Dave Bain, Senior Director of PeopleTools Product Management, spoke at COLLABORATE 19 and presented the roadmap and major initiatives for PeopleSoft technology. Bain opened by introducing the five main initiatives within PeopleTools.
- Optimize the user experience to help users be more productive
- Isolate the customizations to make applying change easier
- Migrate to the Oracle Cloud to gain cost benefits
- Automate lifecycle processes to make adoption of new features easier
- Enable emerging technology to add new technology-driven features
Optimize the User Experience
PeopleSoft features a new, modern user interface. This complete UI solution now includes the following features:
- Classic Plus
- Guided Navigation
- Manager/Employee/SME Views
- Integrated Search
- Related Actions and Content
- Dynamic Tiles
Within the new Fluid UI, there are several features to help you provide a rich, productive UI for users. Features like homepages, dashboards, WorkCenters, activity guides, pivot grids, simplified analytics, etc. empower you to provide a user experience that makes your users more productive and satisfied.
Bain also explained that PeopleSoft is currently working on Personalized Analytic Notifications, which he refers to as “the check engine light” of PeopleSoft. This feature is new in PeopleTools 8.57 and will change the way in which users interact with the system. Users can set thresholds in Pivot Grids, and an alert will be generated when the threshold criteria are met. The system will alert you to conditions that need attention, which will help your users be more proactive and efficient.
Kibana, an open-sourced visualization tool, also helps optimize the user experience. With Kibana Visualizations, PeopleSoft has created three delivered admin dashboards:
- System metrics
- Indexing metrics
- Indexing summary
Customers can also create their own dashboards. Kibana is useful for managing Elasticsearch structure.
Other recent changes in PeopleSoft that are new in PeopleTools 8.57 include
- Multi-facet select (a new version of Elasticsearch and delivery of Kibana for real-time analytics and search metrics)
- Unified display of related contents and simplified analytics
- Ability to add simplified analytics to the Navigation Bar and dashboards
- Improved personalization of tiles on a homepage, Navigation Bar, or favorites
- Fluid grid improvements including Find, Download to Excel, and Sort
- Improved Branding Framework with a customer banner above the menu
There are four features that are essential to isolating customizations:
- Event Mapping
- Page and Field Configurator
- Page Composer/Form Builder
- Drop Zones
Configurable Drop Zones are pre-defined areas on Fluid pages that are new in PeopleTools 8.57. They give users the opportunity to add new fields to existing pages and create subpages to place within group boxes, then the subpage will show itself a run time. They allow you to capture additional data for future processing. PeopleSoft adds standard Drop Zones to the top and bottom of Fluid pages. Additional Drop Zones can also be strategically added to the middle of a page. A Drop Zone must be delivered by Oracle. There are many benefits and use cases of using Drop Zones, and they are easy to configure and use.
The image below shows what happens with Drop Zones within application development, configuration, and final end user results:
When isolating customizations, PeopleSoft takes two different approaches. One is known as the “expresso” approach and the other is the “slow drip” approach. The expresso approach is a one-time effort to isolate as many customizations as possible. In contrast, the slow drip approach isolates a customization only when it shows a conflict in a Change Assistant repair report.
Those who take the expresso approach will use features like Event Mapping, Drop Zones, and Page and Field Configurator to the fullest extent possible. The goal is to isolate at least 80 percent of customizations. Those who take the slow drip approach will schedule customization isolation efforts into each PUM Image application cycle. Over time, product areas that are most often changed and customized will return to generic.
Migrate to Oracle Cloud
Bain recommended that users run their PeopleSoft applications in the Oracle Cloud. This can be done in several ways, including:
- Selective Adoption in the Cloud
- Pre-Production Environments in the Cloud
- PeopleSoft Workloads in the Clouds
- Expand PeopleSoft Operations in the Cloud
PeopleSoft offers a product called PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, which allows users to automate the migration of applications to the Cloud through a “Lift and Shift process.” This tool helps users migrate to Cloud, manage the lifecycle, publish application blueprints, leverage self-service, and more.
There is a lot that you can handle with PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, including Cloud computing, lifecycle management, migration to Oracle Cloud, and self-service provisioning. It can automatically download PI/PRP/PeopleTools and stage them in Oracle Cloud. Additionally, after you’ve migrated or created environments in the Cloud, PeopleSoft Cloud Manager provides the ability to run PeopleTools updates and upgrades on your environment in a fully automated fashion. There are many enhancements made in the latest release of PeopleSoft Cloud Manager, which was version 8.0.
Bain explained that more and more users will be invested in PeopleSoft Cloud Manager moving forward. Cloud technology is the direction for PeopleSoft, and PeopleSoft Cloud Manager continues to evolve. New features are released several times a year.
Automate Lifecycle Processes
There are four tools that are utilized for updating lifecycle processes:
- PeopleSoft Update Manager
- Change Assistant
- PeopleSoft Test Framework
- Application Data Sets
PeopleSoft Update Manager gives users the ability to explore and select changes to adopt. It is a major component of Selective Adoption within PeopleSoft. It creates a single package of new features that is tailor to the specific target environment and even accounts of object dependencies. This tool also offers service-level analytics through a dashboard which tracks your maintenance and system. This allows IT professionals to create service-level agreements (SLAs) with their users. New analytics include bugs by language, image applied form, and dependency. Additionally, customization impacts can be tracked by bug.
Additional lifecycle management tools available in PeopleTools 8.57 include:
- Better support for application patches (PRPs)
- PeopleSoft Test Framework—user/role security on PTF Folder structure
- Capture last update UID and datetime to track changes on all ADS Managed Objects
- Ability to “save as” ADS definitions and delete root records
- Visual merge group identifier
Enable Emerging Technology
PeopleSoft is exploring various new technologies, including chatbots, blockchain, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence. Emerging technologies that add value and are targeted, secure, mobile, auditable, and contextual can bring many benefits to organizations.
One emerging technology in particular worth highlighting is the Oracle Digital Assistant, which communicates with a chatbot through a channel configurator, a dialog flow, a conversational AI engine, and enterprise data integration. Oracle is planning to deliver an Absence bot and a Procurement bot.
To stay up-to-date with the latest features and functionality, Bain recommended that users visit www.support.oracle.com, search for Doc ID 764222.1, and bookmark it.
To learn more about the PeopleSoft initiatives and technology roadmap, check out the full presentation from COLLABORATE 19 and additional Quest resources attached below.
To learn from the experiences of your peers within the Quest Oracle Community, check out the PeopleSoft Customer Stories page that houses 30+ PeopleSoft customer stories about Selective Adoption, user experience, PeopleSoft in the Cloud, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning, and PeopleSoft tools and technology!
If you’re looking for more PeopleSoft content, join us at RECONNECT 19, the premier deep-dive PeopleSoft focused event of the year! The event will take place July 16-18 in Rosemont, Illinois. Register by June 19 to take advantage of Early Bird prices!