Thursday, 6 February 2020

OpenWorld Europe 2020

I'm looking forward to speaking at Oracle OpenWorld Europe as Oracle arrives in London with this event for the second year running.

I'll be joining PeopleSoft customers Allen & Overy and Hays with Robbin Velayedam (Senior Director, PeopleSoft Product Management, Oracle)  to talk about success in maximising investment in PeopleSoft systems.

Join us if you can on Wednesday 12 February @ 14:45 in the Customer First Zone @ The Bridge.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Cloud Manager 10

On 12 December 2019 Oracle released Cloud Manager 10.  There are some great new features in this release and I had a chance to share some of my favourites with Dan Iverson from a few weeks ago.  You can listen to our conversation here

Oracle's Dave Bain also walks us through the new features here in the PeopleTools Blog so I don't need to repeat any of this content right now.
I did wonder if the guy with the beard and suit and tie was a PS Admin. I mean, I assume he's in the picture because he's doing an upgrade of PeopleTools from 8.57 to 8.58 on the train... using a mobile phone?  yeh... my kind of PS Admin :-)

I'll probably share more on my experiences with Cloud Manager 10 in the coming months as we at Cedar Consulting continue to put it through it's paces.

But for now... I'll let this video speak for itself.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Sangam19 Conference Report

Last week I was in Hyderabad, India for the 2019 Sangam Conference.  The Hindu word Sangam means confluence or coming together.  The All India Oracle User Group have several Chapters across India and once a year they all come together for the most amazing 2 day conference.

This year the event was at the Hyderabad International Conference Centre and all 800+ delegates enjoyed multiple streams of over 200 Oracle tech & apps sessions across 2 days.

I'd been invited to present at the conference in the PeopleSoft stream where I talked about PeopleSoft Cloud Manager and about some of the latest customisation tools like Drop  Zones.

It's hard to describe in words the enthusiastic atmosphere, colour, sounds, food, selfie-taking craziness of this event.   Try this short video for a glimpse !

What did I learn at this event?  Here's 10 things.
  1. You can switch from RedHat Linux to Oracle Linux without having to re-install everything. .  Why would you want to switch?  Oracle Linux can be patched without a reboot!  Nice!!!!
  2. One PeopleSoft customer (HAYS recruitment specialists) are doing some interesting things with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) against PeopleSoft to save time and money on labour intensive transactions in their PeopleSoft system.
  3. Oracle PeopleSoft customers are migrating their PeopleSoft instances to OCI.
  4. I learned how to survive in a VUCA world from motivational speaker Simerjeet Singh.  (please note... I did not dance!! ) 
  5. I learned what Oracle's Mission is.  
  6. I learned that Indian weddings are lavish beyond anything I've seen at a wedding before! (there were 2 weddings taking place at the same venue as Sangam conference).
  7. PeopleSoft customers are experimenting with ChatBot and Digital Assistant technology.
  8. Wilderness Wood is not a Fortnite game location. But Slurpy Swamp is.
  9. Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c has some nice tools for migrating databases to Oracle Cloud.
  10. I can use ADDM to help monitor and tune SQL in my Oracle Database
And so much more !!!

But it's not just about the Oracle tech stuff that I learned but also about the community of people that I connected with.  Just a few photos to try and convey the Sangam19 experience.

The AMAZING Mr Sai Janikiram - Sangam and AIOUG President

Jenny Tsai-Smith - VP Product Management, Database Development, Oracle

With work colleague Shweta Jain from our Cedar office in Pune

Simerjeet Singh sharing ideas on how to thrive in a VUCA world

Srilakshmi Ramachandra  - Senior Director of PeopleSoft Product Development

Friends from Oracle and Cedar Consulting

This is what we're doing !

In between sessions.

Page Activate Fun - PeopleCode Friday

UPDATE (20 Jan 2020) : The answer is at the end in the video.

It's been a while since PeopleCode Friday last appeared from me so here's a fun one to keep you on your toes!

The component processor is a powerful engine and it follows some well defined logical rules.  Have you seen this useful flow diagram before? (sorry ... can't credit the author of this as I don't know who wrote it).  It may help you to answer the question below along with the PeopleCode Event guide here.


A Component has 2 Pages.

Both Pages have PageActivate PeopleCode.   Both code blocks update the &msg variable.

During the Component Post-Build event we execute a  TransferPage to GRS_PA_2. (The 2nd page in the Component).

Question ???

So the big question is ....What Happens!  We know that the TransferPage during PostBuild will cause the 2nd page in the component to be displayed...  So... between the transfer being initiated and page 2 being displayed what happens ?

(A) Does Page Activate fire only on Page 1 ?

(B) Does Page Activate fire only on Page 2 ?

(C) Does Page Activate fire on both Page 1 & Page 2

(D)  Or does something else happen ?
Answers and thoughts in the comments below please.

If you think it helps here's the section in PeopleBooks for PageActivate

UPDATE 20 January 2020:  Thanks to everyone who looked at this and contributed an answer below.   And now.... for the big reveal.... The answer is ..... (watch the video)

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

OpenWorld 2019

 Really looking forward to Oracle OpenWorld 2019.  Catching up with friends from PeopleSoft community and learning about all the exciting PeopleSoft product developments are always my highlights.

There's been 3 big themes that we've been focusing on as PeopleSoft users for a few years now.

  1. New features, frameworks and user experience in the PeopleSoft product (never ceases to amaze me just how much the PeopleSoft development teams seem to produce!  )
  2. Reducing the impact of customisations.  Making Customisation Update Safe is one of the keys to taking advantage of the continuous deliver model of the PeopleSoft software lifecycle.
  3. Running PeopleSoft in cloud infrastructure.  PeopleSoft is designed for it and has solutions to many of the automation demands of cloud (an on-premises) infrastructure.  Many organisations are looking to IaaS to reduce their cost of ownership and improve the security, availability and maintenance cycles .
I have the privilege of being selected to present on 2 of these 3 themes at this years conference.  If you're attending the event then I look forward to seeing you and maybe catch you at one of my 2 sessions.

Make Your PeopleSoft Customisations Update Safe (PAN5338)

This panel of PeopleTools experts share their experience of how to customise safely.  Come and join in the discussion. Here's a couple of primers to get you thinking:  Top 5 Customisation Tips from 2018 - PSADMIN.IO Chat on Customisations 
Tuesday 17 Sep @ 5.15pm in Moscone West - Room 2012

Five Top Tips for Running PeopleSoft Cloud Manager (CON4424)

PeopleSoft Cloud Manager is a great tool for getting started in running PeopleSoft in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  Here's my top 5 tips (maybe more!) on how to get started.   The Magic Button Blog Post
Wednesday 18 Sep @ 3.45pm in Moscone South - Room 155C

Thursday, 8 August 2019

PeopleSoft and Cloud Day - October 2019

Every year Cedar Consulting organises a fabulous day of education and insight specially for PeopleSoft and Oracle Cloud customers.  This year it gets even better!  Now that Cedar is part of Version 1 we are organising an event for all Oracle Applications customers (PeopleSoft, EBS, Taleo, Oracle Cloud Apps and Infrastructure).

  • Including Rebekah Jackson from the PeopleSoft division bringing all the latest news fresh from Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.
  • Customer stories and Oracle demos across all the applications - PeopleSoft, HCM Cloud, ERP Cloud, Taleo, eBiz and JDE.
  • 50 sessions across 6 streams.
  • Useful networking opportunities with other customers using the same Oracle products.
  • and it's free to attend !
If you can make it to London on October 10th
then it'll be great to see you.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Drop Zones and HCM Image 030

HCM Image 030 was released on 19 April and with it the first set of Drop Zone enabled pages.

What is a Drop Zone?

The "Zone" is one or more areas on a delivered page defined by Oracle developers into which customers can insert their own subpages using configuration. It's an "Isolating Customisation" tool along with the likes of Event Mapping.

Why have Drop Zones?

The purpose is to provide a mechanism whereby a delivered page can be modified without actually customising it. Dynamically injecting your subpage into the delivered page, through configuration rather than customisation, will neutralise the impact making it much easier in the future to take updates from future Images.

Some Things to Know

  1. Drop Zones are added to delivered pages by Oracle. Customers should not add the Drop Zones themselves . If you do then you'll be customising the page and that defeats the objective of Drop Zones. If you want access to the pages which contain Drop Zones then you need to apply the required updates from PI 030.
  2. Subpage are created by the customer in Application Designer. Nothing particularly special about these subpages and you can place all the usual fields, buttons, frames, group boxes, etc.
    • Fields added to your subpage become an intrinsic part of the component buffer at runtime.  This is a powerful feature especially when combined with Event Mapping.
    • The Drop Zones exist at Level 0.  Any tables added to your subpage will appear at this level and will be automatically saved and updated by the component processor in the usual manner.
    • Grids and Scroll areas can be added to your subpages but you must add a Horizontal Rule object at the end of your subpage to reset the Level back to 0.
    • Read more here on Considerations for Creating Dynamically Injected Subpages
  3. These subpages are "Dropped" into the "Zones" using a configuration entry in page PeopleTools > Portal > Configure Drop Zones.
  4. Delivered pages have initially been redesigned to include Zones at the top and bottom of the page. Full list of pages can be found in Doc ID 1917096.2
  5. Drop Zones are currently only available on Fluid pages. It's possible that Classic pages will adopt this new feature but if you know anything about the Table heavy method of control page layout in Classic you'll know how challenging this might be.

Strategy for Adopting Drop Zone

There are a number of pre-requisites for using Drop Zones:

  • You need to be on PeopleTools 8.57 
  • You need the Drop Zone enabled pages from PI 030 (NOTE: If you take the Drop Zone enabled pages but you're on a tools release lower than 8.57 then the pages will still work. The Drop Zones are simply ignored).
  • In the process of applying the Change Package from PI 030 you may find you have customisation impacts to resolve. Your options are:
    • Remove the customisation as it's no longer needed.
    • Re-apply the customisation.
    • Re-design the customisation using Drop Zones and/or Event Mapping.

Using Drop Zones in re-designing a customised page may require you to rethink some aspects of the user interface. Drop Zones generally only exist at the Top and Bottom of the pages and so you'll need to look at grouping together your custom fields. Drop Zones won't solve requirements such as inserting custom fields into delivered grids or scroll areas. Design constraints will require compromise from your business users but the rewards will be faster application of maintenance and reduced cost of ownership.

Having said that "if you can make money, save money or improve customer service quality by customising then go ahead and do it - customize. Why wouldn't you try and get the most out of your investment?" I blogged on this idea here and discussed with Dan, Kyle and Jim at OpenWorld 2018 (listen in at 00:30:50 on the podcast).

So... back to HCM 030 and Drop Zones

Let's take an example from HCM 030 and setup a custom subpage to work with the Employee Self-Service Personal Details Address page (See Fig.1 ).  There are 3 Drop Zones defined on this page and of course you can't see them visually on the page as we have not dropped anything into them yet.
Fig.1 Delivered Address Page

I've created a very simple test subpage to help locate the Drop Zones (See Fig.2 ).
Fig.2 Test Subpage

If we open the Configure Drop Zones page and lookup HR_EE_ADDR_FL Component we see there are 3 sets of Drop Zones;

  • Top and Bottom of the Edit Page (the secondary page that opens when editing Addresses)
  • Top and Bottom of the Lookup Page
  • Top, After Home and Bottom of the Address Page (see Fig.3  )

  • Fig.3 Configure Drop Zone Page
It's not immediately obvious which Drop Zone is which so I'm going to use my test subpage for all of them and see what happens.  (NOTE: For some reason erroneous double rows are being pulled into this page for the secondary page Drop Zones.  I patched my PeopleTools to patch 06 but this didn't resolve it).

Fig.4 App Designer Page Definition showing 3 Drop Zones
See Fig.4  for the Application Designer view of the 3 Drop Zones on the main Addresses page.  It may be necessary to use Application Designer to understand Component structure, Page layout and PeopleCode logic.

The result can be seen in in Fig.5. It's not necessary to clear cache. Just reload the component and like all App Designer changes the effect is immediate.

Fig.5 Results of dynamically injecting subpages into Drop Zones


This is a powerful evolution of PeopleTools and has, once again, beautifully capitalised on the meta data based nature of PeopleTools.  If we combine the power of Event Mapping with Drop Zones we should be able to implement even more value adding change without costly and invasive customisation.

As always feel free to comment with thoughts and suggestions.