September 21, 2018
It’s almost the holiday season (or the ‘Silly Season’ as we in our family refer to it due to all the traffic and craziness in stores) and the PeopleTools team is prepping LOTS of new toys for the good boys and girls with the upcoming release of PeopleTools 8.57.
But, what really makes PeopleSoft systems so powerful? Technology? Shiny new Fluid pages? Classic Plus?
No, it’s the functionality! At the end of the day, it’s about getting the books closed and getting employees paid with benefits! The bells and whistles of technology are nice, but technology doesn’t do anything if you can’t do business. It’s the functionality that really matters and that’s one of PeopleSoft strengths as a mature ERP application when compared to many other application suites.
And one of PeopleSoft strongest attributes to support that functionality is PeopleTools. The flexibility of PeopleTools really allows customers to modify that functionality to meet their needs. This turned out to be a double edged sword though as customization, while helpful to the functionality, inhibited upgrades and added to maintenance costs. But now, with the new configuration technology that has been introduced in the past 2 years, customers can keep their specific functionality while minimizing the impact to the delivered PeopleSoft applications, thus making it easier to keep up with PeopleSoft (PUM) updates. These new tools like Event Mapping, the PeopleSoft Test Framework, Page Configurator and the PS WebSolution SmartRules Engine, etc. are all elements that enable configuration and automation.
PeopleTools 8.57 highlights include:
- A toolbar indicator within Application Designer showing when an event mapping has been setup on a Component definition plus the ability to access the configured PeopleCode programs via the Find Definition References tab.
- A properties window pane for viewing and modifying the properties of page controls.
- Page preview for viewing fluid page definitions in a browser window without publishing.
- Drop Zones : a page container “black box” for adding user fields to Fluid pages without customizing!
So, why are we so excited about some of these features? Because they continue to build on the ability to configure your PeopleSoft system, NOT customize it! ……… Mic drop ……. These updates allow users to convert those important customizations to ‘enhancements’ (i.e. you can keep your custom logic but they no longer impact delivered the PeopleSoft objects, thus we now call them ‘enhancements’).
PeopleTools 8.57 is continuing to enhance these configuration tools. While Event Mapping might be one of the most important updates since going to web based architecture, it also introduced some change management hurdles. Developers sometimes struggle to find Event Mapping logic since it doesn’t appear in core Component PeopleCode. Including a status bar in Application Designer that highlights when Event Mapping has been configured in a Component supports developers to better recognize what logic is affecting the Component, when and how. And as an added bonus, Event Mapping configuration will now appear in the ‘Find Definition References’.
We love Fluid, but it’s new and a different technology skillset than what most PeopleTools developers are used to with WYSIWYG, and thus can be time consuming. The capability to preview Fluid pages within a browser before publishing will help tremendously with that process by allowing developers to see the impact of changes more quickly as opposed to publishing and then viewing in PeopleSoft.
Event Mapping is a tremendous help with PeopleCode customizations. But, what about all the page changes or custom pages that were created and inserted within delivered Components? Those are still customizations and require attention whenever new updates are applied. Drop Zones should help make the 8.57 release of PeopleTools a HUGE win for 9.2 Fluid customers (Yes, unfortunately it’s only Fluid pages). Visualize being able to add additional fields to a delivered PeopleSoft (Fluid) page, but not having those fields seen as a customization! This feature is very exciting and we are anxiously awaiting it; now if we can just get it delivered with classic pages (hint hint to the PeopleTools group).
These are just a few of the MANY new features that will be included in PeopleTools 8.57. We can’t wait for what the PeopleSoft application team will now be able to deliver in future PUM releases and even more thrilled with the effect it will have for users on customization conversion. Next stop, enabling your PeopleSoft environment in the cloud.
PS WebSolution has been a leader in the Event Mapping and the ‘move and improve’ of customizations since the introduction of the functionality. ReadyCloud™ is a new service from PS WebSolution, but not a new concept. Since version 2 of our SmartForms solutions, we’ve included ways to avoid customizing by utilizing our UserExit and our SmartRules Engine technology which allows us to deliver application logic and validations via an online tool, but without using PeopleCode or customizations (think PeopleSoft Query, but for PeopleCode). We’ve now taken those same tools and our 20+ years of experience and enhanced them to work with ANY PeopleSoft Component and packaged it to create our ReadyCloud Package Service.
This service has proven case studies showing success at converting from 80% to 95% of a customer’s customizations into ‘enhancements’ using our online tools and Event Mapping. We define an ‘enhancement’ as customer logic not delivered with PeopleSoft, but that doesn’t impact vanilla PeopleSoft. We then help automate testing of any PeopleSoft updates by creating PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF) testing scripts, thus greatly reducing the time required to test new updates. Together, PUM updates take weeks, not months!
Let PS WebSolution help you become vanilla again while still keeping your enhancements (formally known as customizations) with ReadyCloud. Click or call for more information.
Written by Tyger Vollrath
Tyger Vollrath is the Founder and COO of PS WebSolution. He has over twenty years of experience with PeopleSoft and a frequent speaker and contributor of HCM content.
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