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Upgrading Work Area controls to Dynamic Containers

Updated on February 17, 2016

Dynamic containers, introduced with PRPC 6.3, provide functionality similar to the Work Area control. Both Dynamic Containers and Work Area controls support the runtime presentation of work items and worklists in composite portals. However, Dynamic Containers are easier to configure, offer greater flexibility, and improve performance.

Starting in the Pega 7 Platform, Work Area controls are supported but deprecated.

As a best practice, upgrade Work Areas to Dynamic Containers. You can automatically upgrade Work Areas to Dynamic Containers with a single click.

In the Pega 7 Platform, sections or harnesses containing Work Area controls display the following image:

Upgrade button in the Work Area screen

In addition, a caution message displays in the form header and the Guardrail report.

Upgrading a Work Area Control

If a Work Area control meets the requirements for automatic upgrade, then the Upgrade now button is enabled. Click the Upgrade now button to upgrade the Work Area control to a Dynamic Container.

The upgrade replaces the layout containing the Work Area control with a new layout that contains only the Dynamic Container and its contents. Only the Work Area control is included in the upgrade. Data in other cells in this layout is lost. To prevent data loss, if the layout that hosts the Work Area control contains additional data, move the Work Area control to a new, empty layout, and then upgrade the control to a Dynamic Container.

The layout that hosts the Work Area control is replaced with a tabbed Dynamic Container layout or a single Dynamic Container layout, depending upon the configuration of the Work Area control.

If the Work Area is configured as a... then the upgrade replaces the control's harnesses with sections in Dynamic Containers as follows:
Multiple document Work Area
(Tabbed parameter is set to Yes)
Each section is a tab in a Dynamic Container tab group
Single document Work Area
(Tabbed parameter is set to No)
The section is a single document Dynamic Container

If the Work Area harnesses contain any of the following, then the harnesses are placed in static tabs in Dynamic Container tab groups:

  • A panel set
  • Custom styles and scripts
  • More than one section or a single-section harness is in a different class hierarchy, and there is no Using Page setting
  • Non-autogenerated button controls (Button rather than pxButton)

In most designs, it is a best practice to reconfigure the harnesses as sections. Using harnesses results in slower load times for each static tab and unnecessary thread creation and management, since each harness is opened in different thread.

To upgrade a Work Area control:

  1. Open a section containing a Work Area control. A warning message displays:
    Deprecated warning message
  2. If the Work Area control meets the prerequisites for automatic upgrade, then the following dialog appears in the layout containing the Work Area control:
    Upgrade button in the Work Area dialog
  3. If data, other than the Work Area control, exists in this layout, move the Work Area control to a new, empty layout to prevent loss of data during the upgrade process.
  4. Click Upgrade now.
  5. The Work Area is upgraded to a Dynamic Container. Notice the addition of the <<Dynamic>> tab. This tab is visible only at design time and enables you to configure properties of the Dynamic Container, such as the maximum number of tabs that can be open at runtime. For more information about Dynamic Containers, see the PRPC Help.
    Dynamic indication on the Design tab
    Changes are recorded in the Description field on the section's History tab.

If a Work Area control does not meet the upgrade prerequisites, one of the following messages may appear:
Work Area error message regarding heightWork Area error message regarding configuration

To enable automatic upgrade of the Work Area control, ensure that all of the following are true:

  • The section containing the Work Area control is in an unlocked RuleSet.
  • The Height parameter is set to Fill (not Sized to Content or Fixed).
  • For single document (non-tabbed) Work Area controls, the Default Action parameter is set to Display.
  • There are no Pega Web Mashup or similar.
  • All harnesses are in the same class hierarchy as the section that contains the Work Area control.

    Exception: The system converts a harness in a different hierarchy if it has only one section, which has a Page Name in the harness's Pages and Classes setting (this value is copied to the new section's Pages & Classes tab).

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