Tuesday Jun 07, 2016

Automated Configuration Management in PeopleSoft

Content Contributed by Biju Narayanan

This post is the first in a series on Configuration Management

Configuration the Old Way

PeopleSoft system administrators have generally spent a good deal of time on manual, repetitive tasks while setting up and configuring their PeopleSoft system.  When you set up a new PeopleSoft demo environment or upgrade/clone environments, considerable effort is spent on configuration-related activities. This often involves going through hundreds of user interface pages to manually configure functional components like Integration Broker, Secure Enterprise Search, Process Scheduler, and so on.  Testing for correctness is also required. If you cloned or made copies of systems configurations, they needed to be redone. Host name entries are spread within many configurations from webserver to appserver tiers and in many objects within databases, which adds to the challenge.

What We've Done to Improve the Process

With PeopleSoft 8.55, configuration is centralized with the Cloud Deployment Architecture (CDA).  Deployment Packages (DPK) are a new delivery mechanism provided with PeopleTools 8.55 (for use with Linux and Windows operating systems). Deployment Packages contain all the software created by PeopleSoft as well as the required components pre-installed and fully patched, along with a deployment and configuration automation system. In addition, all Update Images delivered after 8.55 will also take advantage of the Deployment Framework, and will be comprised of Deployment Packages.  DPKs have three parts:

  • Binaries based on platform: Middleware binaries for Application Server runtime Tuxedo, WebServers - Weblogic, PeopleSoft binaries (PS_HOME), database, Client binaries, etc.
  • Puppet-based automation for installation and deployment of middleware - The PeopleSoft Puppet modules provide automation for setting up the middle ware, deployment of PeopleTools binaries and configuration of Application server and WebServer domains.  (For detailed information on Puppet see puppet.com, and docs.puppetlabs.com)
  • ACM - Automated Configuration Manager to configure PeopleSoft components like Integration Broker, Secure Search, Process Scheduler etc.


With DPKs configuration is centralized in Pupprt configuration files, and can be customized by overriding configuration attributes in psft.customizations.yaml. 

Automating PeopleSoft Configuration Using ACM

Automated Configuration Manager (ACM) is a tool set available beginning with PeopleTools 8.54.  It is used to automate PeopleTools product configuration. ACM allows you to externalize product configuration as a template and then use the template to automate configurations across systems. ACM comes with graphical user interfaces,  command-line tools, and a suite of configuration plugins that help administrators configure the base PeopleSoft components.



Peopletools 8.55 delivers the following predefined templates that you can start with.



The other functional plugins include the following:

  • Integration Broker
    • Rename local node, purge messages
    • Configure default local node, set target location, configure content/portal URI
    • Configure gateway URL, load gateway connectors, configure nodes in the gateway
    • Set advanced gateway properties like keystore password, proxy/non proxy information
    • Activate IB Domains and Queues
    • Cleanup
  • Secure Enterprise Search
    • Configure Search Instance
    • Configure Identity plugin and proxy login
    • Deploy/Undeploy, Index search definitions
    • Cleanup Meta-data
  • Process Scheduler
    • Report Node configurations
    • Server Definition configuration
  • Cluster
    • Network Node Registration
    • Single Sign-On configuration
    • Unified Navigation configuration, creation of remote folders
    • Import SES search indexes to Portal environment
  • Approvals
    • Enable SSL configuration for MAP layouts
    • MAP approval Svc Install configuration
    • Introspection and Deployment of IB services
  • Miscellaneous Utilities
    • Performance Monitor Configurations
    • Grant PTF roles to users
    • Setting URL identifiers, url properties and its values
    • Web Profile related configurations

Working with ACM

An administrator typically performs the following process to develop a configuration automation template. The template contains configuration units, and the sequence and dependencies in which the configuration has to be automated. After the template is developed, it is tested and used as a base version to automate other environments.

Pre-Requisites for Executing ACM

  1. User should have "ACM Administrator" Role:  Navigate to Main Menu > PeopleTools > Security > User Profiles > User Profiles, then add the "ACM Administrator" role for the corresponding user.
  2. The newly created Template should have sufficient privilege: Navigate to Main Menu > PeopleTools > Security > Permissions and Roles > Permission Lists, then choose permission list "PTPT4800", then add the newly created template to the list present in the "ACM Templates" tab.

The Process

  1. Design a Template: Automate functional units of configuration. You can group configuration plugins, set configuration attributes and sequence then to automate functional parts. This can be done from PeopleTools > Automation Configuration Manager > Templates



  2. Execute the Template: The template can be executed interactively in three ways:
    1. Interactive: Navigate to: Peopletools > Automation Configuration Manager > Templates
    2. Command line: Administrators generally prefers to automate configurations by running scripts. This is the recommended method for automating configurations.



    3. DPK Puppet: Set the configuration in Puppet modules prior running the deployment scripts. You can specify your entire configuration in the "/etc/puppet/data/psft_configuration.yaml" file, before running the DPK automation process. The code block below shows how to set IB Configuration in your deployment configuration.

integration_broker:
    run_control_id: intbroker
    os_user: '%{hiera(''domain_user'')}'
    db_settings: {
      db_name: '%{hiera(''db_name'')}',
      db_type: '%{hiera(''db_platform'')}',
      db_connect_id: '%{hiera(''db_connect_id'')}',
      db_connect_pwd: '%{hiera(''db_connect_pwd'')}'
    }
    acm_plugin_list:
      PTIBRenameNode: {
        env.default_local_node: '%{hiera(''gateway_node_name'')}',
        env.app_msg_purge_all_dms: true
      }
      PTIBConfigureDBNode: {
        env.pia_webserver_host: '%{::fqdn}',
        env.pia_webserver_port: '%{hiera(''pia_http_port'')}',
        env.pia_webserver_ssl_port: '%{hiera(''pia_https_port'')}',
        env.pia_site_name: '%{hiera(''pia_site_name'')}',

   4.  Test and Debug: After the execution you can monitor and debug the execution by  navigating to PeopleTools>Automation Configuration Manager>Monitor



After you generate a working version of the template, you can keep it as a configuration baseline and use it to clone configurations across multiple environments.  The template is the source of truth for configuration, and ACM allows you to re-run the configuration any number of times.


Friday Apr 12, 2013

New Red Paper on Setting Up PeopleSoft Applications with the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub

We've just published a new red paper that I think many customers will find valuable.  The paper is a practical guide for technical users, installers, and system administrators, who implement, maintain, or deploy PeopleSoft applications and systems. It describes how to use PeopleSoft Interaction Hub to federate multiple PeopleSoft content providers (for example, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management [HCM], PeopleSoft Enterprise Learning Management [ELM], and other PeopleSoft applications) into a single portal system using single signon and unified navigation.  The paper applies to PeopleSoft Interaction Hub 9.1 Revision 2.

There is guidance for the following topics:

  • Configuring single signon for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub and PeopleSoft content providers.
  • Configuring unified navigation to federate portal registries from PeopleSoft content providers.
  • Configuring and synchronizing user roles and user profiles across multiple PeopleSoft content providers.
  • Synchronizing user personalization across multiple PeopleSoft content providers. 

You can get the red paper from Oracle Support here.

This paper supplements other information about the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub.  For example, it does not describe the installation instructions for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub and the PeopleSoft content providers. That information is provided in other documents.

Using the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub as a gateway to all your PeopleSoft applications (as well as other content), provides a rich, web site-based user experience that can rival any contemporary web application.  It makes navigation simpler, quicker, and more intuitive.  It is also more engaging for your users.

This paper should prove especially valuable now that more customers can install the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub under the terms of the new restricted use license.

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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