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Two Changes in PeopleTools Requirements January 13, 2015

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools, PeopleTools 8.53, PeopleTools 8.54, TW.
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Oracle have just announced two changes to what they require customers to be running on.

PeopleTools 8.53 Patch 10 or above for PUM Patches

If you’re on PeopleSoft v9.2 and using the Update Images to select the patches to apply then Oracle ‘strongly advises’ customers to be on the .10 patch of PeopleTools 8.53 or higher.

From Oracle:

FSCM Update Image 9.2.010 and higher, HCM Update Image 9.2.009 and higher, and ELM Update 9.2.006 and higher all need PeopleTools 8.53.10 for many of the updates and fixes to be applied. Failure to update your PeopleTools patch level to PeopleTools 8.53.10 or higher will result in the inability to take these updates and fixes. It may also inhibit you from applying critical maintenance in the future.

New PeopleTools Requirements for PeopleSoft Interaction Hub

Oracle also announced that they’re changing the support policy for Interaction Hub and PeopleTools. Basically, if you use Interaction Hub you must upgrade to a PeopleTools release no later than 24 months after that PeopleTools release becomes generally available.

It was originally a little confusingly worded, but there’s now an example that made it clearer for me:
For example, PeopleTools 8.53 was released in February 2013. Therefore, customers who use Interaction Hub will be required to upgrade to PeopleTools 8.53 (or newer, such as PeopleTools 8.54) no later than February 2015 (24 months after the General Availability date of PeopleTools 8.53). As of February 2015, product maintenance and new features may require PeopleTools 8.53.
I suspect that this is going to impact quite a few of customers.
Full details here:

Cloud Outage Audit for 2014 December 30, 2014

Posted by Duncan in Cloud, PeopleSoft, TW.
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Via Chris Kanaracus we heard of the Cloud Outage Audit for 2014 which compares the reliability figures for all of the major cloud vendors. One of the areas that Cedar specialises in is moving PeopleSoft to the Cloud so we pay particular attention when reports like this are released. It’s an interesting read (the full report can be found here) however here are the results:

 

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David Linthicum, SVP Cloud Technology Partners pulls no punches:

Discounting the low-end public clouds, uptime has been much improved, with one major exception. Even though [public cloud providers] are expanding quickly, they seem to be smarter at operating their business, with the possible exception of Microsoft, which has made some dumb mistakes.

The underlying theme seems to be that some of the newer providers are encountering issues as they start to scale which Amazon has already been through (as they had a ~5 year headstart on many of their competitors).

The downtime figures are sourced from CloudHarmony, an independent, third-party company that conducts monitoring of cloud vendor uptime.

The UKOUG Apps14 Conference December 15, 2014

Posted by Duncan in Cedar, TW, UKOUG.
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Cedar had a strong presence at the recent Apps14 conference in the ACC, Liverpool. It is supposed to be the largest applications conference in Europe with over 800 attendees, and we were particularly interested in the PeopleSoft and Apps Innovation streams.

This year we’d decided not to have a stand (as the conference is mixed with the other applications and the database/tech community, it means the exhibition stands are much more expensive than at the PeopleSoft-only Roadshow earlier in the year, while the attendance of the PeopleSoft community is much lower) but we did support the conference with four of our team and three speaking slots.

It was nice to see a different city, although I’m pleased to see that it’s back in Birmingham next year as that is a lot more central for everyone. This is the view from my hotel room out over Albert Docks (the ACC is out to the left).

01 - Sunrise at Apps14

In terms of our speakers, our GP guru Alex spoke about Global Payroll upgrades to v9.2 (as Cedar has helped several clients either complete their move to v9.2 or with an upgrade in progress at the moment):

02 - Alex and Global Payroll 9.2

Several of us also took part in the Oracle Usability Feedback session. We have <ahem> quite strong opinions on how a UX should be so it was really interesting to be part of the process. We can’t talk about the product that was being tested, but it looks really nice. I can’t wait until it hits GA. Here’s a picture of Simon giving it a thorough test with the lovely Rhonda (the screen has been intentionally blurred):

03 - Simon on UX and Usability testing

Cedar’s tech guru Neville also spoke on a couple of topics. He covered PeopleSoft Selective Adoption / PeopleSoft Update Manager in one session (joint with Hays, who are using some of our upgraders at the moment on their massive upgrade – HCM, Fins, CRM, Portal, ELM, all at the same time!). He also spoke about Oracle Secure Enterprise Search (joint with Allen & Overy, who we helped to upgrade to 9.2 earlier in the year).

04 - Neville and PeopleSoft Selective Adoption

The evening in between the two PeopleSoft days was pretty fun too. It started off with a familiar looking (for Liverpool, especially) band called ‘The Cheatles’ (pic below) and then many from the PeopleSoft community sat down for ‘off the record’ chat over a decent meal.

05 - The Cheatles

The Hidden Benefit of PeopleSoft Selective Adoption December 12, 2014

Posted by Duncan in TW.
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There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks about PeopleSoft Selective Adoption, the recently-coined term for the PeopleSoft Update Manager delivery model. Much of this has been on the direct benefits to the customer, which is how it should be. Greg Parikh has linked to some of the posts on LinkedIn.

While discussing this with a colleague at the recent Apps14 conference we noticed that there is another implication that I’ve not seen anyone else call out yet. Although at first glance it seems an immediate advantage to Oracle it’s not difficult to see how the customer is also going to reap significant rewards.

Getting everyone onto 9.2, and then delivering innovation on that version means that PeopleSoft development can operate on a single codeline. Currently, a legislative update will have to be coded and applied for all supported releases (and each version might require the update to be different, depending upon the underlying pages), meaning a lot of extra complication and repeat work. A Global Payroll update might need to be created for v9.2, v9.1 and v9.0, for instance, which is a significant burden.

Once updates are only being created on the v9.2 codeline then they only have to be done once, saving development staff time (and support staff a lot of troubleshooting time also) and thereby freeing them up to concentrate much more time on delivering extra value to the customers in the way of faster updates and more innovative new functionality. This can only be a big plus in the long-run.

Cedar’s new website is live – get ready for the blog! December 9, 2014

Posted by Duncan in Cedar, TW.
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I’m really pleased that Cedar have got our new website live – just in time for UKOUG Apps 14. website As you would expect it highlights the services that Cedar provides – both Oracle Cloud (Fusion and Taleo) and obviously PeopleSoft implementation, hosting and support. It contains details of our people and locations (we’ve offices in Kings Cross, London, plus India, Switzerland and Australia).  It also contains case studies of some of the project successes that we’ve had, and some of the nice things that clients have said about us. One of the things I’m most excited about is the blog. Make sure you add it to your feed reader as we’re going to be sharing some good content there from all of the practices within our company (plus the occasional post of us doing fun things!).

The new website can be found here: http://www.cedarconsulting.co.uk/

Why we won’t need a PeopleSoft v9.3 November 25, 2014

Posted by Duncan in Strategy, TW.
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3291330534_84cc20eac9_z[1]I caught up with Paco Aubrejuan’s “PeopleSoft Townhall” webinar from Quest the other day. Paco is Senior VP of Development for the PeopleSoft product line and it was a really interesting listen. The session can be found here, although you need to sign-up with Quest to view it. It’s an hour long and he discusses the future direction of the PeopleSoft product family plus the new simplified and mobile user experience for PeopleSoft, the new Fluid User Interface (UI) and the delivery model of more frequent, customer-driven product enhancements which is enabled by PeopleSoft Update Manager.

Most interestingly for me though, was the Q&A section at the end. Paco tackled the v9.3 question head on. I’ve transcribed his words, and I think it’s a strong and positive message for those with an interest in the PeopleSoft product line. Here are the ‘best bits':

On PUM:

We’re calling our model PeopleSoft Selective Adoption … and let me be specific about what it means, we’re going to deliver new capabilities about 2 to 3 times a year (and may deliver some functionality more frequent than that). Once you’re on 9.2 you can get this functionality without upgrading ever.

On PeopleSoft v9.3:

Should I upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2 or should I wait for 9.3? There is no 9.3. We don’t have a 9.3 codeline, there’s no 9.3 plan, our plan is to never do a 9.3 and we’re going to continuously deliver on 9.2 using the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption and so you should not be waiting for a 9.3. … We’re just going to continue extending the timelines for PeopleSoft 9.2 so the idea is that there is no more upgrade and premier support will just continue.

On why a 9.3 isn’t needed:

The risk we take with saying that there’s no 9.3 is that people read into that and say that PeopleSoft is dead. … That’s not true. The investment level that we’re making in the product does not change with this delivery model at all. … We’re delivering all the Fluid functionality without a new release. We’ve never done that before. The only thing that this is comparable to is the 8.0 version when we moved from client-server to the internet, and that was a major release. We’re now doing something equivalent to that without even a minor release. It’s now just selective features that you can take as long as you’re on 8.54. So PeopleSoft is not dead, and having no PeopleSoft 9.3 does not mean that PeopleSoft is dead.

So, we now have a definitive answer to the v9.3 question. I think it’s a strong and positive message which is backed up with evidence of the investment that Oracle are putting in to the product family, and a nod to the fact that PeopleSoft is adapting its model to the changing needs of the customer.

Generating a Calendar View of Employee Absence November 24, 2014

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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This blog post has been kindly contributed by 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.

We have posted two guest posts from Richard already, they can be found here:

Generating a custom Org Chart in PeopleSoft

Interacting client-side JavaScript with server-side PeopleCode

Introduction

In PeopleSoft HCM 9.0, an employee’s absence history is displayed in the usual tabular format (a grid with rows and columns). However, we felt the presentation was a bit uninspiring, and needed a better look to it. So we custom built a transaction whereby absences are displayed on a calendar used in both employee and manager self-service transactions. (more…)

Cedar Wins Gold – PeopleSoft Partner of the Year October 28, 2014

Posted by Duncan in PeopleSoft, TW, UKOUG.
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If you follow any number of those in the Partner community on LinkedIn you’ll have seen many of us asking that you vote for us in the UKOUG’s annual Partner of the Year competition. All of the partners are really grateful for your votes as winning an award selected by end-users carries significant prestige.

I’m delighted that the company which I now work for – Cedar Consulting – were awarded 1st place (Gold) for PeopleSoft Partner of the Year for 2014/2015.

Simon cropped

Simon (right), collecting the award from David Warburton-Broadhurst – the UKOUG’s President

Cedar were also thrilled to win Silver in the Fusion Partner of the Year awards, further establishing our reputation as the go-to partner for Fusion/Taleo for all existing PeopleSoft customers.

SimonWr (normal)Simon Wragg, Director at Cedar Consulting said, “We are honoured to receive both the PeopleSoft and Fusion Partner of the Year awards amongst such a strong group of finalists. Cedar Consulting are delighted to be recognised as one of the leading partners within the UK Oracle User Group community. Winning these awards and knowing that so many votes were cast from Oracle customers is a real testament to the service we have provided over the last 12 months”  

We’d like to thank all of you who took the time to vote for us, we’re very grateful for your support.

 

Error unzipping PeopleSoft Images October 4, 2014

Posted by Duncan 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 Duncan 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.

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