Communications - Updating a Letter Template and Using Merge Fields

Purpose:  Use this document to Update a Letter Template and Add Merge Fields to a letter template.

Audience:  PeopleSoft Communication Builders

  1. Create your letter in Microsoft Word.
  2. Save the file as a RTF file format.

If Merge Fields are required for your template (as highlighted in image below) see the Using Merge Fields section below.

Letter sample
Desktop Navigation page
  1. Users will need to know the Report Definition name for the Letter Template they want to update.  If you do not know this information but you know the letter code, navigate to the Standard Letter Table and search by Letter Code.

Main > Campus Community > Communications > Set up Communications > Standard Letter Table CS

Standard Letter Table
  1. On the Standard Letters table, copy the report name and click the link to View Report Definition OR navigate to:

Main > Reporting Tools > BI Publisher > Report Definition

Standard Letters page
  1. Search by Report Name and select from the Search Results.
Report Definition page
  1. Click on the Template tab.
  2. Click Include History button.
  3. Click the + under the Template Files bar.
Template tab
  1. Input the Effective Date for the new template.
  2. Click the Upload button.
Effective Date highlighted on the Template tab
  1. Select your file.
  2. Click the Upload button.
File Attachment page
  1. Click Preview to view the template. (optional)
  2. Change the Status to Active.
  3. Click the Save button.
Status Active on Template Tab
  1. The updated Template is now able to be used.

Using Merge Fields in Letter Templates

Users will need the BI Publisher Add-in installed in Microsoft Word in order to use Merge Fields in letter templates.

  1. To identify the Data Source and merge fields available for the Letter Template, run the Query QCS_CC_COMM_DATA_SOURCE by Letter Code.
  1. Navigate to the Report Definition for the Letter Template being updated.

Main>Reporting Tools> BI Publisher>Report Definition

  1. On the Definition tab.
  2. Click and Download the Sample Data link.
  3. Click and Download the Data Schema link.
Definition tab
  1. Open Letter Template in Word.
  2. Click on the BI Publisher tab.
  1. Click the XML Schema link.
  2. In your Downloads folder click on the XSD File that you just downloaded.
  3. Click the Open button.
  1. A Message will appear when the Data is loaded.
  1. Click Field to open the menu of Merge fields.
  1. In the Field window, find the record name that matches the available merge fields identified in the query in step 1 above.
  1. Add merge field text by placing cursor in the word document where the merge field should be placed, click the data in the Field box and click the Insert button.
  1. Once all Merge fields have been set, save the document as a RTF file and update template per steps above.

If the merge field is selected and the student does not have any PeopleSoft data in the correlating field, the merge field will appear blank when the communication is generated.

The XML Schema will load fields that are outside of the Merge Field queries.  It is recommended to only use the fields in the Data Source queries identified by Step 1 above.  Other fields may pull data but may not pull from the correct sources.  If additional fields are needed in the Data Source queries, submit a ticket to the support team.

It is recommended that after you have completed updating the letter template, to delete any downloaded XML Schema files.  This requires that users download new XML Schema files each time a Letter Template is Updated.  This ensures that users will have any new fields available for merging.

Delete button of Downloads folder


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