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What’s coming in PeopleTools 8.50 November 10, 2008

Posted by Tipster in PeopleTools.
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After seeing some of the slides and blog posts that followed Oracle Open World ’08 I thought I’d put together a recap of what improvements Oracle are including in their next release.

1) Big Focus on User Experience.

PeopleSoft has always been a good few steps ahead of Oracle’s E-Business Suite from the look and feel viewpoint.  We’re starting to see screenshots showing that Oracle have incorporated some of their advances in Fusion, and it looks like PeopleSoft is moving forwards too.

Some of the improvements will also be backwards compatible – so you can have a v8.4 App running Tools 8.50 and get ~50% of the improvements.

Feature Available with Tools 8.50 and earlier App Available only with v9.1 App
Partial Page Refresh Y
Modal Lookup Prompts & Error Messages Y
New Menu, Favourites, Recent Visits Y
Homepage Pagelet Drag/Drop Y
Independent Pagelet Refresh Y
Type Ahead / Auto-Complete Y
Modal Zoom Grid for existing Grids Y
New Grids (sortable, Drag/Drop etc) Y
Updated Stylesheet Y
Rich Text Editor Y
Mouse-over Popups Y
IM Presence (eg. Beehive, Yahoo etc) Y

The new menu mentioned above can be seen below.  The sidebar is gone and we now have drop-downs from a top menu (click for bigger).


It’s difficult to guess how useable it’ll be, but if it frees up some extra space on screen then it’ll be welcome.

The biggest winner sounds like the partial page refresh.  Any prompt – instead of triggering an entire page refresh – will pop up a modal window and using AJAX will issue a partial page refresh.  Much less data going over the wire, and hopefully improved performance.

The auto-complete/type ahead also applies to lookup prompts.  As you type PeopleSoft checks what you’re typing against the available values.

The recent visits menu will save time by negating the need to trawl through the menus for the components we all use the most often.

2) Lots of SOA and Web Services Improvements

It’s difficult to get a grasp of exactly what they’ve improved here without hearing the spiel that went with the slides, but we will be able to expose App Engines and Queries as Web Services (in addition to App Packages and CIs).

3) Reporting

In addition to the expected hype of XMLP/BIP and OBIEE there is mention of ‘BI in Context’.  It seems they’re moving towards embedding reporting in pages.

In addition to this we’re going to be able to use Connected Queries.  This is where a Query can call another ‘child query’, and they can be nested down n-levels.  Useful for XMLP …

Also, Hyperion Essbase will allow clients to export data to Excel, manipulate it, and then load it back into PeopleSoft again.

4) Enterprise 2.0

Introduction of some Web 2.0 functionality.  Lots of talk about collaboration, integration, tagging and wikis.  The screenshot below shows some of this, including RSS, a discussion list, calendaring, voting and a document repository.

It sounds as though this functionality may be named PeopleSoft Workspace and either be licensed individually or reside within Enterprise Portal, so clients which haven’t licensed this may miss out.

5) Platforms

Unusually for an ‘even numbered release’ there are some 3rd party upgrades included.  (The even numbered releases normally contain functionality improvements, the odd numbered ones 3rd Party upgrades.)  I guess it’s been nearly 2 years since Tools 8.49 so they’re rolling it into one.

For OSes there are some 64-bit servers included (Windows and Linux), and – amongst other things – 32bit Linux and Windows 2000 are dropped.

For Databases in comes Oracle 11g and SQL Server 2008, and SQL Server 2000 is dropped.

Tuxedo gets an upgrade to 10.1, and WebLogic up to 10.  Unsurprisingly – after the announcement saying that Fusion will use WebLogic – Oracle App Server is dropped.

6) Other items

- Improvements to Data Archive Manager
- Improvements in PeopleTools security (user access reporting, delivered LDAP integration, Web Service Security, SFTP)
- Plus a bunch of stuff that they say is new but is already in Tools 8.49 (parallel server boot, preload cache, cross environment visual page compare and merge, cross environment text file compare and merge, Oracle Enterprise Manager integration)

7) So when is it out?

The answer to this is that no-one wants to say.  It was originally slated for 2008, but the latest I heard was the first half of ’09.

All of the above has been gleaned and consolidated from the following sources:

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Comments

1. Matthew - November 12, 2008

Regarding the Web 2.0 subject and workspaces. We are planning to offer customers a choice. Workspaces are currently available in Enterprise Portal (no additional charge, part of EP). We plan to offer them the option of using workspaces with their PS apps even if they don’t have EP. It would be an inexpensive add-on to an app purchase.

2. Ram - March 17, 2009

Thank you very much for the nice info. This helps a lot in going forward with PeopleSoft.

I have a question here. Will Oracle Application Server not be supported in PeopleTools 8.50 and HCM9 or Is it not supported only in fusion?

3. Tipster - March 17, 2009

As I understand it Oracle App Server is on the way out. It won’t be in Tools 8.50. I’m not sure about Fusion, but the BEA products are highly regarded so if I was the infrastructure lead on a PeopleSoft project I’d be 100% behind WebLogic.

4. Tipster - March 18, 2009
5. Larry - May 11, 2009

Good to know about new features in peopletools. As far as I know it will still take time for Oracle to come something reliable related to Fusion in Peoplesoft.

While browsing across sites, its strange to see tips & questions related to PeopleTools linking with Web 2.0 technology. On top of my head, I remember http://www.itwisesolutions.com/PsftQuiz.html website, which has few nice questions.

I hope 2010 will bring fusion out from oracle headquarters.

Larry

6. More PeopleTools 8.50 « PeopleSoft Tipster - May 17, 2009

[...] OpenWorld ‘08 I posted about some of the new functionality coming in PeopleTools 8.50, including partial page refresh, modal lookup and prompt dialogues, redesigned menu pagelet [...]

7. Anonymous - October 11, 2009

Still no 8.50 support for running app designer, data mover or application servers on Vista 64 bit Home Premium though. As in 8.46 and 8.49 tools the 8.50 PIA servers do run on Vista 64 bit.


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