Friday, 1 October 2010

How to extend Recently Used in 8.50

At OOW conference in the Monday morning session I mentioned that we had increased the Recently Used list in the 8.50 header. This was done by Neil Yetman (one our developers here at Oxfam) and so here's his writeup on how to do this

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Wednesday - Day 3 OpenWorld

Another packed day of PeopleTools sessions. Just a few highlights.

Full session today demonstrating the new 8.51 testing framework. Record a script, play it back, copy the script to target system, replay script, compare test results, build AD project of tested objects, run compare. After the demo there were several questions from the audience.... and then Chris Heller from Grey Sparling raised his hand... no question.... but a great accolade "it's awesome" says he. And .... it is !

David Bain, (Oracle, Senior Manager, Product Strategy) and Jim Marion gave a brilliant demonstration of how to create a PeopleSoft CI based web service and then, using JDeveloper and ADF, build an application for a mobile device. Great demo. We should see this appear soon as a viewlet and details can be found in Jim's new PeopleTools book. He told me today that the Oracle book store had sold out and that his was the best selling book at conference. Not bad for a PeopleSoft book when you think how many Oracle tech and apps people are at this event. Well done Jim! UPDATE: So Jim tells me that he was bumped into 2nd place. One other Oracle book sold more - by only "one" copy. Doh! I knew I should have bought my wife and kids a copy!

Larry Ellison's keynote today. Here is a summary of what I think he said.
"We [Oracle] are number 1. We have the best software in the world and the fastest, cheapest, most energy efficient hardware in the world, they've been designed to work together, Fusion Apps will be released soon and will leapfrog the competition, Java and Linux is the platform of choice and PeopleSoft application was not built on industry standard technology" (what? er... WebLogic, Java, W3C standards compliant Integration framework, open standards portal, database agnostic, ... shall I go on? ).

In the evening helped some heroic Salvation Army guys handout 1,000 sandwiches to homeless and hungry people on the streets of downtown San Francisco. The contrast of extreme wealth and poverty and misery here is massive.

One more day to go.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tuesday - Day 2 OpenWorld

One big breakfast at Mel's Diner at 7:00am with friends this morning. Need to lie down!

Today has been PeopleTools 8.51 overload. If you want to know what's new in 8.51 read the release notes but here are some of my faves.

Related Content has been enhanced to access Level 1 and 2 fields from the buffer and not just level 0. You can also bind a related content item to a specific field. Right click on the field and a context menu opens with related links - - - COOL!

Smart Navigation feature brings data results into the top menu bar and allows you to drill hierarchical data structures. Very nice.

Work Center (centre for us Brits) provides a way through configuration to link pagelets to any CREF (component) and render these whenever that component is opened. Even in this "basic implementation" in 8.51 this is a powerful framework for building composite applications and mashups without doing any development. This is planned to be made more sopisticated in 8.52 whereby acrtions in the content frame can be directed to the pagelets frame. Really like this!

Document object is a new IB feature whereby a logical model of your XML can be created (or generated automatically from a schema (nice...)) and then bound to a physical implementation (CI, XML file, etc). You then code to the logical model thus protecting your application from changes to the underlying physical implementation. This is powerful and I wish I had recorded the hour long conversation with Keith the PeopleTools developer who's been the brains behind this.

There's so much more.... test framework, persistent searches, embedded help framework ( I think PeopleSoft copied this from Oxfam's project system :-) ), action drop down on org chart nodes, and .....

On my way now to learn more about PeopleSoft Portal.

Real buzz amongst the PeopleSoft customers here and loads of Oracle strategy and development team around to chat to. Well done Oracle!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday - Day 1 at OpenWorld

Arrived here in San Francisco ok as you can do after 10 1/2 hour flight.

Spent Sunday at the Salvation Army Harbor Light centre - a drug and alcohol detox and rehab unit. What an awesome place ... making a genuine difference in the lives of men and women who for one reason or another find themselves struggling with addictions. A 12oz rib eye with the centre director, his wife and a guy who went through the rehab programme and is now the assistant manager there! Then a trip into the SF Mission district to a Spanish speaking Salvation Army church for evening worship.... mexican food afterwards cooked by the pastors wife. I feel like I've already eaten enough for the whole week.

Well, it's Monday morning and I just walked the 7 blocks into Moscone Centre where the Oracle and now Java One conferences have been combined. This was already a big conference.... now it's even bigger. The enthusisastic young American girl at the Oracle registration desk just gave me her best, well rehearsed ,happy smiley patter at nose-bleed pace as I collected my pass, mandatory Oracle bag and ticket for the Wednesday party... my head is spinning.. (wonder if she'll be as enthusiastic after processing several more thousand attendees today?)

Will do my best to post highlights from each day.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Oracle OpenWorld 2010

So much to do and so little time before I head off to Oracle OpenWorld 2010. Looking forward to meeting all my PeopleSoft friends from around the world again and learning more about Oracle's plans for PeopleSoft applications and PeopleTools.

I'm honoured to have been asked to co-present with the legendery Jim Marion in his equally "iconic" PeopleTools Tips and Techniques session S317016 (Monday 5pm - Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate A). Not to be missed... even if you're not into PeopleTools and your more a functional expert then this session will give you some great ideas to take back home to your developers.

I'm also presenting with Jeff Robbins on Oxfam's PeopleTools 8.50 upgrade project in session S317421 (Monday 11:00 - Moscone West L2, Rm 2014) and also part of the PeopleTools 8.50 Upgrade Customer Panel in session S317446 (Wednesday 11:30 - Moscone West L2, Rm 2014)

Will try and post summaries from each day as it happens.

Monday, 9 August 2010

English Language browser and PeopleTools 8.50

If you have browser configured with a language other then English US (en-US) then you get an error signing into PeopleSoft unless you have that language installed in PeopleSoft.

Logon failed as the language you have selected is not enabled for this database.

The solutions to this are discussed here but this does not tell the full picture.

The table PSLANGUAGES hold a mapping between PeopleSoft language code and iso language code.


When you login to PeopleSoft the browser iso locale is detected and an attempt to login using the associated PeopleSoft language code. So if I have a UK English browser then my iso locale is en-GB which maps to PeopleSoft language UKE which in most (if not all) installations does not exist.

If, on login, there is a Web Profile language override mapping set then this is used to derive the PeopleSoft language code.

So if en_GB=ENG (note the underscore not hyphen) is set in the Language Support field of the web profile then ENG would be used not UKE.

So, here's the gotcha. There are dozens of possible iso language variants (just open IE > InternetOptions > Languages > Add to see most of them) but only 254 characters in the web profile Langauge Support field. One solution that works is to use JUST the first part of the iso code. So this now becomes en=ENG. Now any browser with an en stem would map to ENG.

But there's another gotcha. This works fine for Spanish.... es=ENG. But it does not work for en=ENG. This drove me quite insane trying to figure out what was going on here until a very helpful analyst at Oracle Support came back with the solution.

If the ISO_LOCALE in PSLANGUAGES contains only an entry for the first part of the iso code (such as en) and other entries using the sane stem also exist (such as en_GB) then ALL iso codes must be mapped in the web profile (en and en_GB). So to get en=ENG mapping to work you need to add both en=ENG and en_GB=ENG. Hey presto.

Incidentally, multiple entries in the language support field should be separated by carriage returns.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

IE7 Very Slow with PeopleTools 8.50

This is my experience with Internet Explorer and PeopleTools 8.50.

We found that IE7 on PeopleTools 8.50 was VERY SLOW. Pages would take between 3 to 8 seconds to render in the browser making the user experience unacceptable. IE 6, FireFox and Google Chrome performed very fast in comparison. You can watch an example of this here.

I observed that while the browser was rendering the page my PCs cpu went very high and MCSHIELD.EXE process seemed to be the culprit. MCSHIELD is McAfee Anti Virus process which scans (amongst other things) web pages for viruses.

So, we logged a P2 with My Oracle Support. We're not live on 8.50 yet but this was a show stopper to go live so this is still a P2. The Support analyst came back immediatley saying that this was a known problem with IE7, 8,50 and McAfee and that other users had reported similar problems and had disabled "Script Scanning" and this had worked around the problem. See ICE 1513373000.

Well, I completely uninstalled McAfee from my workstation and I still had the performance problem. It's possible that under some circumstances McAfee was causing a problem but this was not what I was seeing.

Turns out this problem is caused by an IE 7 addon. The IE Developer Toolbar . If I disable this then IE7 works fast.

The odd thing is that IE7 with the Developer Toolbar is absolutely fine with PeopleTools 8.49!!! Got this still logged with Oracle as a) they should be aware of the cause and b) need a heads up that there may be other addons that exhibit similar problems.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Please vote for my OOW presentation suggestion

I've submitted what I hope will be a useful PeopleSoft presentation for OOW this year. If you think it's of interest to the PeopleSoft community then you can vote for it here

The session explores what actually happens on your PeopleSoft stack when you run a Query and a ton of tips and tricks on how to manage the Query load, redirect Queries if necessary and some new 8.50 implications that every infrastructure analyst should be aware of.


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

8.50 App Engines stuck in queued status

Just applied PeopleTools 8.50.08 patch and found a problem with App Engines getting stuck at queued. At first I thought it was the patch but it appears to be a bug with using %CURRDATE% in the PSPRCS.CFG file Output Directory Optional Extension= directive.

The error you get in the SCHDLR_mmdd.LOG file is


I've retested this on the recently released patch 09 and it's not fixed so have raised an SR with Oracle

More on our 8.50 experiences soon.

Monday, 26 April 2010

UKOUG PeopleSoft Conference 2010

Registration is now open!

I've been involved in selecting content and speakers for the agenda for this event and I can honestly say this is planned to be one of the best ever.

Some of the highlights of this 2 days conference include
  • Jeff Robbins (VP PeopleTools Strategy, Oracle)
  • Marc Weintraub (Product Strategy Director, Oracle)
  • Jim Marion of Jim's PeopleSoft Journal fame and author of PeopleSoft PeopleTools Tips & Techniques
  • Customer and Partner presentations from some of the based PeopleSoft techies in the UK.
  • A chance to meet with all the presenters throughout the event.
If you're company is a member of UKOUG then depending on your membership type you will have between 2 and 5 day places.

Becoming a member just to get to conference is well worth the money. Contact the UKUOG Membership team here for help with any aspect of membership.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, 5 March 2010

UKOUG PeopleSoft Conference 2010

We are still interested in hearing from potential speakers for this great annual PeopleSoft event. If you're a customer or partner that has an interesting story to tell, a technology tip or new way of using PeopleTools then get in touch. Drop me an email (gsmith (at) or register as a speaker.

This 2 day event is a great way meeting Oracle and other users of PeopleSoft. There good value events for networking and hearing about new products and services. If you or your company are a member of UKOUG then the event is free..... so no excuses. Hope to see you there!