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I’m Hakan Biroglu and this is how I work November 7, 2012

Posted by Duncan in How I work.

I’m very grateful to Hakan Biroglu for agreeing to be the next subject in this series.

Although Hakan has been in the industry a long time (he’s been working on Oracle Apps for 13 years, and Peoplesoft for 10 years) I’d not met him until recently. His blog will be familiar to many and he’s one of the most prolific and helpful experts on the PeopleSoft areas in the OTN forums. Hakan works for Logica (now part of CGI) in the Netherlands. I bumped into him at this year’s OpenWorld where he gave a session on the benefits of upgrading to Tools 8.52.

Name: Hakan Biroglu

Occupation: Software Architect PeopleSoft & Practice Lead Fusion Applications
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Current computer: Toshiba Tecra (Win7, 8GB RAM)
Current mobile devices: Google Galaxy Nexus Phone, iPad

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I would have to start with VMWare Player (Sorry folks, not that of a big fan of VirtualBox). Since my computers kept crashing on me, I decided to run everything in virtual machines and of course having backups of these on external hard disks. Now I have dozens of virtual machines with different versions of PeopleSoft and other content. Whenever needed I just start another virtual machine. Other tools I cannot live without are Google, NotePad++7zipsoapUI and Snagit. And not to forget, My Oracle Support, the OTN Forums and PeopleBooks (after 10 years I still use it on a daily basis). What most people do not know is that there is a great amount of information on iLearningPeopleSoft YouTube Channel and the Advisor Webcasts.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Call me old fashioned, but I do not use gadgets whatsoever. All I need is a flip over board, whiteboard or just a piece of paper and a pen, to visualize and share my thoughts.

What’s your workspace like?

Lately our team has become a big fan of using SCRUM methodology on PeopleSoft projects. So we have our digital SCRUM board on screen and our post-its with the sprint tasks on the wall, to keep us focused on our deliverables and timelines.

What do you listen to while you work?
I actually never listen to music when I work. The reason for this is that when I am concentrating on my work I do not see or hear anything from around me. So if someone else has music on, I do not mind because I won’t hear it when I start working.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
When you create a new component and use the wizard in Application Designer to create a content reference, this gets added nicely in the PeopleSoft menu. When you migrate this new component and content reference to the next environment, using the Copy to Database function in Application Designer, the content reference is nowhere to be found in the next environment. And now the 2-line tip:

Go to PeopleTools > Portal > Structure and Content and click on edit on a higher level content reference, change anything, save, change it back to the original state and save again. Now hit F5 to refresh your browser and the content reference is visible in your menu, without running the Portal Security Sync. It’s like magic …

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I am actually against using/writing SQL in PeopleSoft/PeopleCode, except when used for views. When writing SQL, developers tend to write database specific SQL and not use MetaSQL. Or they tend to write highly complex SQL statements, which contains a lot of the business logic. This is not readable, maintainable or extendable. I am a big fan of using Application Classes and the PeopleCode API’s, especially using the ObjectDoMethod function to write abstract, configurable code.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code completion would be a nice feature to add to Application Designer.

Another thing. Although PeopleSoft is now fully service enabled, it is not fully service oriented. It would be great if the number of services would be extended (and documented!) and the components would be “dummy” pages calling the services. This way, you could integrate PeopleSoft easier with any other application or middleware.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I think that where others see a problem, I see a challenge.

Most of the time people are focused on answering a question. When you are asked a question and in turn ask why the question is being asked, most of the time you will find out the true question/issue is something else and most likely the answer to the true question is easier to answer.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Recently I read a book on Steve Jobs his way of thinking and working. I could really relate to two principles:

Do What You Love
If you really want to excel at something, do what you are passionate about.

Create Insanely Great Experiences.
Try to live as many different experiences as you can outside your working/living area. This will broaden your vision and the most amazing ideas will emerge from this.



1. Jim Marion - November 7, 2012

The portal registry tip is a good one. Here is what happens: PeopleSoft seems to load the portal registry from the top down and only reloads a node when that node’s cache is marked as stale. When you migrate a brand new CREF, the parent CREF doesn’t know about the new child, and won’t know because the child isn’t in the cache, and the parent node is still marked as valid. Importing a CREF does not invalidate the parent node (increment the cache ID). An alternative that I use is to migrate the parent node EVEN THOUGH A COMPARE REPORT SAYS NO CHANGE. This increments the cache/lock number forcing a reload of that parent node.

2. PeopleSoft Guy - November 20, 2012

Thanks for the PeopleSoft Portal Synch Tip.. that worked nicely!

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