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Duncan Davies

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A PeopleSoft Tips and Tricks Blog
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I’m Iouri Chadour and this is how I work

Wed, 2015-05-20 06:00

May’s entry in the ‘How I Work’ series is PeopleSoft Blogger Iouri “Yury” Chadour. Yury has been sharing his knowledge on his Working Scripts blog for 7 years, so is a valuable and consistent member of our community. Yury’s site is full of tips, particularly new tools to try and techniques ‘around the edges’ of PeopleSoft.  Thanks, and keep up the good work Yury!

profile_pic_blogger

Name: Iouri Chadour

Occupation: Vice President at Lazard Freres
Location: In the office in midtown NYC
Current computer: At work I use either standard Lenovo laptop or my VM client, my own machine is Lenovo X1 Carbon
Current mobile devices: Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Air 2, Kindle Fire (Original)
I work: best when I have a set goal in mind – I like being able to check off my achievements from the list (more on that below.) As many others fellow bloggers have mentioned – challenge and ability to learn new things on the job are very important as well.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use all of these Software Development Tools:

Application Designer
Notepad++ with lots of plugins PeopleCode user Defined language, Compare, AutoSave, NppExport, Explorer to name a few
Firefox with Firebug, AdBlock and Hootsuite
Feedly – this my main tool for following all the blogs and keeping up to date on the news
LastPass – very convenient password management for desktop and phone
KeePass – open source password manager
Toad for Oracle 12
Oracle jDeveloper
Aptana Studio
PeopleSoft TraceMagic
Wunderlist – Android app and Desktop for Taks Management
Microsoft Project or Project Libre
MS Excel
Greenshot Screen Capture
SnagIT
Gimp – basic image editing

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I like my original Kindle Fire – I use it for reading more than any other device.

What’s your workspace like?
workspace

What do you listen to while you work?
Listening really depends on the mood at time of the day. I mostly use Slacker Radio to listen to everything from contemporary and classic jazz, Classical to Parisian Electro and House music.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?

App Designer
PeopleSoft Query Client for writing queries
Toad 12
Notepad++ to write and examine code and logs
TraceMagic for more advanced log review
Firefox with Firebug for HTML and JavaScript issues
On occasion Aptana Studio for JavaScript and HTML

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
If I am stuck with a very difficult problem and can’t seem to find a good solution – I usually leave it and do something else – at some point the solution or a correct directions usually comes to my mind on it’s own.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Since I work with a lot of Financials Modules so everything related to those modules. I do also write some tools related SQLs when I need to examine Process Scheduler tables.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Code completion and Code/Project navigator – I use Notepad++ for now.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I do not think I do something in particular better than anyone else, but I believe that I can be more efficient about some things than some of the people.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My family and my friends provided me with a lot of advice and support and I am greatly thankful for them being present in my life. But I do like the following quote:
“The more things that you read , the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss


I’m Mark Heppell and this is how I work

Mon, 2015-04-20 09:00

Next up in the 2015 ‘How I work‘ series is Mark Heppell. Mark is one of Cedar’s longest serving employees having been with us for 16 years. As a consequence he’s been on almost all our client sites, so he’s one of our better known and most beloved consultants.

Mark is one of Cedar’s key PeopleSoft developers and is one of the first people that we all turn to when there’s something beyond our abilities. He’s currently waist deep in some great looking Fluid work (I’ve had a sneak peak).

Profile

Name: Mark Heppell

Occupation: Lead Technical Consultant
Location: Home office, Marlow, UK
Current computer: Dell Latitude E5520 laptop and Acer Aspire X3400 desktop
Current mobile devices: iPhone 4, iPad Air

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I love any home automation gadgets.  I’ve got solar panels automatically turning on immersion heaters and everything in the lounge is controlled from my iPad.  It’s kind of an insurance policy, because without me, my wife can’t turn on the TV and would be sitting in darkness.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I’m not sure if it’s actually a gadget but if the broadband ever went down I think my teenage son’s world would end.

What’s your workspace like?
It’s good.  With Remote Desktop and Skype there’s very little need for me to leave my house.  If I get lonely I talk to the bonsai.

WorkPlace

What do you listen to while you work?
At the minute I’m listening to Imagine Dragons, Hozier and AWOLNATION, or I just put on the radio.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
The usual PeopleSoft stuff, App Designer and SQL Developer.  Paint.net if I have to do any graphics, Notepad++ for html and trace files, FileZilla for Unix and ExamDiff for file comparisons.  With the advent of Fluid I seem to be spending more and more time looking at browser developer tools, generally Firebug for day to day stuff and Chrome for mobile device emulation.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
When creating javascript use something along the lines of
javascript:%SubmitScriptName(%FormName,..
or your javascript won’t work when the user clicks the “New Window” link.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Working with HR,
Select * from PS_JOB J where J.EFFDT=(Select Max(J_ED.EFFDT) from ......,
will generally make an appearance a couple of times a week.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Better at than anyone else is a bit of a stretch, but I do seem to end up with the more complicated/abstract client requests.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m sure my Dad gives me some wonderful advice, but he’s a Geordie and I can only understand 1 in 3 words he says.


Faster Download of PeopleSoft Images

Wed, 2015-04-15 10:32

With the advent of Selective Adoption, many more people will be downloading the huge PeopleSoft Images every 10 weeks or so. They’re large (circa 35GB) and that’s going to take a while even with a decent connection.

What makes matters worse is that the default method (clicking the Download All button) runs the downloads in serial. Even on a 1MB/sec connection that’s going to take ~10 hours to download all 35GB.

Download All

In addition, the download seems to be throttled somewhat, I’m not sure why. The speed reported in the above window varied wildly between 100KB/s and 500KB/s. Even at the top end of that range, only downloading one at a time it’s going to take almost 24 hours for the complete set.

An alternative is to run the downloads in parallel. Instead of clicking Download All, click WGET Options and download the script instead. After a little modification so that it ran on Windows I was able to run 4 copies of the script side-by-side, giving gains not only by downloading in parallel, but the downloads ran faster too:

Download All parallel wget

You can click for a bigger version, but basically the screenshot is of four downloads with a combined download speed of over 4MB/s! All downloads completed in a touch over 2 hours (and this is on a home broadband connection).

 


Cedar’s exciting new office

Tue, 2015-04-14 17:39

Today I got my first glimpse of Cedar’s new UK head-quarters in use. I’d seen it during the renovations, however now the work is complete and we’ve started to move in properly it’s really exciting to see people actually using it for real.

Main Office(Travis, Pete, Hardik and Kirti making themselves at home)

I’m particularly pleased that we’ve managed to purchase an office that’s still got the same great location as our previous premises, but is ours to decorate as we wish (witness the fantastic mural in the background of the above photo).

The full details, including some more photos are available here:

http://www.cedarconsulting.co.uk/news-details/April-2015-Cedar-Moves-to-New-UK-Head-Office/index.html


Which PeopleTools version goes with which Application?

Thu, 2015-03-19 06:00

If you’re ever in the situation where you’re wondering what your options are with PeopleTools versions, and which applications they can be used with, then we have just the document for you.

It shows you:

– the Applications, their release dates, and – more critically – the dates that Premier and Extended Support ends

– the PeopleTools versions, and the date that support ends (yes, 8.52 is now out of support)

– the combinations of the two, for instance, can you go to Tools 8.53 with a v8.9 application? do we believe that PeopleTools 8.55 will support v9.1 applications?

– what this means for Fluid. For example, if you’re on v9.1 but upgrade to PeopleTools 8.54, what Fluid functionality do you receive?

Check out the White Paper here:

http://www.cedarconsulting.co.uk/news-details/March-2015-New-White-Paper-PeopleSoft-Version-Compatibility/index.html

 

 


I’m William Reynolds and this is How I Work

Tue, 2015-03-03 09:00

William joined PeopleSoft in November of 1995 as a developer in the Inventory product. Since then he has worked in various roles within the FSCM pillar eventually landing in the Enterprise Architecture group where he straddles the world between PeopleTools and Applications. He currently works with other Architects in each of the pillars on various projects like security, accessibility and PUM.

William

Name: William Reynolds

Occupation: Senior Application Architect, Enterprise Architecture
Location: Home office, Chicago, IL
Current computer: ThinkPad W520 & T430
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Probably the two pieces of software I’d be lost without are LastPass and Xmarks. Keeping track of hundreds of bookmarks along with hundreds of passwords between work and home would be nearly impossible without them. Lately I’ve also been leaning heavily on Notepad++ for various projects.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
When I’m not on my laptop I usually have my iPad handy for email, calendar and web access.

What’s your workspace like?
I’d like to say it’s a clean, modern, calm fortress of solitude but I work from home and have three kids under the age of 12 so its state of clutter really depends on the week. I built a treadmill desk a couple years ago but these days it’s more of a standing desk. Every week you read a new article about sitting versus standing so I try to stand as much as I can during the dozen or so conference calls throughout the week. Walking while working takes some getting used to. Email is pretty easy to get through while in motion but for something like SQL or coding I find I have to be at least standing still if not sitting to really concentrate.

My workspace

What do you listen to while you work?
My tastes run the gambit and usually it depends on what task I’m doing. For things that require some heads down concentration it’s either Brubeck or Sinatra. If I’m cranking through email or pulling together a slide deck then it’s something more peppy like top 40.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
It really just depends on what project I’m working on at the moment.  I prefer Firefox as my browser at work, Notepad++ for text work, and SQL Developer.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Lately SELECT * FROM PSPROJECTITEM;

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
At the moment, my ideal change would be to get rid the Windows dependency in all our client tools.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I would say I have a knack for looking at the big picture and being able to put myself in a customer’s shoes.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Not sure where it came from but “don’t build a Cadillac when what you need is a Honda.”


Cedar’s Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft Day

Sat, 2015-02-28 18:36

Cedar held it’s annual Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft Day in London on Friday, with almost a hundred people in attendance (about 80 customers, plus staff from Oracle and Cedar).

It was a great success, with a really positive vibe – customers are looking to do great things with both PeopleSoft and Oracle’s Cloud suite – and a privilege to be part of.

Here are some photos from the day:

Graham welcomes everyone
2015-02-27 10.05.59

 

Marc Weintraub gave a great keynote (from his office at 2:30am!)
Marc Weintraub - Keynote

 

Liz and I discuss the practical applications of the PeopleSoft RoadmapLiz and Duncan - PeopleSoft Roadmap and Cloud

 

Mike takes us through the upcoming Oracle Cloud Release 10 features
2015-02-27 12.26.53

 

Jo talks about ‘Taleo for PeopleSoft People’
Jo and Duncan - Taleo for PeopleSoft People

 

 Simon handles the prize draw2015-02-27 15.48.56

So, a fun event with lots of knowledge sharing. My absolute favourite part is being able to connect customers who can help each other though. I lost count of the number of times we were able to say “oh, you’re doing <some project> are you? In that case, let me introduce you to <another client> as they’ve just finished doing that very thing” and then being able to leave them to share their experiences.


I’m Alex Lightstone and this is how I work

Mon, 2015-02-16 08:00

First up in the ‘How I work‘ series for 2015 is Alex Lightstone. For those in the UK PeopleSoft marketplace Alex should need no introduction, for everyone else though here’s a brief bio:

Alex spent the 2000’s at Oracle, initially supporting, and then as Product Support Manager for PeopleSoft Global Payroll. When he left Oracle in 2010 there was a battle for his services and we’re very grateful that he selected Cedar where he forms part of our ‘trinity of UK-based GP gurus’ – alongside Bill and Gary. Alex can be frequently found sharing his knowledge at Cedar events, and UKOUG conferences and SIGS. His skills aren’t confined to GP however, and he’s already fixed a few bits of code that I’ve left half-completed (including the Field Watermarks).

Alex

Name: Alex Lightstone

Occupation: Lead Consultant at Cedar Consulting
Location: When not on client site, either home or the Cedar Office (Kings Cross, London)
Current computer: Dell Latitude E6430
Current mobile devices: HTC One (M7), Alcatel 4G USB Dongle
I work: best when I understand exactly what everyone else is doing so I can see the whole picture

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
As long as I have an internet connection I’m happy. I regularly change my browser but am reliant on Microsoft Office applications (yes, even Outlook). I’ve recently discovered Microsoft One Note and now wonder how I ever managed without it. Of course, App Designer, Data Mover and SQL Developer are a big part of my day to day work, as are Citrix, Remote Desktop and various flavours of VPN software when working remotely as needed to connect to client sites. Smartphones are useful but when space and battery power permit I’d rather be hooked up to my laptop with my 4G mobile broadband. Notepad and Paint are useful pieces of software in my opinion – I know there are alternatives but I like to keep it simple. And last but not least … Spotify.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Sat Nav is an absolute but is included with most smartphones these days. I’m happy with my phone and laptop. A smart-watch would be nice but I haven’t bought one yet.

What’s your workspace like?
They say “small is beautiful”, which is just as well in my case. Since the birth of my second child, my workspace has been relegated to a corner of my bedroom.

IMAG0260

What do you listen to while you work?
I have somewhat eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I often listen to music via Google Music or Spotify. Anything goes … rock, classical, dance – it’s all on my playlists.

What PeopleSoft-related productivity apps do you use?
I use App Designer, SQL Developer and Notepad (for SQR and COBOL). I occasionally use Firebug or the Chrome Developer Tools to resolve HTML issues. PeopleBooks are useful for reference.

Do you have a 2-line tip that some others might not know?
Global Payroll is just a programming language where you don’t write code. Approach it as a programmer and it will make a lot more sense.

What SQL/Code do you find yourself writing most often?
Working in the world of payroll, I spend a lot of time querying the payroll results tables (GP_RSLT_XXXX).

SELECT PIN_NUM FROM PS_GP_PIN WHERE PIN_NM=<Element Name> is SQL that I use a lot.

What would be the one item you’d add to PeopleSoft if you could?
Better error handling – there are too many generic error messages where your only option is to delve into the code to determine the reason for the error.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Teaching myself – it’s how I learnt most of what I know.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The PeopleSoft world is a small place, don’t upset people, you will have to work with them again” – Anonymous


Adding Watermarks to PeopleSoft fields

Wed, 2015-02-11 10:00

The Cedar tech team has recently discovered a great tweak to improve the end-user experience in PeopleSoft.

Many well designed websites use Watermark text to provide a visual hint to the user what they should put into a field. We felt that PS Self Service users would appreciate the enhancement.

screenshot

Head over to the Cedar Blog to find out more:

http://www.cedarconsulting.co.uk/news-details/February-2015-Adding-Watermarks-to-PeopleSoft-Fields/


The Year 2014 in Review

Sat, 2015-01-31 17:15

Once each year completes I try to do a run down of which posts have garnered the most attention during the last 12 months, both on this blog and on the PeopleSoft Weekly newsletter. Here are the most viewed stories from 2014.

PeopleSoft Weekly Newsletter

During 2014 the subscriber base grew from 602 to 914 (a net increase of just over 300), and this was despite being asked to remove over 50 subscribers when I left my previous employer. The open rate (i.e. the amount of people that view each email) continues to cover around the 45-50% mark – against an industry average of 17%.

There were nearly 800 links in the newsletters over the year. Here are the 30 that received the most clicks:

  1. Tools to increase productivity for PeopleSoft Developers and Users (124 unique visits)
  2. PeopleSoft 9.3 – A Clarification (120)
  3. How to know Record/Field names without opening Application Designer (120)
  4. PeopleSoft 8.53/9.2 Prototyping Tool (118)
  5. This is why you never end up hiring good developers (115)
  6. Compiling PeopleCode (108)
  7. It’s official, there is no PeopleSoft 9.3 (104)
  8. I’m Jim Marion and this is how I work (104)
  9. An Introduction to PeopleTools 8.54 (part 1) (101)
  10. PeopleTools 8.54 Sandbox (99)
  11. An Introduction to PeopleTools 8.54 (part 2) (93)
  12. How to Effectively Write PeopleSoft Queries (91)
  13. 17 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Message (91)
  14. The PeopleSoft Roadshow 2014 – What’s coming next for PeopleSoft? (90)
  15. Oracle bests Rimini Street in latest lawsuit ruling (90)
  16. Google releases set of beautiful, freely usable icons (89)
  17. 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings (87)
  18. Disabling the back button in PeopleSoft (87)
  19. PeopleSoft Process Flow basics (86)
  20. 23 Evergreen Developer Skills to Keep you Employed Forever (85)
  21. I’m Simon Wilson and this is how I work (83)
  22. PeopleCode Coding Discipline (83)
  23. PeopleSoft Application Designer themeing (82)
  24. Make a Field Required using PeopleCode (82)
  25. I’m Anton de Weger and this is how I work (81)
  26. Unlimited Session Timeout (79)
  27. Upgrading PeopleTools with Zero Downtime (78)
  28. Creating a Launch Pad Experience with the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub (77)
  29. California payroll: Another failure waiting to happen? (76)
  30. PeopleCode Record Snapshot (75)

One of the most pleasing things about the above list is that there is a wide variety of blogs from many different bloggers and companies featured, which shows that the PeopleSoft eco-system is as active as ever. It is a good thing that too many of the less serious ‘and one more thing’ links didn’t manage to get into the top 30! I’m also rather pleased that all 3 of the 2014 ‘how i work’ posts made the top 30 … it goes to show that people are as important as software.

PeopleSoft Tipster Blog

In 2014 this blog had 144,203 views, coming from 80,833 visitors. The most visited posts are all above so I won’t repost another list, but to give you an idea of numbers the top one (about PeopleSoft 9.3) got more than 5,000 views in the year and the PeopleSoft Roadshow one more than 3,000.

Most of the visitors came from the US (79,200 views or 63%) followed by India (16%), Canada (6%) and the UK (5%).

I’m keen to do a few more ‘How I Work’ posts. If there’s someone that merits inclusion that hasn’t appeared so far please let me know. (My email is in the Get In Contact pane in the top right.)