the page which puts the responsibility on the developer to make sure any javascript code in the HTMLAREA continues to work as expected. Jim's post dating back to 2006 illustrates how long this has been a problem!

I ran into a similar problem with the reCAPTCHA implementation and I wrote additional javascript code to workaround the issue. In the process, I found this HTMLAREA page field property called 'Respond Only Once' which is new in PeopleTools 8.56. This property is not documented in PeopleBooks except for this one location as a related topic:
PeopleBooks - PeopleTools 8.56 - Field Class Properties

Based on what I found, this property when selected will exclude the HTMLAREA from AJAX requests. A total life saver! :)

Of course, the HTMLAREA will be included in the Save event (postback).

Demonstration of Problem

In this demo we can see how the reCAPTCHA plugin (as an example) which is generated by a HTMLAREA gets reloaded/refreshed on every AJAX requests. On the second server trip, the reCAPTCHA div will disappear because the reCAPTCHA API javascript is no longer loaded as expected.



We can see how the HTMLAREA is reloaded every server trip resulting the disappearance of the  reCAPTCHA plugin.

Respond Only Once Property

Let us set the 'Respond Only Once' property in the HTMLAREA.


In the following demo, we can see how the 'Respond Only Once' property helps to exclude the HTMLAREA from the AJAX requests and to avoid reloading its contents.