Monday May 23, 2016

Analytics in Search

Content contributed by Balaji Pattabhiraman

In two recent posts (creating simplified analytics--user perspective and creating analytic home pages), we’ve described some of the capabilities of Simplified Analytics.  In this post, we’ll examine how analytics and charting can be used to enhance search. 

Searching is an important part of the PeopleSoft UI, and we are continually improving it.  For example, we included related actions in search pages, enabling users to act on data directly from the search results without even having to navigate to transactions.  We also included commercial search features like facets and filtering to focus result sets.  Following that, we provided search in the Fluid UI, making search easier to use across form factors, including phones and tablets.

Now as part of Fluid Component Search, we have enabled analytics which helps users visualize and understand their results better, so they can act on those results more effectively.  Let’s examine what that looks like and how to enable it.

Analytics on a Search Page

First, recall what a classic component search page looked like.



It’s useful, but not as powerful as it could be.  As of PeopleTools 8.54 and higher we have transformed the search experience for all Fluid Components. 

Here is an example of a Contracts search.  In this example, the user can look at the Gross Contract Amount by Supplier in addition to searching for the contract.  Notice how the search page is transformed in Fluid. The left panel provides filters to narrow the results or initiate a new search. Here we have some Administrator and Contract Style filters applied. You can select a row of detail to open the page for that contract detail after narrowing the search. In this case, Gross Amount by Supplier Name.  Applying a filter will update the analytics as well as updating the search result grid because the analytics reflect live data.



Analytic charts are available for this page, so the user switches on the chart slider in the upper right of the page.



Here is the same search result page with the analytic turned on.



The charts are interactive like any Fluid Pivot Grid.  This means that you can select any data point and drill down using related actions.  Here we view the details by another field for the selected supplier (For example view contract date vs amount for a supplier).  You can also narrow the results for the supplier from the chart data point by selecting the Detailed View option.   There are more options under the gear menu in the upper right.  This lets you change chart options, download data to spread sheets, etc.



Adding Analytics to a Search

Now let’s see how to build a Fluid component search to include Pivot Grids.  Open the component properties.  (You would have already enabled the Fluid Flag while building the fluid component.)  In this case we’ll set the Search Type to Standard.  The other option for Search Type is Master-Detail, which enables you to persist the search results on the left panel after selecting a search result and opening the transaction.  This allows easy navigation between the search results without navigating back to the search page.   (You would also have the search/add record filled for the component, which is similar to any classic component with search.)



Next, open the Pivot Grid wizard and create a new pivot grid model.

In step 1, give the pivot grid a title and, optionally, a description.  You can also set the Type and Owner here.

In step 2, choose the data source type.  Here we’ve set the type as Component.  Then choose your component.  Also, choose a tree name and access group you generally use with the product line.  In this case we’ve chosen the Purchase Order access group.  This will ensure a query can be created from the search record and the end users of the component can see the search results. (Note: The search record will be added as part of this tree and the permissions from the component are added to the tree).  When we click Apply, this creates a query with the same name as the component and the fields will be listed.  Now we choose the fields that we want the end-user to see. 

In the step 3, we set overriding labels for the fields and choose the column type--whether a field is only for display in the grid or whether it should be part of the chart axis or the value the chart plots.  In addition, all the key fields become prompts for the pivot grid model automatically.  We can set default values for these prompts.  Note that you can change the prompt fields and change the criteria by modifying the generated query.  In most cases, the key fields serving as prompts will suffice. You can also choose which prompts to show or hide to the end-user in this step.

In step 4, we specify axis information including which fields will be the x-axis, y-axis and the filters.  In addition, under the Fluid Mode Options, we can fill the list view Title and Summary fields to show if your component is to be used on small form factors like a phone. 

You can optionally preview the chart in the last step and save the pivot grid definition.  This completes the setup.
Now when a user navigates to the component, the search page will show up based on the configuration.   (Typically a user might navigate from a home page tile, registered using the tile wizard.)

Now you can open the Search page by selecting the Group and Special Contracts tile.  You can view it with or without the chart.


Because this uses the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface, the search page renders nicely on smaller form factors like smart phones and tablets.  This requires no additional configuration.  Here is the same page on a smart phone.



Monday Apr 25, 2016

Searching in PeopleSoft

Many customers have asked us about PeopleSoft’s search strategy.  They may have seen that Oracle’s Secure Enterprise Search (SES) isn’t on the price list any longer, so they wonder about PeolpleSoft’s continued use of that product. 

First and foremost, Search is an important part of PeopleSoft’s overall user experience, and we are continuing to invest in a consumer grade search experience for the enterprise.  When we re-architected our approach to Search several releases ago, we built a PeopleSoft search framework that provides a great Search UI that enables users not only to search enterprise information, but to refine their search results with facets and filters.  We also made it possible for users to act directly on search results through our Related Actions framework.  In many cases, users do not even have to navigate to a transaction page to complete a task.  This provides a rich Search UI that users have come to expect.  Further improvements using PeopleSoft’s Fluid UI include Pivot Grids in search pages that allow users better visualization of search results.  Oracle’s Secure Enterprise Search is the engine for that search in PeopleSoft. 

In an effort to provide choice, PeopleSoft is working on providing an alternative search engine that customers can use in their PeopleSoft ecosystem.  We are planning on offering Elastic Search as an option with PeopleTools 8.56, and our applications that are delivered on 8.56 are planned to contain Elastic indexes.  Note that Oracle will continue to support SES with PeopleSoft for some time yet, and customers can continue to use SES if they have deployed it.  We think that Elastic will be an attractive option for many customers, however.  It is important to note that whichever search engine you use, the PeopleSoft search framework will work with either search engine, and the search UI will be essentially the same regardless of your choice.  Here are a few key points about the Elastic Search option for PeopleSoft:

  • Planning on Elastic availability in 8.56, back porting to 8.55
  • Leverage PeopleTools Search Framework
    - SES or Elastic is a deployment Choice
    - Deploy Elastic on the separate search host instead of SES
  • Take PeopleSoft Images for application fixes and Elastic indexes
  • Will require a one-time full index build with Elastic using the new process
  • We plan to provide a migration guide to help deploy Custom indexes on Elastic
  • PeopleTools DPK for Elastic infrastructure
    - Supported on Linux and Windows
  • We plan to provide a deployment guide to help with performance tuning, load balance, and failover

Our initial testing indicates that Elastic will require fewer resources and will perform better—and will be easier to install than SES.

There is also some discussion of our plans for Search in this PeopleSoft talk video.  The Search discussion is at the 5:50 point.

Tuesday Mar 01, 2016

Updated PeopleTools Performance Guidelines Red Paper Available

This performance tuning document is not a general introduction to environment tuning.  To use it, you should be experienced IT professionals with a good understanding of PeopleSoft System Administration. To take full advantage of the information covered in this document, we recommend that you have a basic understanding of system administration, basic Internet architecture, relational database concepts/SQL, and how to use PeopleSoft applications.

This document is not intended to replace the documentation delivered with the PeopleTools PeopleBooks. Many of the fundamental concepts related to PeopleSoft Internet Architecture are discussed in the following PeopleSoft PeopleBooks:

  • PeopleSoft Internet Architecture Administration (PeopleTools|Administration Tools|PeopleSoft Internet Architecture Administration)
  • Application Designer (Development Tools|Application Designer)
  • Integration Broker (Integration Tools|Application Messaging)
  • PeopleCode (Development Tools|PeopleCode Reference)
  • PeopleSoft Installation and Administration
  • PeopleSoft Hardware and Software Requirements

 

Additionally, we recommend that you read documentation on Oracle Application Server, BEA Weblogic/Tuxedo, and IBM Websphere. See your PeopleSoft Installation and Administration PeopleBooks for directions on accessing the Oracle, BEA, and IBM documentation.

Thursday Feb 25, 2016

Reporting in PeopleSoft Without Crystal Reports

As you’ve probably heard, PeopleTools 8.55 will not support the use of the Crystal Reports product with PeopleSoft. (Click here for more information).  Most of you know that we’ve been talking for years about ways to move away from Crystal Reports.  The obvious alternative has been to migrate your reports to Oracle BI Publisher.  I’m writing this post to help you understand that you have other options, and that we think that in many cases, there is an even better solution that will give your users more relevant and timely information.

Conventional reporting tools are used to create and publish static reports.  That is, they query the database and present information as a snapshot in time.  One of the problems with this approach is that important data can become instantly stale and not secure. 

Contemporary reporting is changing, however, and we feel that customers should re-evaluate how they can take advantage of some of the new reporting and analytic capabilities that PeopleSoft offers.  New options exist that help make reporting a strategic part of enterprise business processes.  In fact, you can easily incorporate business intelligence and real-time analytics directly into business process flows as an integral part of the application user experience. 

Using this more modern approach, designers are able to provide users relevant information directly in context of related business activities.  In this way, the user doesn’t have to “look up” information or pull up a report.  Instead, the application system provides the information directly on the page, or as part of a process, which leads to better decisions.  With modern PeopleSoft reporting capabilities, the data is fresh and secure because it never actually leaves the system. 

Take this approach to decide whether you need to replicate every one of your static reports from Crystal Reports in BI Publisher.  We believe that many older, static reports can be repurposed as online, real-time analytics rather than simply rewritten in a new reporting tool.

Chief among these exciting PeopleSoft reporting capabilities are the new Simplified Analytics and updated Pivot Grids.  These new features enable users to produce analytics and reports right in the context of their transactions, providing more agile and powerful analytics that result in better decision support.  In addition, these new reporting tools are easy to use and put power in the hands of end users and business experts.  Functional users won't have to rely on technical professionals to generate the reports they need.  With these tools, data can be sliced and diced as required, as well visualized in different ways to gain greater understanding of the information presented.

PeopleSoft applications teams will also be delivering new reports and analytics using these tools, so customers will get many new reports as they continue to take new application images.  Again, this means even fewer Crystal reports that need to be recreated.

Of course enterprises will still need conventional reports for things like Period Close and other regulatory reporting.  In those cases, customers can indeed convert old Crystal Reports into BI Publisher reports.  However, we believe that after thoughtful analysis, the number of such reports that need conversion into traditional formats and uses will be much smaller than you may have originally anticipated, and that most business needs will be better served with newer tools for producing on-line, real-time, business analytics. 

Friday Feb 19, 2016

Tools - Only Upgrades for the Interaction Hub

Now that the Interaction Hub is on the Selective Adoption release process (like all PeopleSoft applications), some customers have been asking us about Tools-only upgrades for the Interaction Hub 9.1, and how that relates to taking maintenance and updates using PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM).

Although it is possible to do a Tools-only upgrade to 8.55 and continue to use your earlier (non-PUM) release of the Interaction Hub 9.1, we don’t recommend this.  Issues will arise when you need to apply maintenance or any kind of update in the future.  Instead, we strongly recommend that you first move your Interaction Hub to the PUM baseline, then do your Tools upgrade.  This will make the process of taking fixes for Interaction Hub much easier going forward.  Taking subsequent Tools upgrades and Interaction Hub images will be simpler and go more smoothly once Interaction Hub is on PUM.

Note that this is no different than the process for other PeopleSoft applications.  Selective Adoption and PUM are the means for taking all maintenance and updates for PeopleSoft applications now, and Interaction Hub is part of that.  Selective Adoption and PUM are great new processes and tools that make taking maintenance and updates simpler and easier, so you should take advantage of that.

Image 2 of the Interaction Hub 9.1 is now available, and it has some exciting features that you may want to adopt.  So that is another reason to start using Selective Adoption and PUM.  The Update Manger home page has the information you need to perform to get your Interaction Hub on the PUM model.

There is a lot of great information on Selective Adoption on the PeopleSoft Info portal. 

Monday Feb 08, 2016

Interaction Hub Image 2 Now Available

As we reported last June, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub now uses the PeopleSoft Update Manager to deliver all updates and maintenance.  Customers can now take advantage of the Selective Adoption process when updating their Hub system.  This puts the Hub in alignment with all other PeopleSoft applications.  We are happy to announce that image 2 is now generally available from the PeopleSoft Update Manager home page. (Choose the Upate Image Home Pages tab, then choose the Interaction Hub Update Image page.)

Here are a few of the valuable features included in this image that customers should consider:

  • Guided process for branding.  The Hub offers a guided process that enables customers to do simple branding of their Fluid UI-based home pages and headers.  This is called Theme Builder and is described in PeopleBooks. Using this quick and easy process, administrators can set the header logo, banner color and text, background image and color, and more.  The administrator can also set roles to determine which branding themes are seen by which roles within an enterprise.  In addition, once the branding theme is set, you can publish your branding theme across all PeopleSoft applications in the wizard at the push of a button!  The Hub also gets its own delivered theme, but of course it's easy to create your own.
  • Administrator Landing Page.  The Hub delivers a landing page from which an administrator can monitor the health and performance of their PeopleSoft ecosystem.  This may also be where the administrator performs branding activities.
  • Guest Landing Page.  This page can be assigned to Guest roles for people that don't have full access to a system.
  • Navigation Collections.  Fluid Navigation Collections were actually implemented in PeopleTools 8.55.  However, Nav Collections have been used extensively in Hub designs, so now customers can design Fluid Hubs with home pages that use Nav Collections to streamline user navigation.

See the Update Image Home Page for complete details about this image.  

In addition, review the Planned Features page on My Oracle Support for updates regarding the Hub and a look at what we have planned for future images. 

Multiple PeopleSoft Applications: Using the Interaction Hub or Not

Many PeopleSoft customers have multiple PeopleSoft applications.  We often refer to this type of environment as a ‘cluster’.  Customers have different types of clusters, some using the Interaction Hub to unify the cluster and some without the Hub.  We are often asked how these are different.  Should a customer use the Interaction Hub for clusters?  Can you get by without it?  

The scenario I’m describing in this post relates to PeopleTools 8.55 and it’s use with applications using the Fluid header (whether the content is Classic or Fluid).

What is a Portal System in PeopleSoft?

This can be somewhat confusing because the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub was originally called the ‘PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal’, which was designed to be used as a traditional portal, aggregating content from multiple sources.  People still often refer to that product as simply ‘The Portal’.  The Interaction Hub still provides that traditional, aggregating functionality.  However, PeopleSoft also uses the term ‘Portal System’ to mean more than just the Interaction Hub system connecting to content systems like HCM, FSCM, and Campus Solutions.  In PeopleSoft, whatever system the user logs into first is considered to be acting as the Portal system.  For example if Single Sign-On (SSO) is set up between HCM and Campus Solution and the user logs into the HCM system and from there access Campus solution then the HCM system acts as the Portal system. 

What Does This Mean to My Users?

Let’s look at a specific Example.  In this scenario, the customer is NOT using the Interaction Hub, but they have PeopleSoft HCM and FSCM and have SSO set up for these applications.  A user of this system logs into HCM and is presented with an HCM-based Employee Home Page.  That home page contains a tile for FSCM content, and there is other FSCM content represented in the Nav Bar.  When the user selects an FSCM tile, they are presented with the FSCM content, but the header context remains in HCM. This means that the Nav Bar will still be the one from the HCM system.  It also means that if the user employs Global Search, the results will only come from HCM. Similarly, any notifications/alerts/actions they receive will originate from HCM only.  Basically, the partitioning between the applications is maintained.  If users want to search in FSCM, they must log out of HCM and log into FSCM, which at that point will become the acting portal system.  

Now let’s look at an example in which the customer is using the Interaction Hub to unify the cluster including HCM and FSCM.  In this scenario, the user logs into the Interaction Hub system, which provides the header and context.  The home page displayed initially can come from HCM or FSCM (or any application), and the Nav Bar can contain content from any PeopleSoft application where the content from these applications are registered.  When the user navigates to any content--whether it comes from the Interaction Hub, HCM or FSCM--the header and the Nav Bar is from the Interaction Hub system, which is where the user originated.   In this case, even when the user navigates to an HCM or FSCM transaction page, they can still use the header or the Nav Bar to navigate to any content in the cluster seamlessly.  In addition, if the user executes a search, the results of that search can come from any application in the cluster—in this case HCM, FSCM, or the Interaction Hub.  Furthermore, the user can take action from those search results using Related Actions regardless of where that content originated.  Similarly, the notifications in the header will deliver actions and alerts from all content systems in the cluster, and users can act on those notifications from the notifications window.

What We Recommend

Customers that have a cluster of multiple PeopleSoft applications should use the Interaction Hub to unify their user experience.  The Hub enables you to break down the barriers between applications and align your user experience with your business processes.  This enables your users to navigate freely among PeopleSoft content (and even external content) to complete their work--without having to know which PeopleSoft application is being used.  In addition, users don’t have to log in and out of different applications to complete business processes that may cross application boundaries.  Instead, the Hub presents the PeopleSoft cluster as a single unified ecosystem.

Tuesday Feb 02, 2016

Fluid Header and Navigation is the New Standard

Beginning with PeopleTools 8.55, PeopleSoft 9.2 applications will have a Fluid header on their classic pages that matches the fluid pages.  This unifies the user experience of classic pages with newer fluid pages and applications.  With the fluid user interface, user navigation is more seamless and intuitive.  Using fluid homepages, tiles, global search, related actions, and the new fluid Navigation Collection feature, users can more easily navigate to the information most important to them.  Refer to the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface and Navigation Standards White Paper (Document ID 2063602.1) for more information on design best practices for navigation within PeopleSoft applications.

Part of this change that makes Fluid the default is the replacement of the drop down menu navigation.  In most cases, customers will want their users to simply use the Nav Bar in place of any classic menu navigation.  However, if there is a special circumstance where customers want to maintain the classic menus, they can do so.  There are two ways of displaying the classic menus:

 Method 1 – Switch back to default tangerine or Alt-Tang theme

1. Go to PeopleTools >> Portal >> Branding >> Branding System Options;
2. Change the system default theme back to default tangerine or alt-tang;
3. Sign out and sign in again to see the changes.

Method 2 – Unhide the drop down menu in default fluid theme

1. Go to PeopleTools >> Portal >> Branding >> Define Headers and Footers;
2. Search and open the DEFAULT_HEADER_FLUID header definition;
3. Copy the following styles into the “Style Definitions” field at bottom of the page, and then save;
.desktopFluidHdr .ptdropdownmenu {
    display: block;
}

4. Sign out and sign in again to see the changes.

We encourage customers to stick with Fluid navigation as the standard.  It's simply better and more intuitive. 

Monday Dec 21, 2015

Simplified Analytics: Putting Power in the Hands of End Users

PeopleTools 8.55 is an important release with lots of exciting features.  We recently held a Partner Summit, where PeopleSoft Development and Strategy met with many of our implementation partners to describe and discuss the new capabilities of our products and the value they provide to customers.  One feature that garnered quite a bit of interest is our new Simplified Analytics feature.

Simplified Analytics is important because it puts reporting and analytic power in the hands of end users.  It enables users to generate ad hoc analytics in the context of transactions.  This can be tremendously valuable for a myriad of business processes.  For example, when a manager wants to give an employee a raise, they may want to analyze how that employee is currently compensated compared to peers in the same role and performance class.  Or suppose a person is working with suppliers and they want to determine which suppliers to use.  They may want to analyze suppliers’ performance, price, etc.  Simplified analytics can be valuable in so many transactions, the list is almost endless.  And again, end users can employ this feature without having to turn to technical experts to generate reports for them.

Let’s look at how this would work from the end user perspective for one of the use cases I mentioned above:  I am a manager who is planning to give one of my employees a raise, and need additional information to provide the appropriate amount.

As a manager, I use Related Actions to initiate a Salary Change for Rosanna, one of my subordinates.

This takes me to the transaction where I can provide the change, but I’m not sure how much to give Rosanna, so I create a new analytic in the related information section on the right side of the page.

This initiates the simple process for generating a Simplified Analytic.  Note that the analytic is contextually bound, so the results are generated for me as the user of the transaction in this context.  

It’s quite easy for me to create the analytic I want for my purpose with this guided process.  First, I’ll give my new analytic a name and determine how I want the data visualized.

In this case I’ve chosen a chart to render the output.  Next I’ll choose the data that I want.  Notice that the Manager name is already determined.  (Betty is the person I logged in as.) 

I can select or deselect fields until I have what I want.  

When I save the Analytic, it is presented to me using the visualization I chose earlier; in this case, a chart.

Note that I have row and column data, and other data is represented as facets.  Facets can be selected to filter the results, or I can drag data items to or from the Row and Column areas to slice and dice the analytic any way I wish.  It’s flexible and powerful.

In this case, I’ve dragged the Department field to the Row area, which changes the Analytic and gives me a new perspective on the information.

Now when I save the analytic, it appears in the related information area so I can run this any time I’m in this transaction.  The data is fresh and secure. 

If I’ve created an analytic that I want to use frequently and have at hand regardless of context, I can easily create a tile for it and add it to any of my home pages. 

Now the analytic appears as a tile, and I can run it easily any time from my home page. 

As you can see, creating simplified analytics is easy and fast for end users.  It is wonderfully useful, because users can get the information they need when they need it, without having to seek assitance from IT or reporting experts.  

Our applications teams will be delivering some simplified analytics with our products, so you will see some when you simply take upcoming PeopleSoft Update Images.  However, simplified analytics are easy to create, so you can provide them to your users wherever you see a need.  

Look for more posts on this topic.  We’ll also cover how to publish reports to make them available to other users, and we’ll show you how to set up simplified analytics to make them available for your end users. 

Friday Dec 04, 2015

Oracle Proudly Releases PeopleTools 8.55

PeopleTools 8.55 has now been released for general availability.  With this release, Oracle continues to demonstrate our commitment to extend the value of our customers’ investment in PeopleSoft.  The capabilities included in this release have been designed to enhance many of the features we’ve delivered previously as well as to provide our application users substantial new functionality.  Features in this release focus on continued improvements to the PeopleSoft User Experience while providing additional technology options that will help you take advantage of data center innovations proven to reduce ongoing operating costs and assist in developing a Cloud deployment strategy. Our beta customers have been using PeopleTools 8.55 for a few months and definitely liked what they saw.

The PeopleTools Beta Program had two participants, Centene Corporation and Cerner Corporation. During the Beta Program, participants explored the improvements to the PeopleSoft Fluid User Experience and the PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture (PCA) and found “smooth sailing” with few bugs reported and significant productivity improvements to environment provisioning with PCA.

PeopleTools 8.55 dramatically extends our investment in the Fluid User Experience. New in 8.55 are features such as Fluid Dashboards, Fluid Master/Detail pages and the new Activity Guide Framework.  Our intention with this latest release is to extend the capabilities of PeopleSoft Fluid to include functionality required by Power Users and to make the overall application experience as intuitive as possible. 

For example, PeopleTools 8.55 introduces a new Tile Wizard that makes the creation of these important navigation elements and process “building blocks” much simpler.  Tiles automatically resize based on the content they display, the size of the device being used, even based on the orientation of the mobile device. 

With this release we deliver Fluid Dashboards that augment our existing Fluid Home Page structures.  Dashboards can display tiled content just like home pages, but also allow Tiles to display external, non-PeopleSoft content such as information from a BI system or an external website or application system.

One of the long-standing strengths of PeopleSoft’s user experience has been the ability for our customers to alter the look and behavior of the screens to reflect their own company’s “brand”.  With PeopleTools 8.55, we extend the Branding Framework to include the ability to easily apply your company’s brand to Fluid pages and components.

There are very many new PeopleSoft Fluid features in PeopleTools 8.55, all of which extend our commitment to ensuring you have the most powerful, complete business applications and that these applications reflect the intuitive usability that your employees expect from today’s web systems. 

In a similar vein, we have extended many other elements of the PeopleSoft system infrastructure including Selective Adoption and Application Lifecycle Management features, the PeopleSoft Analytics capabilities and the ability for customers to deploy and manage PeopleSoft in a cloud datacenter. Most of the cloud infrastructure technology applies to on premise customers as well, and even to customers who don't use virtualization. A major benefit of our approach is that we can bring cloud-like benefits to customers who are not running on any form of cloud infrastructure.

With PeopleTools 8.55, we have continued to address the needs of our customers to achieve improved operational efficiency in the deployment, configuration and administration of their PeopleSoft applications.  As our customers see innovations across the technology landscape that include cloud service offerings, datacenter efficiencies through system virtualization and improved resource automation, they have asked us to identify opportunities for them to take advantage these innovations to help them better manage their datacenter operating costs.  Many of our customers are looking to cloud offerings as a strategic opportunity to achieve improved leverage and efficiency. 

PeopleTools 8.55 introduces the new PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture (PCA), a comprehensive organization of system-wide structures, features and capabilities that will allow our customers to achieve greater operational efficiencies.  Whether a company has a DevOps strategy to improve the collaboration between their internal PeopleSoft development and Quality Assurance teams and their IT Operations group, or a comprehensive initiative to leverage Cloud solutions for datacenter operations, PeopleSoft’s Cloud Deployment Architecture will assist our customers to reach these strategic goals with their own PeopleSoft application investment.

The PCA and incorporated features such as Deployment Packages (DPKs) work with the Application Configuration Manager (ACM) and PeopleSoft’s virtualization capabilities to provide customers a near fully automated process to install and configure PeopleTools.  Our goal is to help our customers leverage server and datacenter innovations such as market-leading resource virtualization solutions with choice of virtualization platform vendor as well as dynamic deployment of our solutions to public and private cloud platforms. PeopleTools patches deployed using DPKs can be found on MOS on the new PeopleSoft PeopleTools Patches Homepage.

PeopleTools 8.55 offers significant enhancements across the entire product footprint.  We introduced new features that improve the productivity of your developers as well as your end users.  It will be easier to deploy PeopleSoft applications on the cloud, develop custom mobile applications that incorporate PeopleSoft data and provide your users personalized access to PeopleSoft information and analytic content.  This release builds functionality into the product as a result of direct customer input, industry analysis and internal feature design.  New features, bug fixes and product certifications combine to offer PeopleSoft customers improved application user experience and operational efficiency.

As you get started with your PeopleTools 8.55 planning, be sure to review PT 8.55 Certifications on MOS so that you don’t encounter any last minute incompatibilities. Setting up the infrastructure can take time – plan for it. If you are looking for more information on PeopleTools 8.55, be sure to review the Technology tab for PeopleTools 8.55 Features and Enhancements or go to peoplesoftinfo.com for more information on anything related to PeopleSoft.

Enjoy!

PeopleSoft Announces Certification of Oracle Database 12c with Secure Enterprise Search

PeopleSoft is pleased to announce that the Oracle's 12c database is now certified for use with Secure Enterprise Search and the PeopleSoft Search Framework.  Details on how to use 12c with PeopleSoft Search are available in PeopleTools Certification Notes (Document 2081577.1) and the Knowledge Document Upgrading SES database to 12c (Document 2084851.1).

In addition to the certification steps, we have also provided an automated mechanism for customers to upgrade their SES Database to 12c.  This is an important business need for customers to perform their SES Database Upgrade.


Tuesday Nov 17, 2015

PeopleSoft Information Portal--New and Improved!

The PeopleSoft Info Portal is a popular one-stop shop for getting at everything PeopleSoft. If you are looking for information on PeopleSoft and wondering where to begin, that is often the best place to start. It's an easy name to remember: www.peoplesoftinfo.com The new site is responsive, so you can access it from any form factor.  If you have any questions or want to find out what's new, what's coming in the future, where to learn more--try the PeopleSoft Information Portal.


Monday Oct 19, 2015

Oracle Open World Less Than A Week Away!

Open World is Oracle's biggest and most important conference, and PeopleSoft/PeopleTools is well-represented again this year. The PeopleTools tech team is presenting many sessions on topics that we think you will find interesting and informative.  (This optimism is born out by the pre-registration numbers for the Tech sessions.)  Come visit us in the PeopleTools demo pods as well. 

We hope you will be attending Open World '15, and if you do, please consider coming to see us at these sessions:

SESSION TITLE DATE / TIME LOCATION
CON8596 PeopleSoft Developer: Tips and Techniques Monday, Oct 26
12:15
MW 3007
CON8203 Using PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface for Exceptional HR Self-Service Tuesday, Oct 27
11:00
Palace - Twin Peaks S
CON8585 PeopleSoft Technology Update Tuesday, Oct 27
4:00
MW 2008
CON8587 PeopleSoft’s User Experience Roadmap: It Is PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Tuesday, Oct27
5:15
MW 3016
CON8598 Develop an Effective PeopleSoft Selective Adoption Strategy Wednesday, Oct 28
11:00
MW 3016
CON8591 PeopleSoft in the Cloud: PeopleSoft’s Cloud Deployment Architecture Wednesday, Oct 28
12:15
MW 3014
CON8600 Customer View: Adapting to Take Advantage of PeopleSoft Wednesday, Oct 28
3:00
MW 3016
CON8595 Putting It to Work: PeopleSoft Automated Configuration Manager Wednesday, Oct 28
3:00
MW 3014
CON8593 PeopleTools Security Features Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15
MW 3016
CON8592 Simplified Analytics: The Latest Generation of PeopleSoft Reporting Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15
MW 3014
CON8204 How to Make the Most of the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption Model Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15
Palace - Twin Peaks N
CON8602 PeopleTools Platform and Infrastructure Roadmap Thursday, Oct 29
9:30
MW 3016
CON8599 Putting It to Work: Rolling Out PeopleSoft’s Suite of Lifecycle Management Tools Thursday, Oct 29
10:45
MW 3016
CON8589 Putting It to Work: PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Component Thursday, Oct 29
12:00
MW 3014
CON8588 Simplifying Complex Processes with New PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Activity Guides Thursday, Oct 29
10:45
MW 3014
CON8594 Putting It to Work: Securing Your PeopleSoft Environment Thursday, Oct 29
12:00
MW 3016
CON8586 PeopleSoft Technology: Executive Panel Thursday, Oct 29
1:15
MW 3014
CON8590 Putting It to Work: Configuring a PeopleSoft Applications Cluster Thursday, Oct 29
2:30
MW 3014
CON8601 Putting It to Work: Getting the Most Out of PeopleSoft RESTful Services Thursday, Oct 29
2:30
MW 3016

Friday Oct 16, 2015

Fluid Navigtion Design Guidelines Available

Many customers have asked us about guidance for developing in PeopleSoft's Fluid User Interface.  To address that, PeopleSoft's Information Development team has recently published a new guide for designing navigation in Fluid.  The way users navigate in the Fluid UI is quite different (and more efficient) than in classic PeopleSoft pages.  The new guidelines are available here.

The guidelines cover the philosophy of Fluid navigation focusing on the following:

  • Multiple paths for users to access functionality.
  • Users’ ability to choose the path that is most effective for them.
  • Use of Related Actions to make navigation work across all paths.

Classic PIA navigation uses a locator link (“breadcrumb”) menu with a deep menu hierarchy. Fluid navigation takes an entirely different approach, using homepages and tiles as the starting points for navigating to both Fluid and Classic pages. Further navigation to Fluid and Classic transactions is achieved through a variety of vectors like the Nav Bar, Related Actions, Search, and more.  The following 'how-to' topics are covered:

  • Create new homepages.
  • Add tiles to homepages via the Tile Repository.
  • Add a component tile to any homepage from within the component.
  • Add tiles to the NavBar.
  • Reorder tiles in the NavBar.
  • Add favorite components to My Favorites in the NavBar

In addition, we've published a Fluid UI documentation update, that covers troubleshooting, clarifications to official product docs, updates, and significantly, guides on the CCS that PeopleSoft uses to develop our applications.

Accessibility Guide Updated

We've updated the PeopleSoft Accessibility Guidelines for 8.54.  This guide is for people developing using PeopleTools, who want to insure that their designs conform to current accessibility standards.  The PeopleSoft Applications development teams employ these same guidelines.  You can download them from My Oracle Support:  https://mosemp.us.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1941471.1   This document applies to the new Fluid User Interface.

PeopleSoft publishes our VPATs (accessibility conformance declarations) here.

General accessibility guidelines for PeopleSoft are documented here.

Wednesday Jul 29, 2015

Upgrade your SES Database From 11.2.0.3 to 11.2.0.4 for the PeopleSoft Search Framework - link fixed

An Oracle database Upgrade from 11.2.0.3 to 11.2.0.4 is available for Secure Enterprise Search (SES) with PeopleSoft.  This document on My Oracle Support (Document 2022818.1) provides step by step instructions for performing the upgrade.  Note that this upgrade is available for PeopleTools 8.53 or higher on Unix/Linux environments.

Tuesday Jul 21, 2015

New PeopleSoft Technology Spotlight Series Available

The PeopleSoft Spotlight Series is a new video-based learning resource that will help you get a deeper understanding of our latest Oracle PeopleSoft technologies, features and enhancements.  Watch these videos to gain insight on how you can take advantage of these features in your enterprise.

Senior Strategy Director Jeff Robbins is your host for the Tools and Technology PeopleSoft Spotlight Series.  Jeff introduces each video and summarizes key points covered in the session. Members of the PeopleSoft development organization take you into detail on each subject, helping you plan for, roll out, and gain value from these PeopleSoft enhancements.

The first sessions in our series focus on the game-changing Selective Adoption and the cutting edge PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface. Selective Adoption is the new method by which customers will update and maintain their PeopleSoft systems.  The Fluid UI enables PeopleSoft users to use PeopleSoft applications across form factors. 

Each video takes less than an hour and contains helpful resources. Look for more sessions of the PeopleSoft Spotlight Series in the near future.

Tuesday Jun 30, 2015

Interaction Hub Image Now Available on the PeopleSoft Update Manager Home Page

As noted in a recent post, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is now part of the Selective Adoption Process.  You can get the first image now on the PUM home page.  (At the PUM home page, choose the PeopleSoft Update Image Home Pages tab, then select the Interaction Hub Update Image page from the drop down.)  This means customers can use the PeopleSoft Update Manager and our other life cycle tools to manage their upgrade and maintenance process for the Hub.  There is also a white paper posted there that describes the baseline customers must reach to start taking these images. 

Note that this will be the only way for customers to take maintenance and updates going forward, so we encourage everyone to move to the Selective Adoption process as soon as is feasible for your organization. This move brings the Interaction Hub in line with all other PeopleSoft applications, which use the Selective Adoption process.  This process also offers customers additional value and control, and enables you to benefit from the value of the latest features with a greatly streamlined life cycle process.  

For customers that are eager to learn more, there are many resources on Selective Adoption and PUM on the PUM home page as well as on our YouTube channel.

This first image of the Interaction Hub is functionally equivalent to the current release (9.1/Revision 3), but taking it gets you on the Selective Adoption process.  Some great enhancements are coming the the next image.


Monday Jun 22, 2015

Cost of PeopleSoft vs SaaS and Other Options

There is a lot of publicity around SaaS and various cloud options for enterprise applications these days.  This leaves PeopleSoft customers wondering whether they should stay with PeopleSoft and what that real cost comparisons are.  Is SaaS really less expensive for them?  Is it really the best option for their business?   What are the factors they need to consider?  Can they stay with PeopleSoft and run it in the cloud, getting the best of both worlds?

Quest, the international user group organization recently published an informative article titled How Much Does Your ERP Cost?  In this short article, the author provides ways to consider cost, but importantly, examines the value of these systems to the enterprise and why that should be a factor in your decision.  The author interviews several customers in assessing these questions.  Worth a read.

Thursday Jun 11, 2015

The PeopleTools CAB is Looking to Expand

The PeopleTools Customer Advisory Board is comprised of PeopleSoft technology strategists and a small group of customers that are leaders - both in their organizations and the PeopleSoft customer community as well. Our members are the decision makers who set directions and priorities for their PeopleSoft applications.

The PeopleSoft Technology team is looking to expand our CAB with a few individuals who are familiar with the business side of managing PeopleSoft applications. No propeller on top of your hat? No worries! We are NOT looking to talk about the next widget for Process Scheduler. We ARE looking for senior management responsible for their PeopleSoft implementations who understand the customer value provided with the latest delivered technology. We look to our CAB to validate our direction and messaging. We depend on them to represent the larger customer community, not just their own organization, when providing feedback to us. The ideal candidates are:

1) Knowledgeable in PeopleTools and technology in general

2) Adopting current functionality in their PeopleSoft Applications

3) Leaders in the user community

4) Willing and able to participate in face to face CAB meetings (1-2 times per year) and conference calls as needed

5) Sharing what they have done with the user community through conference presentations or web casts

Does your organization have a history of rapidly adopting new PeopleSoft technology? Are you working on your plan to implement Fluid UI and reap the rewards? Has PTF become a key part of your testing strategy? Have Engineered Systems changed what you do with PeopleSoft? Are you rolling out enhancements via Selective Adoption? Do you consistently evaluate new functionality and look for ways for your business to benefit from it? If you are one of the people we’re looking for and would like to be considered for the PeopleTools Customer Advisory Board, please contact mark.hoernemann@oracle.com to receive an application where you can share the criteria that set you apart from other customers.

About

This blog provides information to the PeopleSoft community, about PeopleSoft Technology, otherwise known as PeopleTools.

For the PeopleSoft Applications blog see the PeopleSoft Strategy Blog.

For the Oracle Campus blog see Oracle Campus Blog.

For information about PeopleSoft see the PeopleSoft Information Portal.

For information about PeopleSoft and PeopleTools releases and updates see PeopleSoft Planned Features and Enhancements (login required).

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