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OOW11 Day 4 Round-up October 9, 2011

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, OOW, PeopleSoft.
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Following on from Day 3’s round-up:

I had to miss a couple of the sessions that I’d have liked to have seen today as we had to leave early to catch our flights, I was particularly disappointed to miss out on Robert Half International talking about PeopleSoft on Amazon Web Services.

I did manage to go and see some of the Oracle UK team (Debi Ashby, Diana Draghici and Mike Everitt) talking about what you can do to improve the PeopleSoft UI. The team walked through some role-playing scenarios for adding navigation collections, portal pagelets etc and then showed some screenshots of the work that Succeed has done at Pret, which was nice.


OOW11 Day 3 Round-up October 9, 2011

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, OOW, PeopleSoft.
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Following on from Day 2’s round-up:

I started day 3 squeezing into a pretty packed room for a Fusion Technical Overview from Nadia Bendjedou.  There was quite a lot of detail in this section so I’m not going to fill up this post with everything, but the stand-out points for me were:

  • All applications are based on a common unified data model (not split into multiple pillars like PeopleSoft), so you install the database once and you get EVERYTHING, even if you only want one small module! It doesn’t matter if you just want Talent Management, you not only get a database full of every HR module, but all other applications too (Financials, CRM etc).
  • Everything in Fusion is meta-data driven.  When you change something, the core isn’t changed, the change is stored at a higher level.
  • The data model is largely based on eBusiness Suite, however it has been enhanced with some of the best bits from PeopleSoft, namely effective dating, Trees and Setids for striping the data.

Next up was PeopleTools Search from Matthew Haavisto. I think this is going to be the single best change in Tools 8.52, users are going to love it! In Matthew’s words “It’s more than just a way of finding things, it’s a better way to navigate.” The Search box appears on homepage, plus keyword search on component pages. The most relevant results are shown at the top with facets down the side for additional filtering.

In the afternoon I went to PeopleSoft On-Demand with Marc Weintraub. This is an area of real interest to me as I’ve done a lot of PeopleSoft work in the cloud, and it seems like Oracle are starting to flesh out their offerings. Anything that Oracle sells is now available On-Demand, and across their entire suite of products they host 700 customers and 5.5million users on Oracle On-Demand.

Next up was Larry’s hotly anticipated keynote.  There was a sponsor session first, which was particularly arduous to sit through. I won’t name them here, and I appreciate that they’d spent a lot of money to get such a good billing, but I don’t think much that they said was relevant to the broad interests of those sat waiting for Larry. They’d have been better putting their logo up as a big backdrop and getting a proper professional speaker (Clinton or someone) to talk instead. As for Larry, it was a session of two halves. He started in barn-storming fashion, really sticking it to Marc Benioff and overturning some of the accusations from SalesForce. It was really enjoyable to see one of the world’s foremost CEOs really in a combative mood. He then announced three products, the GA of Fusion, the Oracle Social Network and the Oracle Public Cloud. The energy level tapered off during an overlong demo of the Social Network – but it’s good to see a CEO doing demos (a la Jobs) as many don’t know the products well enough and pass the responsibility to someone else.

The final session was PeopleSoft Portal creates a great UI with Southern Company and Matthew Haavisto. This was a showcase for Southern Company’s portal. The UI itself was pretty nice, good use of Lightboxes etc, however the real surprise was the amount of content that they’d included. It had taked a big team to put it in (2.5 consultants for 10 months, plus internal resources) but when they showed the volume of content it’s easy to see where all that effort went.

OOW11 Day 2 Round-up October 9, 2011

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, OOW, PeopleSoft.
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Following on from Day 1’s Round-up:

I started off the second day by having another look around the demo grounds. One of the booths had a ‘proof of concept’ demo of how Fusion apps might look on the iPad and it was very impressive. Really slick and gorgeous to look at. I know that there has been a lot of fuss over the Workday iPad functionality, and although I haven’t seen it I fail to see how it could look much better than what was demoed here.

My first session of the day was Best Practices for Using PeopleSoft Test Framework by David Howard and Scott Shafer.  They asked for a show of hands at the start, and although a lot of people present were on Tools 8.51 not many had used PTF yet. It was an interesting session and I learnt quite a lot, for instance that PTF is the next version of PS Script (for those that have been around a while) and that it works well with the Usage Monitor to narrow down exactly what needs testing. Other things I didn’t know are that there is a debug mode for stepping through the tests, and that you can use variables to make the tests more repeatable. There are apparently bug fixes for this in each of the Tools8.51 patches, and a lot of nice new functionality coming in Tools 8.52.

Next up was Creating a great PeopleSoft UI with Jim Marion, Robert Taylor, Matthew Haavisto.  This was an interesting one for me as I do enjoy the UI side of PeopleSoft. Much was made of Workcenters, Dashboards and the role based branding in Application Portal and how it makes the task a lot simpler (and more dynamic – different users can have different UIs). Rebranding is normally accomplished by a team of 3 – a graphic artist, a web developer (jQuery and XSL) and a PeopleTools expert. They also showed some eye-candy examples of their handiwork:It seems that the more attractive portions are accomplished by either jQueryUI or XSL (I guess that’s where the Web Developer of the trio comes in).  Other tips included not using Query pagelets on the homepage too often as they’re not great for load-time, and use pagelet caching as much as you can (particularly on static HTML based pagelets). They also mentioned that there is a big focus on the UI in upcoming versions, and that some features are going to move from the Applications Portal to PeopleTools.


OOW11 Day 1 Round-up October 4, 2011

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, OOW, PeopleSoft.
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Our flight in on Sunday night was delayed so we missed Larry’s Sunday keynote, although as there was no mention of PeopleSoft (unsurprising) or Fusion (more surprising) this wasn’t as disappointing as it could have been.

We started today with a tour of the exhibition area.  There’s far too much to take in in one day, but special mention is deserved for the stand that let brave volunteers grapple an actual Sumo wrestler. There’s a large area of demo-pods, where you can walk up and ask specialists either for a quick demo or about an issue that you need help with. I’ve met some of the guys behind PeopleTools (who’ve previously only been names before) and had a great demo of Fusion HCM.  It’s really encouraging (for PeopleSoft, at least) to witness the crowds around the PeopleSoft booths compared to other products – it’s noticeably busier.

Of the sessions I’ve been to today I started with Shawn Haynes of Cardinal Point talking about Workcenter pages.  I’ve not done much 8.51 work – the client I’ve been working on is 8.50 – so a lot of it was new to me.  It seems a really powerful concept though, and Shawn is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker. He also gets bonus points for having the courage to go with a live demo – always good to see!  I cornered him afterwards for a couple of questions and he seems a thoroughly nice chap too.

Next up was William Varma on Performance Monitor.  This was a much lower level session, and contained a lot of info, not only on Performance Monitor but also some good intel on pre-loading cache too.

After lunch was Humair Ghauri and Daan van Egmond on Fusion HCM: Enterprise grade SaaS.  I really enjoyed this session for a number of reasons.  Both are excellent speakers, and I can recall Daan from many years ago when he presented on PeopleTools to the UKOUG.  What impressed me most was the strength of the Fusion SaaS offering, and the breadth – there is a complete set of options, whether you want on-premise, hybrid or cloud (both single or multi-tenant). You get the advantages of everyone on the same release, regular updates etc without the downside of being on a proprietary platform  It’s also very extensible, so you have the ability to tailor (not customise, but tailor!) the application to the client’s needs. I’m hoping to get a look at the tools behind this at a demo pod during the week.

Finally I went to Jeff Robbins PeopleTools Roadmap session.  Jeff also had a lot of live demos (which was bold considering the number in attendance) and shared a lot about 8.52, upcoming Portal functionality plus glimpses of what’s a little further out.  The one question he wasn’t asked, was “where is Tools 8.52?”.

I’ll try to add more during the rest of the week.

A couple of pieces of Fusion news September 4, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle.
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I’ve decided to keep this blog for PeopleSoft related items and start a second (surprisingly titled Fusion Tipster) for Fusion related or more forward looking items.  I imagine I’ll still post more frequently on this blog, at least until Fusion is released.

There are two pieces of content that I’ve come across in the last few days:

Firstly, there’s a mention for Floyd Teter who has seen Fusion Apps in the flesh.

Secondly, it seems that Oracle’s “Mr Fusion” has left the company.

Oracle’s Fusion Progress and secrecy August 4, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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There’s a good summary post on Oracle and how they’re far more secretive about their products than PeopleSoft ever used to be.  The post deals with Fusion, but I think that the same point applies to many products, including PeopleSoft applications and Tools releases.  Even tools patches have very vague release dates.

When I posted a year or so ago that I’d heard Jesper Andersen say that the Fusion Applications suite wouldn’t GA until 2009 there was a fair bit of feedback (to put it politely – I even had to edit one comment for profanity), but now it seems more likely that Jesper was correct.

How much we read into this Gartner report is up to our own faith in Oracle, but statements like

‘Oracle plans to only sell Fusion to new customers and that “migrating the installed base to Fusion is no longer a near-term goal”.’


‘the 2008 Fusion applications will not include any core ERP products’

don’t fill me with confidence that we’ll see clients implementing Fusion any time soon.

It’s great news though for anyone hoping that the PeopleSoft product line remains around for a long time.

Intriguing Oracle WebCast July 1, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Strategy.
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Oracle have made available a WebCast outlining their future direction for MiddleWare strategy, and announcing what’s in store for the BEA product line.

I must admit that I haven’t listened to the WebCast myself (to be honest I didn’t think there’d be much there that affects PeopleSoft in the short term) but after reading summary posts on a couple of other blogs it seems I was wrong.

The most surprising announcement for me was that going forward

“BEA WebLogic Server is now Oracle’s strategic JEE container and will be integrated into Fusion Middleware stack immediately; OC4J dev to continue though”

This was a bit of a shock as I expected Oracle App Server to be slowly pushed as the Web Server of choice. It’s a change of tack too as in many ‘prepare now to get a headstart for Fusion’ presentations I’ve got the impression that clients should be implementing what they perceive to be Fusion middleware components now, and I’d have had Oracle App Server down as one of those applications.

Antony Reynolds also says:

“But the surprising bit was the emphasis that Thomas Kurian made on Tuxedo. It seems as though the Tuxedo guys are being rehabilitated after years in the wilderness at BEA since the WebLogic acquisition. I was amazed at the increase in connectivity and functionality that has occurred in Tux since I last came into contact with it some ten years ago.”

I’ve tried to view the webcast to find out exactly what’s behind this but can’t seem to view it. I’ll post more if I can get it working …

EDIT: Mulling this over further, I think the decision to use WebLogic over Oracle’s own product is good news for the other acquisitions. If Oracle is willing to use a product that it deigns is superior instead of just using its own product ‘because it’s Oracle’ then that bodes well for any areas of functionality within PeopleSoft, Siebel etc that may be better than corresponding areas of eBusiness suite.

BEA acquired by Oracle January 16, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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On the same day as Sun’s purchase of MySQL, it seems Oracle has finally managed to purchase BEA for $8.5 billion. Not as much as BEA wanted, but more than Oracle’s ‘highest offer’.

Press Release on Yahoo News

“The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend Oracle’s Fusion middleware software suite,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Oracle Fusion middleware has an open “hot-pluggable” architecture that allows customers the option of coupling BEA’s WebLogic Java Server to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite. That’s just one example of how customers can choose among Oracle and BEA middleware products, knowing that those products will gracefully interoperate and be supported for years to come.”

UKOUG RoundUp – Part 1 – Tuesday December 19, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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This is probably going to be a bit wordy, but here’s a quick overview of the sessions I attended at the UKOUG held in Birmingham a week or two ago.

I attended the following:

  • Synchronous Messaging and Web Services in PeopleTools 8.48
  • Getting a file into PeopleSoft for processing
  • Developing a strategy for PeopleSoft Global Payroll bundles
  • Operational Excellence with PeopleSoft Version Control
  • PeopleSoft Application Classes – Easing the Path to Fusion


Fusion in 2009? December 12, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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According to the Oracle Apps User Group, we won’t see the first version of Fusion until 2009 (edit: the validity of this statement has been questioned, read the comments below for more). How many companies then purchase version 1 is another question, but it really is starting to seem as though Fusion is a long, long way off.


Not being n Oracle Apps person, I’m not sure what the absence of mod_plsql in Fusion means … with PL/SQL being Oracle only, could it be a pointer that Fusion is going to be database-independent after all?

Finally, is the reliance on Java and XML going to leave us with a product that’s a real drain on hardware? John Stouffer (co-chairman of the OAUG’s Fusion Council) recently warned of exponential database growth.

Interesting …