Day 5 2007 OOW – PeopleSoft PeopleTools: A Panel Discussion


This session was a throw-back to the old PeopleSoft Talk-back sessions, where customers could ask the development managers and strategy any question they would like. On the panel were the following:

  • Jeff Robbins – PeopleTools Product Strategy Director and moderator
  • Binu Matthew – VP of PeopleTools Development (the boss of everybody else on the panel)
  • Colleen Murray – Director of Reporting Tools Development
  • Hind Robous – VP of PeopleTools Support
  • Chris Kuwada – Director of QA
  • Willie Suh – Director of Core Tools Development
  • Ravi Shankar – Director of Platforms

Here are the questions and answers I could capture:

Q: Keynote mantioned how support will be enhanced to 2025. How does this change things?

A: Binu – This isn’t too surprising, because from my perspective, PeopleSoft is very important to Oracle. For example, HCM is flagship application. This means we need to have continued investment.

Q: PeopleCode is messy hybrid – Is there a plan to depracate the old method of writing PeopleCode versus the API version. Error handling for command-based is worse than API side.

A: Willie said that there was no plans to depracate any of the pre-PeopleTools 8.4 style writing of PeopleCode, but would like to know what issues they’re having. Chris Heller (my notorious sidekick) suggested that if an organization is trying to standardize on the newer-style, thgat providing warnings when the old-style is used, so that folks will use the preferred method.

Q: What is the future for those who use primarily PeopleTools for building their own custom applications? Specifically, there’s a lot of discussion on Oracle tools, such as BPEL. Will we need to use that?

A: Strategy is that PeopleTools will continue to be enhanced where it drives value for PeopleSoft applications. Core PeopleTools will be enhanced and enhanced heavily. Tools is getting heavily enhanced (8.48 is one of the biggest enhancements in a long time). For Hypbrid environments, where PeopleSoft isn’t a major component (there may be other applications such as Siebel or custom-developed applcications, then it is our recommendation to look at the Oracle tools.

Q: Training does not talk about Application Classes or Iscripts.

A: Willie responded: I agree with you and am not happy with status quo… curriculum is on old releases. Binu also chimed in: The issues are in selected areas. For example, the integration broker class has been completely updated. However I agree with you that app classes hasn’t been added, though.

Q: It is my understanding that upgrade assistance for fusion migration will be part of enterprise manager Will this be available for PeopleSoft moving to fusion?

A: We are looking at it, but isn’t part of an explicit plan.

Q: Anything going on with RFID?

A: PeopleTools isn’t doing anything specific, but the supply chain team has done integration.

Q: End-users refuse to use nVision on the web, because of how difficult it is to drill from web reports. I remember lots of discussion about new enhancements for release 9, but that seems to have disappeared. Any chance to get it in place?

A: Colleen talked about how she was involved with much of the planning for web nVision in PeopleTools x (yes… I remember lots of hours in conference rooms with her flushing out the functionality, prototyping it, and discussing potential issues). Although she focused on answering that aspect of the question and how she still has a long-term vision for brininging some of that to customers, she didn’t discuss drilling at all. Did we mention that we have a product that fixes drilling with nVision? All joking aside, this product is intended to address all the issues customers have with drilling on the web with nVision.

Q: PeopleBooks… We have a problem with PeopleBooks and can’t find what we want. Is there any way to cut a CD and provide to customers?

A: No plans to date for this. Do have a plan to improve search. 8.48 PeopleBooks is on OTN (hosted). Posted in PDF form as well.

Q: Batch… With app engine (we’re tyring to use it more), and using XML publisher. In fusion, nobody is saying how you code your batch. What do we do to prepare for fusion… Java?

A: This is an ebusiness area of ownership, which means they would provide a better answer. However, from the discussions we’ve had with them, they are working on another language… will have their own scheduler. However, addressing the migration itself, keep in mind that the data model will change significantly, which means code you write today will probably nhot doesn’t think code will move cleanly. Go with PSFT architecture for now and don’t worry as much about fusion impacts.

Q: Why isn’t BPEL included if that’s what we should be using.

A: Jeff answered: we will continue to deliver functionality for the PSFT stack. Things that go outside of PSFT is where you will want BPEL.

Q: 8.48 includes a lot of new functionality in integration broker. How much work will we need to do as part of upgrading. Will our existing IB definitions work out of the box?

A: Colleen: we have rearchitected the objects and you really need to understand it. As you go through the upgrade, we have done the mapping and an upgrade script that does the conversion. We need default values prior to running the script because new fields exist in new world.

Q: When will you certify of 2-tier query on vista on PeopleTools 8.46, although we’re planning to move to 8.48.

A: No plans to backport that support to 8.46. Require 8.48 for vista.

Q: Any plans for code coverage from testing perspective? Can put code in place to enforce development standards?

A: Binu– plans for version tracking and other developer productivity tools.

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