Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Monday Afternoon at Oracle OpenWorld

What a full day. There's a real buzz about this conference. Attended three sessions this afternoon and short summaries follow below.

My lunch box. knife and fork were all made of compostable potato starch. Cool! I think the ham sandwich was made of the same stuff though... not so cool!

One of Oracle's middleware competitors has had an army of "prison inmate clad" stunt guys chanting "I'd rather be dead than red" outside Moscone West. Hilarious - just waiting for a big punch up to happen! :-)

Several sessions throughout the day on the new 9.1 releases. I went to the Financials one and you can read more here

PeopleSoft Financials 9.1 is Released
Amira Marcos (PeopleSoft Financials Strategy) went at her usual breakneck speed to try and fit into the allotted hour the volume of new features in 9.1. I've just picked out a few...

  • Improved Period Close process using the Collaborative Workspaces now available in PeopleTools 8.50
  • Improved sub-system reconciliation
  • Improved consolidation reporting
  • New approval framework for GL, BI, AP and AR
  • New chartfield security (not row level) allowing 2 chartfields to be used to restrict access to transactions data using roles.
  • New searchable file attachments available on most Financials transactions (journals, vouchers, bills, etc)
  • New configurable transaction auditing. More sophisticated and easier to report on than PSAUDIT
  • Delivered Ledger Cube process for Hyperpion Essbase reporting.
  • Enhanced Commitment control
  • Enhanced Project Costing

Plans for 9.1+ include more user productivity improvements continuing to use the Web 2.0 features of 8.50 to improve data entry, flexible field framework to provide adding custom fields to transaction pages without the need for customisation (this sounds like a an 8.51 tools feature to me.... i'll confirm this tomorrow) and Oracle Business Intelligence realtime operational reporting into PeopleSoft database directly.

SOA and Web Services for PeopleSoft
Dan Cenido from Oracle's Integration team did a brave and successful live demo in front of 200+ people where he showed how to build and consume Web Services using PeopleTools 8.50. Dan did a superb job of building a functioning synchronous WSDL published integration in under 15 minutes. I'v done this myself in PeopleTools 8.49 and the tools to generate XSDs, WSDLs and to turn Component Interfaces into services are awesome but in 8.50 they get even better. Debugging and testing tools have improved, routings can viewed graphically (this is cool), services are now decoupled from service operations (in other words an Service Op can now belong to more than one Service) and a wizard now exists for consuming a web service.

PeopleSoft Platform Update
Mark Horneman (Principal PeopleTools Product Strategy Manager), Ravi Shankar (Oracle DB Platforms) and Jerry Zarate (Oracle). These guys are all part of Jeff Robbin's PeopleTools strategy team. Just a few significant highlights (in no particular order) regarding the new 8.50 release.

  • PeopleTools 8.50 requires 64 bit platform even though Tuxedo and WebLogic run as 32bit apps.
  • A very significant announcement was made that all new platform patches and service packs will be automatically certified by Oracle (I'm going to seek clarification on this tomorrow and try and establigh the level of testing done prior to certification).
  • NetScape browser no longer supported along with IE 6. IE8 is on it's way to being certified soon along with Windows 7 for client PeopleTools.
  • JROCKIT JVM now standard with 8.50. This consumes slightly more RAM that Sun's JAVA but is much faster. (incidentally at the Oracle 11g launch in London I heard that JROCKIT can run natively in a Hypervisor (Oracles own initially but soon VMWARE ESX). This means a web server with no operating system! ...interesting!
  • JOLT pooling can now be configured by PIA site rather than for the entire WebLogic domain.
  • Verity search server now runs in Tuxedo and can thereforebe configured to failover to another search domain just a like a regular app server. This can also take search load off your app servers.
  • Oracle are soon to make available Oracle Virtual Machines (OVM) of a Linux based install of PeopleSoft HCM demo system. This is a very nice service to provide for customers wanting to test PeopleTools (or HCM for that matter). And, because it's on OVM it's a fully supported platform.
  • MS SQL Server 2008 supported and on SQL Server the ACCESSID login now does not need to be a SQL sys admin level user.
  • Oracle DB native encryption (TDE) is now supported at a PeopleTools record object level.
Other News

Just a few other snippets of news from various out of session conversations and from the PeopleSoft demo pods.

  • There is a Microsoft Oracle CAB meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Not part of OOW but the SF Microsoft office is on the same block as the conference.
Saw a couple of nice features in 8.50 including
  • New Reporting Console component to replace/compliment Process Monitor and Report Manager.

  • Chart object in App Designer can now be used with a new Org Chart Class in PeopleCode to render hierarchical data in a very funky Web 2.0 draggable, interactive org chart. This is a really cool new 8.50 feature with loads of new possible uses.

Looking forward to tomorrow where more discussion on 8.50 is scheduled and I plan to explore some of the new Reporting Tools available.

Monday's photos can be found from here.

Check back for more updates tomorrow.


Abbas said...

Gr8 2 know you're enjoying there. I really enjoyed reading your blogs. Very excited to know more about new features of PS reporting tools particularly eliminating or replacing the cumbersome run control and process scheduler components. Keep amusing us..! Cheers, Abbas.

DuncanDavies said...

Interesting stuff Graham. Thanks. Do you know if the Oracle VMs will be hosted or 'bare-metal'?

psRoy said...

I just want to say thanks. As someone who cannot be there I appreciate you sharing your experiences.

Graham said...


The VM will be bare metal NOT hosted.

Unknown said...

Graham; is there departmental row level security or is deptid one of the CF's on the additional CF security. If security, how does it work? Thanks