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PeopleSoft Weekly Stats January 11, 2013

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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After showing some stats for this blog yesterday, I thought I’d show some for the PeopleSoft Weekly newsletter too. As most of you will know, the PeopleSoft Weekly is a newsletter that we started back in August to give people an alternative mechanism for receiving news and opinions to RSS Feed Readers, with the added bonus that it’s curated so you should miss most of the spam and re-blogged content.

So, 5 months in, this is where we are:


The blue bars are the subscriber numbers, which are mounting up nicely. We’ve just passed 350 and are adding 15-20 readers a week. As this is an opt-in newsletter it’s unlikely to ever rocket up, so we’re very happy with how it’s going.

The red columns are the ‘unique opens’, or how many people actually read the newsletter. This is also increasing, however a little slower than sign-ups. Ideally I’d like this to be increasing at the same rate, however we still have over 50% of those that receive the email who open it which is much better than the industry average of 17%.

The most clicked on articles across all issues are these:

  1. PeopleSoft Video Feature Overviews for 9.1 Feature Packs and 9.2
  2. The Oracle OpenWorld content catalog
  3. Oracle Sues Yet Another Partner Over Support Services
  4. User Experience Highlights in PeopleSoft: Direct from Jeff Robbins
  5. Paco Aubrejuan’s letter to Customers attending OpenWorld
  6. Jeff Kemp’s Top 10 Confusing Things in Oracle
  7. How to check if a user has access to a Content Reference
  8. Jim Marion’s Query for Component and/or CREF Navigation Take II
  9. PeopleSoft Business Process Maps
  10. I’m Duncan Davies and this is how I work
  11. Create appealing Dashboards with PeopleTools 8.52
  12. Oracle OpenWorld Day 0 (Larry’s Keynote)
  13. Workday files IPO as Oracle Fusion Builds Momentum
  14. I’m David Kurtz and this is how I work
  15. Chris Malek’s Some Options for Sending Emails in PeopleTools
  16. Derek Tomei’s The PIA Explained
  17. PeopleSoft CRM 9.2 Release Value Proposition
  18. PeopleSoft HCM 9.2 Prerelease Notes
  19. Chris Malek’s Running a PeopleSoft Query with Ruby over HTTP
  20. The scariest chart in the history of computing (for one company at least)

If there are any good sources that we miss, or suggestions for improvement please let me know in the comments. Thanks.

Blog stats for 2012 January 10, 2013

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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At the turn of every year WordPress (who host this blog) send out a ‘your year in blogging’ email which triggered my interest enough to spend 15 mins looking back at the posts and the stats on this blog, to see what went down well and what didn’t.

Over the course of the year, this blog was viewed approx 120,000 times. Here’s a graph of the views over the last few years:
2012 Stats 1

You can see the general trend is slowly up, but it really varies between months – none more so than every December when there’s a huge dip. Most visitors are from the US, followed by India and Canada.

Apart from Google and Twitter, the top referring sites in 2012 were:

The PeopleSoft Wiki
IT Toolbox forums
Jim Marion’s Blog
The PeopleSoft Customizer.com

Thanks guys!

Those that have commented the most on posts are Jim Marion, Jeremy Radwan, Graham Smith and Nicolas Gasparotto. I’m grateful for all of your corrections 🙂

When people have arrived at this blog from a search engine WordPress logs the search terms. Most of the top 20 from last year are fairly predictable, however these caught my eye (they’re either a term that people don’t already have enough info on, or are common yet confusing errors):

tmboot: cmdtux_cat:827: error: fatal error encountered; initiating user error handler
ren server
peoplesoft erd
peopletools 8.53 release date
peoplesoft cloud

The most popular posts since I started (in 2007) tend to be those that have been around the longest, so SQL Developer tips, PeopleSoft ERDs, what’s coming in PeopleTools 8.50 etc all feature highly. Excluding the ‘How I work’ posts, the most popular new entries from last year are these:

Highlights from the PeopleTools 8.53 RVP
Oracle OpenWorld Day 0 (Larry’s Keynote)
Deleting old User Profiles
Monitoring/Automating PeopleSoft with Open Source Tools
PeopleSoft App Store
PeopleSoft and IE9 redux

The value of Oracle OpenWorld September 30, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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Where else would you get to meet this many PeopleSoft experts?

From L-R: me, Jim Marion (Jim’s PeopleSoft Journal), Graham Smith (Graham’s PeopleSoft Blog), Steve Elcock (Succeed Blog), Mark Hoernemann (Oracle’s PeopleTools Blog), Hakan Biroglu (Blogging about Oracle Applications)

Photo kindly taken by Jim’s beautiful wife Sarah.


An update on the PeopleSoft Weekly September 24, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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I posted a short while ago about the launch of the PeopleSoft Weekly, our free PeopleSoft-related weekly news bulletin. For those that are interested, I thought I’d give a quick update on its progress.

We started with some ‘internal beta’ dry-runs and our first public issue was 8th August.  In those 6 weeks the subscriber base has grown to more than 150 people. From that list just under half is from North America, 28% from Europe, 11% from Asia and 3% from Australia (plus some unknowns from gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc).

Looking at the domains in the email addresses it’s about 75% end clients, with the remainder being partners or Oracle employees themselves.

The software we’re using tells us that the industry average ‘open rate’ for newsletters is 15.4%, however the PeopleSoft Weekly has maintained an open rate of between 60% and 65% which is a good sign as it means that most of you are interested enough in our industry to read the newsletter. The ‘click rate’ averages about 50% also (industry average of 2.6%) so over half of you find something worth reading further.

In the most recent newsletter I can see that the most popular story was Oracle’s paper on the Interaction Hub and PeopleTools, followed by Logica’s hackathon and the Google Spanner database. Previous newsletters show that the subjects of User Interface, Fusion and most technical posts get good click figures. Topics that aren’t so hot are Workday and mobile related.

If you have any feedback I’d be happy to receive it. Please feel free to subscribe and pass it on to any interested colleagues.

PeopleSoft and IE9 redux August 9, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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I’ve blogged about an issue with PeopleSoft and Internet Explorer 9 before here, but in the latest version of Tools there’s a different – although probably related – problem.

Previously the issue was with IE9 adding a white margin to the top of the header (only on pages within the application, not on the homepage). This time the opposite has occurred, there is a negative margin applied to the header so it disappears off the top of the browser window:

This only happens in IE9, FireFox and Chrome are fine. I’ve only seen it occur in Tools 8.52.09, not earlier releases.

Looking at the code it appears that there’s an inline style applied:

Although the top margin for the pthdr2container div is set to zero in CSS, because this is an inline style it’s overriding it – and hence hiding part of the header. We need to stop this override happening, either by removing the code or by use of the CSS !important directive.

I suspect the issue is actually because of code inserted to prevent the ‘too much whitespace’ issue.

Coincidentally, the solution that Oracle support identified to fix the problem mentioned in my first post actually works for this one too, even though the description of the issue is for the ‘too much whitespace’ issue, not this one. Here’s the Oracle support post that shows the fix.

Looking at the HTML behind the page (in this case, Process Monitor), I can see the offending code:

I can’t see how this code is being inserted though.

Tools patches, zips and passwords July 21, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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As mentioned last week, the way we locate patches has changed. One thing that I didn’t notice at the time was that the method of getting PeopleTools patches has also changed.

Previously, we just FTP’ed them from ftp.peoplesoft.com/outgoing/ptools, and then unzipped them using the password from the note on Oracle Support.

I tried to do the same on Saturday as I was building a new testbed environment, downloaded the 1.2GB zip file and then went looking for the password. As the support site has now changed, I couldn’t find the password anywhere.

The procedure from now on will be to go to Oracle Support and search for your patch (the new interface for finding patches is actually quite quick, and as a bonus you can save your search so it’s even quicker next time). Then click the download button to download the patch from here.

No more FTP’ing.

The zip that you now have contains the actual patch archive, and a document containing the unzip password that you’ll need to extract it.


Two changes to Oracle Support July 10, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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There are two upcoming changes to Oracle’s Support site:

Bye, bye Flash

As I suspect you’ve heard, the much maligned Flash Oracle Support site is being retired and replaced with an HTML equivalent. I don’t think many will be sorry to see it go, and to my mind having a site based on the proprietary Flash always sat poorly with Oracle’s stated preference for open technology elsewhere.

Support Gateway

What I didn’t realise until recently (thanks to an email to the PeopleSoft Fans Yahoo Group list by Pamela Lantzy of University at Albany) was that the PeopleSoft Updates & Fixes and Update Gateway will be merged into the Patch Search section that users of other products already use.

I don’t think this change will upset too many people, but with this Gateway being decommissioned it’ll also mean that Change Assistant loses the ability to connect to Support, upload what’s already applied, and then search for and download patches. After 13th July we’ll have to search and download patches manually, and then use Change Assistant just for the application of what you’ve downloaded. The functionality where you can search based on what you’ve already applied will not be replaced, so it’s a bit of a step backwards for us.

There’s a doc for this on the support website, including a video explaining how the new search will work.

Highlights from the PeopleTools 8.53 RVP July 9, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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As some of you may have noticed, the Release Value Proposition for PeopleTools 8.53 was made available a couple of days ago. This document is basically a ‘teaser trailer’ for the main release, which I’m hoping we get to see around OpenWorld time.  Somewhere around the same time (likely just after) we should see the version 9.2 Applications – so the RVPs for those should be coming out of Redwood soon-ish too.

The full document is available here (support login needed).

This release is aimed at 3 main themes:

  1. A simple and intuitive UI for Self Service.
  2. Improving productivity for day-to-day users.
  3. Streamlining maintenance, reducing downtime, improving performance.

So, what stood out for me? (more…)

A New App! – Copy Homepage Layout February 22, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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There’s a new App on the PeopleSoft App Store!

It enables you to quickly set-up a new user’s PIA homepage by cloning from an existing user. Using this utility you can easily boost everyone’s productivity by giving them one-click access to important areas on their homepage, without the need to create complex matrices of optional/required pagelets.

See a screenshot and more details here.


Updated Blogroll February 8, 2012

Posted by Duncan in PeopleTools.
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It was pointed out to me today that some of the links in my BlogRoll were quite out of date. I’ve pruned some of the blogs and added some in that I’d either criminally omitted or are newer.

In comes Graham Smith’s blog, Jiju Vengal’s Blog, Oracle’s own PeopleTools blog and – of course – the new Succeed Consultancy blog.

If you’ve not checked any of them out yet and added them to your feed reader I encourage you to do so!