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XMLP and Checkboxes in PDFs January 2, 2008

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, PeopleTools, XML Publisher.
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I’ve been having problems getting checkboxes to print correctly when creating PDFs using XMLP. I was faced with tiny little diamonds like those on the left here, when I was expecting ‘standard’ checkboxes like those on the right:


It turns out that the XML Publisher default PDF output font does not include a glyph to represent a checkbox and this is an issue faced by one or two Oracle people already (Tim Dexter has written about it here). I thought I add a quick write-up as I’m tackling the issue from a PeopleSoft perspective.

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


Shared Pool December 13, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, SQL.
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Oracle Databases contain a ‘shared pool’, which is a repository for recently run SQL. If you attempt to execute the same piece of SQL repeatedly you’ll probably notice that the execution time decreases, this is because of how Oracle parses the SQL (i.e. it’s a soft parse, not a hard parse) and the execution plan is already calculated for the SQL. I’ve spoken about this before in an App Engine context here.

This cache (or to use the correct term the ‘Shared Pool’) is all very useful, but what if you’re trying to tune a piece of SQL? You want to get a ‘natural’ idea of how long it’ll take to run, not the artificially quick result you’ll get if it’s in the shared pool. (Execution Time is of course not the only measure to consider when tuning, examining the execution plan is critically important.)

We need to flush any mentions of our SQL from the shared pool. DBAs can clear it by issuing the ‘ALTER SYSTEM FLUSH SHARED_POOL’ command, but us un-privileged developers don’t have that luxury (and neither would we want to clear the entire cache).

Instead, re-calculating the statistics on a table means that “all shared SQL areas that contain statements referencing the analyzed schema object are flushed from the shared pool”.

A fuller (and slightly more expertly worded) explanation is available here:


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 …

Portal Navigation December 9, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, SQL.
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I would imagine many of you are familiar with the PSPRSMDEFN table as it is tremendously useful. I would gamble most have a SQL snippet tucked away somewhere that will query it to find the PIA navigation to any given component. However Jim Marion has posted some SQL on his blog that is the tidiest I’ve seen to date (it’s Oracle specific BTW).

Most SQL snippets use multiple joins to the table, I’ve seen one before that used connect_by_prior, but this one is the smallest script yet.

Thanks Jim!


this slightly more succinct version may be even better.
select distinct rtrim(reverse
         (portal_label), ' > ')), ' > ') path
  from psprsmdefn
 where portal_name = 'EMPLOYEE'
   and portal_prntobjname = 'PORTAL_ROOT_OBJECT'
 start with portal_uri_seg2 = :1
connect by prior
         portal_prntobjname = portal_objname

Oracle Survey Results December 3, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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I’m off to the UK Oracle User Group tomorrow, but here’s a quick survey conducted on UKOUG attendees in the meantime:


Apparently “Customers’ opinion of Oracle’s licensing has hit a new low in the UK while the company’s Fusion plans remain a mystery to half of its users”.

The good news is that satisfaction with PeopleSoft is still very high (up to 75%).

Oracle Open World Presentations November 21, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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Some of the presentations from Oracle Open World have been posted online.

Regardless of whether you’re technical or functional – or what modules your company has licensed – there’ll be something there of interest.


(The username and password you’ll need to download the files is at the top of the page)

Larry gives some Fusion answers November 15, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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From Oracle Open World 2007:

It seems as though the first applications out of the Fusion stable are all going to be CRM related. According to Larry’s keynote, the first three will be sales prospector, sales references and sales tools.

Possibly of more interest was that we’ve had a glimpse of an answer to the ‘what database platforms will Fusion support’ question. It turns out that it’s going to vary for each application. Larry spoke about Financials and said that it’s going to be Oracle, plus DB2 (providing IBM build in some features that Oracle are requesting). There was no word on the other modules.

The best exchange was possibly this one though:

“We will have a Fusion version for every application,” Ellison stated. “So you’re moving off these brands (PeopleSoft, Siebel etc)?” he was asked, LArry responded “No, well yes – by 2025.”

Article here:

Is all well with Fusion? November 14, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Fusion, Oracle, PeopleSoft.
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There are rumours of hold-ups and delays within the Fusion camp.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that the ‘Head of Fusion’ John Wookey left amidst talk of a fall-out with Larry Ellison.  Apparently “Oracle was trying to woo him back, though the circumstances around Wookey’s departure have not been confirmed.

Now it appears that there is some backtracking – or at least redefining phrases from earlier statements – to allow for delays in the release.  Seeing as we are only a couple of months away from the New Year, surely a release date a little more precise than between Jan 1st and Dec 31st 2008 should be possible?

It’s not as if we expect the full suite of Apps on that date.  I would anticipate something more akin to the PeopleSoft Version 9.0 release, where a smallish module (was it ELM?) came out first with much fanfare about ‘Oracle meeting schedules to release PeopleSoft v9.0’, and then the main modules (HR, Financials etc) drip-fed out months later.

A Custom Message on the Signon Page (part 3) November 9, 2007

Posted by Duncan in Oracle, PeopleSoft, PIA.
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A further solution to the ‘Message of the Day’ problem has presented itself which may or may not (depending upon the client’s requirements) be a neater solution.

This is quicker and cleaner to implement, but only works with IE. If your client uses Firefox this isn’t the answer for you!

Message of the Day