An Oracle blog about PeopleSoft Technology

What is all the Chat about PeopleSoft Chatbots?

David Bain
Sr. Director PeopleTools Product Management

Big changes are coming to the PeopleSoft Chatbots.  We’re changing the way they are delivered, installed, configured, and licensed.  And – this is all happening now.

First, a quick review.  PeopleSoft Chatbots are built-with and run using the Oracle Digital Assistant technology. It’s a Platform as a Service offering that many organizations are using for digital assistants and Chatbots today.  To make it easy to use these Chatbots, PeopleSoft delivers the Chatbot Integration Framework, a set of services that makes configuring, securing, and integrating with Chatbots very easy.  You can find out all about it on the PeopleSoft Information Portal Chatbot Key Concept page.

Chatbot Delivery in Skill Store

The first big change is the way PeopleSoft Chatbots are delivered to you.  Up until now, they were included as files in PUM images.  That was ok, but it meant that someone had to manually import the skills into the ODA environment.

Now Chatbots are available in the ODA Skill Store.  The Skill Store is the way Oracle makes skills available to licensed ODA organizations.  You’ll see PeopleSoft skills listed like any other skill with a description and minimum system requirements the skill needs.  When PeopleSoft makes a change to a skill, a new version will be added to the store. You can stay on an old version as long as you’d like and update to the new version when you’re ready.  Fits right into the Selective Adoption strategy you all know so well.

To use a PeopleSoft Chatbot, simply select it from the skill store, choose the ‘Pull’ button and the skill will be available in your environment.  Now configure the Chatbot by pointing your PSFT instance to the Chatbot and tell the Chatbot where to resolve REST services and you’re ready to go.

Chatbot Configuration

A nice benefit of delivering PSFT Skills from the ODA skill store is the choice to use the ODA extensibility toolkit to make your Chatbot customizations.  With the toolkit, you can add/change/delete just about anything that makes up the Chatbot, including utterances, resources, intents, and skills without actually changing the base definition of the Chatbot.   All your changes are kept separately.  When you are ready for a new version, simply re-base the Chatbot with a new version.  You'll get all the new changes while keeping all your customizations in place.

ODA Licensing

There are also some big changes with the licensing.  If you’ve sat in on one of my recent Technology Roadmap presentations, you probably heard me mention a license requirement for both ODA and for the PeopleSoft Chatbots.  That’s all changed.  You'll still have to license ODA but there is no PeopleSoft Chatbot license. 

A license for ODA is required for all end users that will use PeopleSoft Chatbots.  The good news about this license is that it permits the use of Chatbots from PeopleSoft and any other custom bots you want to build.  If you are ready for an enterprise-wide digital assistant, ODA is a great way to go since the PeopleSoft bots will fit in very nicely.  There are two ways to license, either by a fixed monthly cost or by round trip.

The fixed monthly cost is based on the number of Chatbot users.  You can choose this metric by the total number of employees or the total number of named users.  The price and the minimum of the two metrics vary, so it’s worth figuring out how your Chatbots will be used in the long term.  This license is available from your Oracle Cloud Application Rep.

The second option is by round-trip.  A round trip is a request made to a bot followed by a response.  The cost per round trip varies based on whether it’s pay-as-you-go or flex priced.  This option is available from your Oracle Cloud Technical Rep. 

It’s a bit confusing that different Oracle reps offer different licensing options, but it means more flexibility in choosing for you.  For more information on ODA license options, visit the Oracle Digital Assistant Product Information page.

As far as the PeopleSoft Chatbots go, there is no additional license requirement.  That’s great news.  With an ODA license, you can pick them up for no additional cost from the Skill store.  The only requirement is that you are current with your PeopleSoft application maintenance. 

The availability in the Skill Store, use of the Extensibility Toolkit, and simplified licensing options are great news for all of you interested in using PeopleSoft Chatbots.  

Stay tuned, there are more Chatbots planned for the future.

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