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Duncan Davies

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A PeopleSoft Tips and Tricks Blog
Updated: 10 hours 52 min ago

Why go to Oracle OpenWorld?

Wed, 2015-10-07 07:00

We’re a shade under a month away from the biggest event in the calendar for those that work in the Oracle marketplace – the Oracle OpenWorld Conference.

It runs every year in San Francisco and draws a massive 60,000 attendees from 145 countries (plus 2.1 million online attendees). That’s huge.

There are more than 2,500 sessions from ~3,600 speakers, approximately half of which are customers/partners and half are Oracle themselves. As well as the sessions there are the demo grounds and the exhibition hall, all great places for networking with people that you’ve either not met before or have only ever come across online. You get quality face-time with top developers and execs, who are normally hidden behind many levels of Oracle Support. These are the people who have designed and written the products and services that we’ll be using over the coming years, so meeting up with them is priceless.

If you register before the event, it’s $2,450 (about £1,600).

I’m lucky to have the chance to go again this year, and I know already that it’s going to have huge value for both me and Cedar. Both my colleague, Graham, and I were lucky enough to be selected to speak (his session is on Fluid, mine is on Selective Adoption – the two hottest topics in PeopleSoft right now).

Graham also produced this lively promo video:

This (above) is what we look like, it’d be great to say hello to you if you’re around. Likewise, if you’re coming to either of our sessions let us know and we’ll be sure to say hi.

As a nice bonus, we get to see Elton John and Beck at the Appreciation Event!

I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing about the very latest from the PeopleSoft and Fusion/Taleo worlds. Look out for a Cedar event when we return where we can share everything with you.

Cedar’s Selective Adoption Event recap

Mon, 2015-10-05 04:00

A week or so back Cedar held a free Selective Adoption event for clients and friends. The idea behind the event was to help those on 9.2 already to make the most of what Selective Adoption can offer, and to show those that are yet to make the step to 9.2 what the future could look like.

The event went really well. Jeff Robbins opened the proceedings, giving an overview of the technology and what the roadmap looks like. Then Graham Smith and I did a couple of slots each on how the process works, what you need to get the technology up and running, the huge value it can bring, and the areas that you should do yourself versus the ones where it’s cheaper to get help.

03 - Graham Dives DeeperGraham diving deep into the Tech

04 - Duncan Discusses OptionsCovering the Options

After the event we all decamped to a nearby pub for less formal chat. It was really great to see that some clients still wanted more however. Happily, Graham was able to do a live demo from the middle of the pub, showing that we can ‘walk the walk’ as well as talking about it …

08 - Graham live demos in the pubLive demo in the pub

Do you ‘Glow in the Dark’?

Mon, 2015-09-14 06:00

I’m in awe of many people. I’m lucky to have met and worked with some truly smart and outstanding individuals. (I just wish I wasn’t so reserved and was able to tell them!)

If I was asked to pick a handful of the most talented people however, Seth Godin would undoubtedly be up there.

sethI’ve not met Seth in real life (although I had a near miss at OpenWorld 5 or 6 years back) but I’ve followed his work for a decade at least. He writes daily posts on his blog – most of them succinct and quick to read – which are always really insightful.

My all-time favourite post from Seth was from just the other day. I’m reposting it – not because I’m stealing his work, but because it increases the chances of readers of this blog seeing it – and going to his site and subscribing, adding it to your RSS reader etc.

Glow in the dark

Some people are able to reflect the light that lands on them, to take directions or assets or energy and focus it where it needs to be focused. This is a really valuable skill.

Even more valuable, though, is the person who glows in the dark. Not reflecting energy, but creating it. Not redirecting urgencies but generating them. The glow in the dark colleague is able to restart momentum, even when everyone else is ready to give up.

At the other end of the spectrum (ahem) is the black hole. All the energy and all the urgency merely disappears.

Your glow in the dark colleague knows that recharging is eventually necessary, but for now, it’s okay that there’s not a lot of light. The glow is enough.

I wish I was able to write half as beautifully as this. Please go to his site and subscribe. I’m sure we can all identify some people who can reflect the light, some who are occasionally black holes, and – if you’re lucky – have a glow in the dark colleague. If you need further convincing of Seth’s genius, the Interim Strategy will probably resonate too.

Home Working on the Increase

Mon, 2015-09-07 16:07

I noted with interest a job posting earlier today. It has all the usual requirements (PeopleSoft, ERP, infrastructure, project management skills etc), but what jumped out at me was the phrase:

This is a 100% home based/remote working position. You will never be required to visit an office.

Although home-working is definitely on the increase – many clients now allow people to work remotely some of the time – this is the first that I’ve seen that is guaranteed, 100% remote.

A sign of things to come?

If you’re curious, this is the job.

I’m Graham Smith and this is how I work

Mon, 2015-08-31 09:00

I’m genuinely delighted that Graham Smith has added his profile to our ‘How I Work‘ series. Not just because he’s one of the World’s best known PeopleSoft experts, or just because he’s recently joined Cedar’s family of PeopleSoft consultants, but mainly because I was sure he’d give some really interesting answers.

For those who don’t know Graham, he led the PeopleSoft Technical Team at Oxfam for longer than he’d want me to reveal, before his recent move to Cedar where many more customers can now benefit from his talents. He’s also an Oracle ACE Director, Chair of the UKOUG PeopleSoft Tech Committee, multi-occasion OOW speaker (including this year), runs a well-known PeopleSoft blog and is a thoroughly nice chap.

Graham Smith

Name: Graham Smith

Occupation: I work for Cedar Consulting specialising in PeopleSoft.  I get involved in design, development, infrastructure, integration, project management and dreaming up new ideas and solutions.
Location: I live and work in the wonderful, university city of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Current computer: Dell E5550 but a lot of my work is done on cloud based machines.
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S6 running Android Lollipop (5.0.2) and a Moto G – Android (5.0.2)
I work: Enthusiastically

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
1) ClipCache – This is my number 1 application and I’ve come to rely heavily on it. This simple PC tool remembers EVERYTHING I copy into the Windows clipboard. I can search and organise every clip that’s ever hit my clipboard.

2) Beyond Compare – One of the best folder and file compare tools around. Since v3, Beyond Compare has supported 3 way compare. Great for comparing old-demo with new-patched-demo alongside your customised code. Also indispensable for keeping web, app and batch server file systems in synch.

3) UltraEdit – Simply the best text editor I know. Has a PeopleCode and SQR syntax highlighter and can be easily programmed to be aware of app and batch server cfg files. There are free editors (like Notepad++) but none of them come close to this superbly engineered editor.

4) SQL formatter – For those monster SQL statements.

5) soapUI – Superb web service testing tool.

6) Fiddler – http proxy to help discover what your browser is sending and receiving.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I don’t need gadgets… unless you include my glasses (can’t read without them).

What’s your workspace like?
When I’m working at home my office is an old converted shed at the bottom of my garden. This is my commute to work:

My desk is a £20 refurb from Emmaus and has on it the following items….. a toy train, a model of an ancient cedar tree from Lebanon, an old PeopleSoft clock, a ruler from the 1980’s that can measure dots-per-inch, a Hot-Wheels car, a copy of Jim Marion’s PeopleTools: Tips & Techniques, an OTN members badge, a signed copy of PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA by Dave Kurtz, a photo of my wife and kids, 2 bags of Fair Trade coffee, a fan and a Netgear hub. I hear every train that passes by as the main line to London is only 20 metres away.

What do you listen to while you work?
Quite happy with silence…. but I often switch on Radio 2 or UCB Radio later in the day. When I worked at Oxfam I sat opposite my friend Steve who has an alarming 120db sneeze although the Class 43 diesels doing 125mph close to my home office are a good substitute.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
1) I write and debug a lot of SQL and find SQL Pretty Printer from Gudu Software very helpful. There’s a standalone version that works with SQL from most platforms and one that’s very nicely integrated into Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Essential for navigating long complex statements.

2) I also think the Google Chrome PS Utilities extension from Uffe Graakjae is a useful tool for developers and analysts.

3) The Application Designer Debugger is a very useful tool, often overlooked and underused. Don’t wait until you need this before you set up the infrastructure to support it.

4) TraceMagic from Oracle Support Team is very useful for navigating heavily nested code in trace files.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
My tip is more of an observation.  “All system failures are caused by the things that we put in place to protect us from system failures”.  Test this …. and you’ll find it’s true – most of the time.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
I find myself querying PeopleTools meta-data most often.  This is at the heart of what makes PeopleSoft applications so successful, agile and extensible.  Genius software engineering!

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code completion for PeopleCode in Application Designer.  It’s partially there in 8.54 it just needs to support Application Package Classes and Methods. Also, how about adding a visual object explorer into Application Designer for delivered and custom objects and app packages.  At a glance, you could see what methods, properties, functions, variables were defined in a code window.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Oh my. Hard question. I can balance on one leg on an empty coke can.  Does that count?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Love the Lord God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbour as yourself.

Microsoft Edge and PeopleSoft

Tue, 2015-08-04 08:00

edgeThe Windows 10 upgrade was released late last week, and with it came a new web browser – Microsoft Edge. Formerly codenamed Project Spartan, Edge is the default web browser in Windows 10. Internet Explorer 11 is also be included with the new OS, but is basically unchanged from the version of IE11 found in Windows 7 and 8.1.

Although it might be a while until Windows 10 gains widespread enterprise adoption, it’ll likely have reasonably swift uptake in the home so Edge will start becoming an important browser for externally exposed PeopleSoft systems within 6 months or so.

First Impressions of Edge

It’s actually pretty nice. It’s clean, unobtrusive (unlike those Firefox skins) and snappy to use. It doesn’t work for all websites however – some sites give the following:

IE is needed


This is controlled by a ‘blacklist’ of sites however, so there’s no need to worry about your PeopleSoft implementation giving this message.

Edge and PeopleSoft

So, does it work with PeopleSoft? The answer is Yes, it certainly seems to. I’ve spent a fair amount of time noodling through some ‘difficult’ pages and they look OK to me. I compared with HCM 92 Image 13 – the latest at time of writing – and both Fluid and Classic UIs look great.

fluid in edge

We’d Appreciate Your Help

Mon, 2015-08-03 05:35

We’d really appreciate your help. But first, a bit of background:

vote-buttonThe Partner of the Year awards is an annual awards ceremony held by the UK Oracle User Group. It allows customers to show appreciation for partners that have provided a good service to them over the previous 12 months. As you would imagine, being voted best by end-users is a wonderful accolade.

If you’re the recipient of any Cedar service – and this can be consultancy, advisory, or even the free PeopleSoft and Fusion Weekly newsletters that we send out – we’d be very, very grateful if you gave 3 minutes of your time to vote for us.

We’re up for 3 awards, scroll down to see why we think we deserve your vote. In case you’re already convinced, here’s the drill:

What we’d like you to do:

1) Click here (opens in new window).

2) Fill in your company name, first name and surname. Then click Next.

3) Enter your email address in both fields, then click Next.

4) Select any checkboxes if you want ‘follow-up communications’ from the UKOUG, or leave all blank, and click Next.

5) Select Cedar Consulting from the drop-down, and click Next.

6) On the PeopleSoft page, select the Gold radio button on the Cedar Consulting row (note, it’s the 3rd column!), then click Next.

7) Repeat by selecting the Gold radio button on the Cedar Consulting row of the Managed Services page, then click Next.

8) Repeat by selecting the Gold radio button on the Cedar Consulting row of the Fusion page, then click Next.

9) Click Submit.

And you’re done. Thank you very much. If you want some gratitude for your 3 minutes of effort drop me an email and I’ll thank you personally!

Why Vote For Us?

PeopleSoft Partner of the Year

This year we have worked with over 40 PeopleSoft clients. We have completed major global implementations, have 15 PS v9.2 upgrade projects either complete or in progress as well as delivering a busy programme of user-focused events.  Our events included the 16th PeopleSoft Executive Dinner, PeopleSoft Optimisation, the PeopleSoft & Oracle Cloud Day plus this year’s Executive Forums.  We also presented at the UKOUG conference and SIG.

Oracle Cloud (Fusion / Taleo) Partner of the Year

Over the last few years, we have developed from a PeopleSoft implementer to a specialist provider of Oracle HR Cloud services. We have a completed Fusion implementation under our belt and are currently implementing multiple Fusion and Taleo projects for different clients.

Managed Service / Outsourcing Partner of the Year

Throughout last year, 20 PeopleSoft customers have trusted us to provide market-leading Managed Services. This makes us the largest PeopleSoft Managed Services provider in the UK. Add to this the ability for us to outsource work to our Cedar India office to deliver for clients at a lower price point and we have a strong set of offerings.

We’ve had great success in this competition in the last couple of years and would value your vote. Thanks for your time.

PeopleSoft-Taleo Out-Of-The-Box Integration Deprecated

Tue, 2015-07-28 06:47

Oracle have made the interesting announcement that the delivered integration between PeopleSoft (HCM 9.1 or 9.2) and Taleo is being deprecated. This is a positive move from Oracle and simplifies things greatly from a client and partner perspective.

Previously Oracle delivered two different integration methods, prebuilt integration using web services and PeopleSoft Integration Broker, or the Taleo Connect Client (TCC) tool – which is a highly flexible tool for any kind of Taleo integration. It’s only the former that is being deprecated.

TCC remains the tool to use for integrating Taleo and PeopleSoft (or indeed, Taleo and any system) and it’s mature, robust, widely used and much liked.

Integration between Taleo and PeopleSoft rarely fits the ‘standard’ requirements as each client will have different processes around whether someone leaving in PeopleSoft automatically creates a requisition in Taleo or not, and what the approval chains are. Likewise, the new hires coming back in from Taleo can go to more than one place in PeopleSoft, and the amount and types of data brought over can vary wildly – especially if Taleo Onboarding is included. It’s preferable to have a TCC-built integration that fits the requirements than a bare-bones delivered process that can’t be improved.

The removal of the Integration Broker/Web Services integration as an option is a positive move as clients would regularly spend precious effort evaluating it, before concluding that it was too restrictive for their specific requirements and then using TCC.

The official announcement is here:

I’m Javier Delgado and this is how I work

Mon, 2015-07-13 07:00

July’s entry in the ‘How I Work’ series is PeopleSoft Blogger Javier Delgado. Javier is a PeopleSoft consultant and manages the PeopleSoft Practice at BNB (Business Network Builders). Javier has been writing on his ‘Javier’s PeopleSoft blog‘ site since 2007, however it’s only in the last couple of years that he’s started posting really regularly. In fact his 24 posts in 2015 probably make him last year’s most prolific blogger. We often link to his posts from the PeopleSoft Weekly as he posts on great topics, including Cloud deployments, upgrading with zero downtime and doing cool things with Integration Broker. Javier can be followed on Twitter here: @javierdelgado


Name: Javier Delgado

Occupation: PeopleSoft Practice Manager at BNB
Location: Madrid, Spain
Current computer: MacBook Pro 13” (8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S5, Apple iPad 2, Amazon Kindle
I work: as a consultant, or practice leader, or project manager. Whatever is needed within the circumstances. Although my main responsibility is being the leader of the PeopleSoft and Cloud practices at BNB, I still prefer the hands on work.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use PeopleBooks as a constant reference source, in particular the API and Language Reference books. I also refer to them when learning a new module or functionality (lately I’ve been playing a bit with REST services and P-Card features in Purchasing).

For issue resolution on non open parts of PeopleSoft, Google search and My Oracle Support are always of great information.

Lately, I’ve been using Feedly and Twitter lists as a source for research. I save any item that interests me in Pocket and future actions to be taken in Trello boards. Virtualization, and VirtualBox in particular is a great way to practice in a controlled sandbox environment.

Finally, I extensively use Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides and other plugin applications) to produce deliverables collaborating with the rest of the team. Earlier this year I uninstalled Microsoft Office from my machine. Will I survive?

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
It is not a gadget in all its forms, but I can’t live without books. When reading literature, I prefer printed books, while I normally read technical books using my Kindle. Don’t ask me why I make this distinction. It just happens.

What’s your workspace like?
Normally a mess. This has motivated me to get rid of paper as much as I can. In the last year or so, I always took notes using my Macbook Pro. This is the only way I can be sure of not losing my notes. On top of it, my workspace is much tidier.


What do you listen to while you work?
I very rarely listen to music while working, mostly when there is too much environmental noise. In such cases, I normally use a classical music playlist I have in Spotify.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
My preferred tool is tracing. I’ve always found PeopleSoft traces very information and normally use it almost for every issue I need to diagnose. More importantly, it is very reliable: if it is not in the trace, it didn’t happen.

Lately I have been playing around with some custom Javascript within PeopleSoft pages. Google Chrome seems to have the best debugging console for web applications. I guess I will be using it more and more with the advent of the new Fluid user interface.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Inspecting the HTML pages is a great way to identify fields and then map them to record fields, but this was also shared by others in this same space.

One thing I found particularly useful lately are the Query Access Services than enable third party access to queries through web services. Once you got the integration done for one query, it is very easy to extend to further ones. The potential for quickly delivering web services to third party applications is great.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Definitely the Effective Date subquery. %EffDtCheck meta sql has helped a lot, but it still does not work as expected for the JOB table, as it would include EFFSEQ as a join in the subquery used to retrieve the maximum EFFDT.

On top of that, I use the database specific functionality to create working tables based on a query (CREATE TABLE AS in Oracle and SELECT INTO in SQL Server).

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Quite a few, mostly around Application Designer. From my point of view, this was a great IDE more than a decade ago, but it has not evolved as other IDEs used for Java and Javascript development. It is still a very productive tool, but there are a few features that would make it better.

One way would be to enable third party developers to produce plugins to complement Application Designer features. With thisability, it would not take too long before programming tools such as versioning, lint and refactoring were made available to the PeopleSoft community at no cost.

On the other hand, and although I think Fluid is a great step forward, it almost made the page design redundant. True, we still use pages with group boxes to set the responsive divs in our Fluid pages, but it seems to me a rather complex way of doing things. This is probably out of the bounds of this answer, but I see room for a new paradigm, pretty much a PeopleSoft 8 compared to previous versions. Unfortunately, I don’t think Oracle has the same plans in mind.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I have a quite broad knowledge of PeopleSoft architecture, development and functionality. This is purely based in that I always wanted to work with software. In other words, I love what I do, and I don’t think there is a better fuel than passion.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my literature teacher in my last year at high school. He was giving the grades of the previous exam to the final one. He first addressed the people who had passed the exam by inches, telling them to make a bigger effort for the final exam. Then, he told the ones having the best grades: “you should make an even bigger effort, as there is no shorter path for mediocrity than self complacency. Always believe in yourselves, but always doubt, as doubt will protect you from self complacency.” There is a bit lost in translation from Spanish, but I hope I made the idea clear.

OpenWorld and UKOUG Apps 15 Sessions

Fri, 2015-07-10 05:03

I’m delighted that the sessions that I’ve submitted to both Oracle OpenWorld and UKOUG’s APPS15 conference have all been accepted.

The sessions are as follows:


PeopleSoft Selective Adoption Best Practices from the Front Line (joint with Mark Thomas of Hays)
PeopleSoft Selective Adoption is genuinely transformative, but to make the best use of it you need a plan. Come to hear from the one of the earliest adopters of this new model on defining how it can work best for you, not just the implementation but the ongoing effective use of PeopleSoft Images using PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM), the frequency of patch application and the business benefits achieved.


Taleo for PeopleSoft People
We’ll show you the Taleo products that work well with PeopleSoft and explain the circumstances in which they might be a good choice for you. We’ll also show the products working together and explain how you can deploy it without breaking the bank.

Running PeopleSoft as a Service
We’ve all heard of the ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) vendors. You don’t need to abandon the many benefits of PeopleSoft to gain the agility, security and efficiencies of consuming PeopleSoft as a Service however. We’ll show the key tenets of ‘as a Service’ delivery and how functionality like Selective Adoption enables you to attain them with PeopleSoft.

You can find out more about OpenWorld here and Apps15 here.