Thursday, 5 October 2017

OOW17 Tuesday Day 3

Yet more blue sky outside, it's warm and we're all stuck in an air conditioned conference centre.  I hope you're feeling suitably sorry for me.  Today I've attended a number of conference sessions. Here's some highlights.

PeopleSoft PeopleTools Platform and Infrastructure Overview - Mark Hoernemann doing a most
excellent job juggling a million and one platform version number combinations.  Microsoft Windows Server 2016 hasjust been certified on 8.55 and 8.56.  Me thinks the myriad of ever increasing layers of software each with the version dependencies in just the kind of thing that drives people to the cloud.

Getting the Most Out of PeopleSoft PeopleTools: Tips and Techniques - The legendary Jim Marion accompanied by Sarah (book co-author, editor and Jim's wife) gave a brilliant masterclass in Fluid development and Event Mapping.  I love Jim's style and I always learn something new when I attend his sessions and I leave inspired to learn more.  Check out Jim and Sarah's training courses here ....

Sorry Jim.... as exciting as Fluid development and Event Mapping is .... I want to focus today on the exciting news about Classic Plus announced in session CON6948- PeopleSoft User Experience: Improving Classic Pages with Classic Plus.

At OpenWorld 2016 we first heard about Classic Plus in Paco's keynote - a new style sheet coming in PeopleTools 856 that will make Classic pages look like Fluid pages.

What we didn't realise until Dave Bain's session today is that the Applications teams are working towards converting all Classic Pages to Classic Plus.  Here's what I know and what I read from Dave's session:

  • To enable Classic Plus you need to be on PeopleTools 8.56.
  • It's enabled at a Global level in PeopleTools > Portal > Branding System Options
  • Once globally enabled each Classic component needs to have the "Apply Fluid like theme for Classic" property set ON if you want the component pages to appear with Classic Plus styling.  
  • In making Classic pages "look" like Fluid the Classic Plus stylesheet changes certain cosmetic characteristics of the page. Fundamentally, the changes relate to creating more space between page objects.   Inevitably, this results in some cosmetic tweaking on the page itself using Application Designer.
  • What the Applications teams (HCM, FSCM, ELM, Campus, CRM, etc) have been doing/done is to make every Component/Page work with Classic Plus and to fix any easy to make cosmetic page issues.  Most pages work straight away and some have required just some minor tweaking to fix field alignment issues.  We'll see the results of this work in the next round of PI releases (HCM024 and FSCM026)
  • Whilst the intent is to make every page work with Classic Plus there are some pages that are just too complex and cannot easily be tweaked.  These pages, for now at least, will remain on Classic.
All sounds simple right?  Well, it get's a little more involved.  Here's what's going to be delivered in the next PIs.
  • If the PeopleSoft Apps team opened every Component and set the "Apply Fluid like theme for Classic" property ON to make it Classic Plus then that Component would have changed AND when you came to do a get current you'd be picking up lots of modified Component definitions. This is too big an issue for customers to deal with as it would involve a significant re-customisation effort plus the size of the change package would be considerable.
  • To solve this problem PeopleSoft are delivering a Classic Plus Configuration page.  The customer selects the Components they want to enable for Classic Plus and a batch process (AE) then does a bulk update of the "Apply Fluid like theme for Classic" flag on each of these.
  • This will provide customers the choice of enabling Classic Plus on all pages, some or none.
So, why Classic Plus?  Here's a good summary slide.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

OOW17 Monday Day 2

Let me try and summarise my OpenWorld Day 2.  The sky is blue and the walls are red with the only clouds being those mentioned in all the Oracle advertising.

The opening PeopleSoft session of the day was Paco Aubrejuan (Senior Director of Product Strategy) delivering the high level Product Line Update and Investment Strategy.  It's true to say that there's been a significant amount of investment in PeopleSoft over recent years and that's planned to continue.

  • 2013 Selective Adoption and first Update Image released
  • 2014 Fluid user interface
  • 2016 Page Composer / Fluid Approvals and Elasticsearch
  • 2017 Cloud Manager

Oracle continues to invest because there's over 5000 PeopleSoft customers.  72% of these are on release 9.2 but a notably low count of only 500 live on Fluid.  Paco's message was one of assuring customers of Oracle's continued commitment to invest in PeopleSoft applications and technology.    This commitment to support PeopleSoft is at least until 2027 and there was every expectation that each year that would get extended.   He encourage customers to continue to exploit all the features and enhancements delivered to date taking advantage of the PeopleSoft continuous delivery model and the availability of innovative and value added services on Oracle Compute Infrastructure.

Paco showcased several customers that had fast-tracked new application features and then gave a live demo of the new HCM Onboarding feature and a live demo of new eBill applications in Financials  and the Supplier Portal.

Later that day I sat through Dave Bains' PeopleSoft Technology strategy in which I heard that Oracle are continuing investment in Lifecycle Management, deployment automation and Cloud manager.  Oracle's website has a quote which I'm sure is true of many IT operations in that we spend a lot more time on maintenance than we do on delivering value and innovations.  It seems PeopleSoft future investment will continue to be in this area - helping customers reduce their maintenance costs and realise this vision.

Because PeopleTools 8.56 was released a few months ago now the news of enhancements to Event Mapping and Page, Field Configurator and Cloud Manager were not new.

Cloud Manager got a much more thorough coverage by Platforms Strategy Manager, Mark Hoernemann.  Basically Cloud Manager is a new PeopleSoft application which provides a self-service like interface to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services and allows users to provision and patch instances of PeopleSoft running in the Oracle Cloud.

My final session of the day was my own which explored Selective Adoption and how using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Cloud Manager can help.  I'm going to blog more on this in the coming weeks but for now here's my presentation.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

OOW17 Sunday Day 1

Moscone Centre - OpenWorld 2017
It's a blue San Francisco sky and the buildings, buses, flags and posters are all red.  Yep... it's Oracle OpenWorld.  It's 2017 and Oracle have the gloves off - it's Oracle Cloud vs Amazon AWS.

Self aware database?
Watch Larry Ellison's Sunday night keynote for all the news and live race-demos of Oracle Cloud vs AWS.  Larry argues that Oracle Cloud  is cheaper, faster with higher availability than AWS for data-warehouse loads.  He also featured Oracle's new "autonomous database" - fully automated, real-time security patching, tunes itself, can assign additional compute resources when it's needed without downtime and more is coming in the data warehouse product available in December 2017.  (Apparently Amazon spent $60m on Oracle technology this year).   Oracle continue to be serious about becoming the number one player in the cloud services space.  Oh yes... they intend to win this battle.

Sasank addresses a packed room on Sunday
Most of the PeopleSoft sessions are located in Moscone South this year and after a painless registration and collecting my disappointingly empty conference backpack (not even a pen! ) I made my way up to floor 3 for some terrific Life Hacks for PeopleSoft by Sasank Vemana - PeopleSoft, JavaScript, Fluid and CSS genius.... I'm not even going to try to cover anything in my update today - simply going to point you to his very useful blog.  These were some of the things he did live coding demonstrations of.
Sasank also wins my Quote of the day.... "Somehow the stars were aligned and Push Notifications started working".  Thank you Sasank :-)

Now I'm a "real" PS Admin - no more pretending !
Today I feel like I made it into the special club of PeopleSoft Administrators.  I was given a very special badge -- a laptop sticker from Dan & Kyle at .  Thank you !

These guys have brought together an amazing grass roots community  of PeopleSoft techs/admins/DBAs and developers on their Slack channel and have been prolific pod casters, bloggers and all round useful repository of vital information on DPK, ACM , Puppet and all things YAML.  So, this session on all things PCA (PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture) certainly ticked all the boxes with a really neat live demo of a DPK reconfiguration of PIA and some very useful insights into how GIT can be used effectively to manage DPK code and configurations.  Download their presentation, become members of the Slack channel, listen to the podcasts, sign up for the DPK training and join the fun.    What their presentation shows is that fully automating the installation and configuration of PeopleSoft instances is not just a dream.... start small, learn more advanced DPK features, broaden the scope and automate more each time.

Dan & Kyle - captains of admin