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Error unzipping PeopleSoft Images October 4, 2014

Posted by Tipster in TW.
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The new PUM images are a boon for anyone wanting to get a PeopleSoft instance up and running quickly. Once you’ve downloaded the zip archives however, you might find that the delivered zip file doesn’t work by default for everyone.

The line:

unzip HCM-920-UPD-008_OVA_2of11.zip

gives me the following error:

'unzip' is not recognized as an internal or external command

I’m not sure where the unzip utility is supposed to be from, but it’s not delivered as part of Windows 8.1. I typically use the excellent 7zip utility for my zip/archiving needs, so I need to amend the script slightly.

I add the following line near the top:

set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files\7-Zip\

so that I can reference the extraction tool with just the filename, then I change each archive line to use 7zip instead, thus:

7z e HCM-920-UPD-008_OVA_2of11.zip

PeopleSoft and Shellshock September 29, 2014

Posted by Tipster in Security, TW.
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As many will have no doubt heard, there’s a new vulnerability that has been spotted, and there are already exploits for it in the wild.

The vulnerable systems are those running Bash – so Windows machines are safe, it’s just Unix/Linux and MacOSX.

Security Researcher Kasper Lindegaard from Secunia rates this as a bigger issue than the Heartbleed exploit discovered in April this year. “Heartbleed only enabled hackers to extract information, Bash enables hackers to execute commands to take over your servers and systems.”

The US government has rated this 10 out of 10 from severity point of view.

Oracle have been quick to react to this threat, and have issued a security alert here. It includes this chilling text:

This vulnerability may be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e. it may be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password. A remote user can exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on systems that are running affected versions of Bash.

PeopleSoft and Web Browsers – The Guide September 22, 2014

Posted by Tipster in Browsers, PeopleTools 8.53, PeopleTools 8.54, TW.
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browsersThe topic of PeopleSoft/PeopleTools versions and web browsers is often a complicated one, yet it’s an issue that every client will face when they either upgrade PeopleTools or move to a new Application version that contains a Tools increase.

Cedar have recently been asked by a client for some assistance to get a definitive answer to the important questions and we thought it would be useful to share this information. We’ve put together a white paper that shows you the relevant browser versions for PeopleTools 8.54 and PeopleTools 8.53 (i.e. the versions that customers are likely to be upgrading to over the next year or so):

Cedar Consulting White Paper – PeopleSoft and Web Browsers

We hope that it saves you some time during your next upgrade.

 

Help Please! The UKOUG Partner of the Year awards July 31, 2014

Posted by Tipster in TW.
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We’d really appreciate your help. But first, a bit of background:

The Partner of the Year awards is an annual awards ceremony held by the UK Oracle User Group. It allows customers to show appreciation for partners that have provided a service to them over the previous 12 months. As you would imagine, being voted a winner (for the categories that you operate in) is a wonderful accolade as it’s the end-users that have spoken.

Cedar Consulting has a long history of success in the competition, reflecting our long standing relationships with our clients. I wasn’t going to ask for votes this year, however I notice that many of our competitors are filling Twitter and LinkedIn with pleas so I feel that I should also ask for your vote.

If you’re an existing Cedar client site we’d love your vote. Also, if you are a recipient of any other Cedar service – and I guess here I’m talking about the free PeopleSoft and Fusion Weekly newsletters that we send out – we’d be very grateful if you gave 3 minutes of your time to vote for us.

What we’d like you to do:

1) Go to: http://pya.ukoug.org/index.php

2) Fill in your company name, first name and surname. Then click Next.

3) Enter your email address in both fields, then click Next.

4) Select any checkboxes if you want ‘follow-up communications’ from the UKOUG, or leave all blank, and click Next.

5) Select Cedar Consulting from the drop-down, and click Next.

6) On the PeopleSoft page, select the Gold radio button on the Cedar Consulting row (note, it’s the 3rd column!), then click Next.

7) Repeat by selecting the Gold radio button on the Cedar Consulting row of the Fusion page, then click Next.

8) Click Submit.

And you’re done. Thank you very much. If you want some gratitude for your 3 minutes of effort drop me an email and I’ll thank you personally!

An Introduction to PeopleTools 8.54 (part 2) July 31, 2014

Posted by Tipster in PeopleTools 8.54.
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1. Introduction

The recently launched version of PeopleTools 8.54 contains a broad range of enhancements. Although we’ve had the GA (General Availability) release we can’t upgrade existing environments until the 8.54.02 patch, so now is a good time to perform a fresh sandbox install to investigate the details and highlight the areas that are of most interest.

As in the first part of this series, there is a lot of content to cover so I’ve spread it over several entries. This first part looked at the back-end, infrastructure and System Admin changes, whereas this post moves up the software stack with integration and reporting, and the final entry will finish with the Fluid UI.

2. Developer UI Enhancements

There have been a number of improvements to the User Interface – we’re not talking about Fluid, this is in the Classic UI too although these changes may also benefit Fluid pages).

a. Charting Enhancements

The development team have introduced some new charting types to the toolset. We were already able to select from quite a few options, however we’ve now got Gauges, the LED lights, Status Meters and Funnel charts.

1-charts

b. Long Edit Box Character Counter

Previously people (myself included) have accomplished similar functionality – with varying levels of success – by inserting JavaScript onto the page. Now it’s natively built in to PeopleTools. A character counter can be activated on the properties on the Long Edit box control:

2-long edit setup

The result on-screen is like this:

3-long edit result

Note: this functionality doesn’t actually limit the text entry and if the user exceeds the limit it will show a negative number.

c. Pivot Grids

Pivot Grids have been enhanced in a lot of ways – there are almost 30 improvements listed in the Release Notes. Just picking a few, they now include the ability to restrict the number of rows shown in a Pivot Grid, PS Query drilling URLs and Bubble and Scatter charts are now available as Pivot Chart types.

4-pivots

3. Reporting

a. BI Publisher

As of PeopleTools 8.54, BI Publisher now includes support for PCL (Printer Control Language) code in RTF templates. This allows for printing PDF with Secure Fonts, essential for the secure printing of cheques.

Also newly supported are digital signatures – which can be used to verify the sender and to ensure that it the output hasn’t been amended in transit, and updatable PDFs.

b. PS Query

PS Query now supports defaults for prompts:

5-query

There have been workarounds to achieve a similar result before, but it’s now built into the configuration pages so we don’t need to search online for the workaround each time we want to use it.

Also new with PS Query is the option to include image fields in your output. There are a number of display alternatives with image fields, either Image Data (in which case PS Query will display the image inline with the rest of the HTML result set), or a Base64 encoded data string representing the image with any output other than HTML, or – when the property is set to Image Hyperlink – a URL to the image will be returned instead of the image itself. When the URL is clicked, the image will be displayed in a new browser window.

6-query images

Additionally, all PS Queries can be exposed as REST services, and Microsoft Excel 2007 and above is supported thereby increasing the amount of rows you can download from a Query result set into Excel above the previous limit of 64 thousand.

Finally, PeopleTools 8.54 introduces a new Query type, the Composite Query. Composite Queries are a superset of Connected Queries (which have been in PeopleTools for a couple of releases). Composite Queries allow users to connect queries together and have the output presented as a flat result set (instead of the hierarchical data sets which were output from Connected Queries).

4. Batch Processing

One very visible improvement to the Process Scheduler is a new status window that slides in from the lower right corner to give updates on processing progress. This is a nice touch that I’m sure end-users will appreciate:

7-batch window

Secondly, Activity Guides can improve batch processes as steps – which is important if there’s something a bit more process intensive that’s needed as part of a sequence of steps.

Finally, App Engine program trace allows you to specify which sections to appear in the trace, rather than having to wade through the trace for an entire program. This needs to be enabled in the Process Scheduler config, in Configuration Manager, and then in the App Engine itself:

8-trace

5. Other Enhancements

Other enhancements included in this version of PeopleTools are:

- There’s a WorkCenter to make the setting up of new Activity Guides easier, plus a cloning function which will be useful when similar – but slightly different – guides are needed.

- SES facets now include numerical and date ranges. Results can include images and report repository content.

- Change Assistant has now been decoupled from the PeopleSoft Image, enabling packages to be moved to subsequent environments without also needing to connect to the PeopleSoft Image (this was quite restricting in Tools 8.53). It also has a fresh new UI and can be scripting/configured via the command line

- Data Migration Workbench has received improvements to Application Data Sets (and define relationships between groups), plus merging, support for managed objects and an improved UI.

- PeopleSoft Test Framework now allows you to perform mass updates (updating a set of tests in one change), interaction with App Designer projects and some usability enhancements.

6. Conclusion

The next version of PeopleTools is bringing many improvements. Much is being made of the new User Interface – and rightly so – however there are other improvements that we will improve our workflow by making it both simpler and more efficient.

PeopleTools 8.54 Sandbox July 14, 2014

Posted by Tipster in PeopleTools 8.54, TW.
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Following the announcement on Friday that Tools 8.54 was available, we dived straight in (whilst cursing under our breath that it was released at 6pm on Friday night on the weekend of the World Cup final!). (more…)

Generating a custom Org Chart in PeopleSoft July 8, 2014

Posted by Tipster in TW.
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This week we have a second guest-post from Richard Yip. Richard is a PeopleSoft HCM & Payroll Technical Consultant at Santander Bank here in the UK. He is a long-term PeopleSoft techie and a regular at the UKOUG conferences.  I’m delighted to be able to give him a conduit through which to share some of his good work.

Richard’s previous post can be found here.

Custom Organisation Charts in PeopleSoft

In the PS_EMPLOYEES table, there is a custom field called SUPERVISOR_ID. This is used to connect the employee to the supervisor or line manager. This is similar to the REPORTS_TO field in PS_JOB.

I developed this after toying with the GOOGLE API Organisation Chart. Generating the boxes was straight forward enough, so the trick was to understand how to generate the connecting lines.

I also included some Javascript to make the images appear when the box is clicked and disappear when it is double-clicked. The images are from the PS_EMPL_PHOTO, so a data URI with Base64 encoding is used.

org_chartDefault Appearance

org chart picturesExpanded to show photos

Richard has kindly shared all the code required to get this working. See Generate a custom Organisation chart from ps_employees for the listings.

New Pastures June 24, 2014

Posted by Tipster in TW.
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I try to keep the content on here focused on the products and implementation tips however I hope you’ll indulge me with one personal post.

After six and a half enjoyable years I have left Succeed Consultancy. I’m leaving behind a lot of talented colleagues and great friends, however for reasons that I don’t want to bore you with it’s time to move on.

As of yesterday I’ve started work for Cedar Consulting. One of the largest the ‘tier 2′ PeopleSoft consultancies in EMEA.

Cedar have been running – in one form or other – for nearly 20 years and have an impressive list of PeopleSoft implementations, upgrades and support/hosting clients. There are few UK PeopleSoft clients who haven’t engaged Cedar at one point or other. As well as their large team of UK consultants they have a number of offices spread globally and a solution centre in India.

Importantly for me, Cedar also have a strong focus on Fusion and already have both a live Fusion client under their belt and the UKOUG Fusion Partner of the Year gold award.

This career move also means that the branding of the PeopleSoft and Fusion Weeklies will change. I’d to thank Succeed for sponsoring the newsletters up to this point and I’m grateful to Cedar for agreeing to sponsor it going forwards. You should notice a rebrand in this week’s editions.

PeopleSoft 9.3 – A clarification June 20, 2014

Posted by Tipster in PeopleSoft, Strategy, TW.
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After the release and subsequent removal of the ‘there is no PeopleSoft 9.3′ post on the My Oracle Support site and twitter I’ve been in contact with Oracle to find out the truth behind these rumours. Let me share with you what I have learned directly from Oracle… (more…)

It’s official, there is no PeopleSoft 9.3 June 18, 2014

Posted by Tipster in PeopleSoft, Strategy, TW.
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EDIT: It seems that this was an erroneous announcement by Oracle (it appeared on both their Twitter feed and the MOS site).

I’ve now received further clarification from Oracle, read about it here.

 

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