Shelby Klingerman, Content Curator |
Selective Adoption refers to the ability to independently apply features and fixes rather than performing entire upgrades or applying bundles of fixes. Selective Adoption became available with PeopleSoft release 9.2. A recent presentation gave a breakdown of Selective Adoption (including a summary of what life was like before it), what’s changed after 9.2, and how to implement PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) to start adopting new features.
Life Before Selective Adoption
Prior to release 9.2, Oracle used a sequential release cycle for PeopleSoft. Before each new release, the desired features were identified, and the development team would create a copy of the existing production release to use for development of the next release. This process led to an environment where customers were spread across multiple releases of the software. They were always encouraged to move to later releases, but there were multiple releases being supported so they weren’t an incentivized to make the move.
Oracle resources were spread across multiple versions, and it made maintenance difficult and expensive. For example, Release 1 and 2 would be available to customers, and Release 3 and 4 were getting worked on in development. Customers were on Release 1, trying to move to Release 2, but Oracle’s developers had already moved on to developing Release 3 and were planning for Release 4.
Additionally, customers were required to take new releases in full—all or nothing. This made upgrades highly disruptive and expensive. Bug fixes were delivered in the same way, and bundles had to be applied as an entire group. Overall, this process worked, but it could take years before changes came to fruition because resources and attention were spread thin.
Oracle decided that the easiest way to stop having their resources spread across multiple releases was to simply stop having multiple releases. That led to the decision to make release 9.2 the last version of PeopleSoft. This doesn’t mean that Oracle will stop making developments and improvements to PeopleSoft, but all changes will be made within the version of release 9.2. The idea is to have customers and Oracle all focused on one place at one time.
This also means that bug fixes no longer have to be accommodated across all versions, support resources can be dedicated to a single release, and new development is performed in the same release that customers are already in. This creates a cycle of continuous improvement for Oracle and its customers and enhanced opportunities for automated testing. This single release is managed by the introduction of PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM).
PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM)
Now that 9.2 is the single release, new functionality and fixes are released in a PUM instance—the “gold” copy of PeopleSoft. A PUM instance contains the latest and greatest version of PeopleSoft, but everything is still developed in 9.2. Every few months, a snapshot of the “gold” copy is made, and it becomes the most current PUM instance that is immediately made available to clients. New functionality is no longer held until a completed new version is created. When it’s done, it’s made available. This makes the turnaround for new functionality and fixes much faster.
Customers can download the latest PUM as soon as it is released. The PUM will compare the latest PUM instance and the local PeopleSoft environment to identify differences between the two. From there, customers can select individual changes that they would like to have applied. Think of PUM like a shopping catalog—this is the basis of Selective Adoption. Customers are no longer required to adopt an entire release. They can simply comb through and select the functionality or fixes that they want or need and leave the rest behind.
The PUM also handles the inclusion of prerequisites, so if a customer selects a new feature that has other dependencies, the PUM will automatically select those as well. From there, the PUM builds a Change Package that allows selected items to be migrated into the local PeopleSoft environment.
What Selective Adoption in 9.2 Means for PeopleSoft
Although there are no more upgrades, there is still maintenance that needs to be done. Oracle has said that PeopleSoft 9.2 is the final release of PeopleSoft, but that doesn’t mean that development has or will stop. Oracle’s commitment to the development of PeopleSoft was recently extended through at least 2030. PeopleSoft 9.2 being the last release simply allows resources and attention to be devoted to the same place and provide customers with better support.
In addition, Selective Adoption in 9.2 gives customers more flexibility to choose what and when to implement. Gone are the days of disruptive, expensive upgrades to get to a version full of features customers don’t want or need. Now, functionality and fixes can be applied at will, and non-compatibility issues are not a problem.
PUM also allows customers to search and identify solutions for a particular issue. Once the problem is identified, patches and prerequisites will be selected, put into a Change Package and applied to the local PeopleSoft instance. This capability allows IT to be more responsive to issues impacting the functional community.
PeopleTools and Testing
Just because 9.2 is the last version of PeopleSoft doesn’t mean there aren’t more PeopleTools updates. In fact, Oracle ties PUM instances to PeopleTools releases. If your local instance is not on a certain PeopleTools release or higher, you will not be able to use that PUM instance. Staying current on PeopleTools should be a priority because many important improvements to PeopleSoft are delivered through PeopleTools. The process for applying PeopleTools updates has not changed with the introduction of Selective Adoption, so all you need to do is keep up with new updates.
Settling on a single version of PeopleSoft has helped with automated testing. Prior to 9.2 and Selective Adoption, testing was difficult because the base product would change unexpectedly and cause scripts to break. However, because there are no more release upgrades, the system is more stable. This allows for fewer test script errors. The use of the PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF) with Selective Adoption can also significantly reduce the levels of effort required to keep a system up-to-date. With Selective Adoption, testing can be more targeted because the scope of change is limited to specific, known items.
Tips and Best Practices
- Get current on 9.2 in order to implement Selective Adoption if you haven’t already.
- Download each PUM instance when it is released. Standing up a PUM instance will not impact your local PeopleSoft instance until you choose to apply changes. It’s simply proactive to have the PUM instance ready.
- Keep up with your PeopleTools release to make sure the features you want are supported by the release you have.
- Institute a mindset of “continuous improvement” in your organization. Instead of looking at your ERP as a series of large upgrades with not much in between each one, you’ll have continuous improvement in smaller, more frequent increments.
- Periodically “true up” your local instance with the current PUM instance. You don’t want your local instance to get too far off from Oracle’s “gold” copy over time. Do this once every year or every other year.
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