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Updated: 4 hours 9 min ago

Interaction Hub Image 2 Now Available

Mon, 2016-02-08 18:42

As we reported not last June, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub now uses the PeopleSoft Update Manager to deliver all updates and maintenance.  Customers can now take advantage of the Selective Adoption process when updating their Hub system.  This puts the Hub in alignment with all other PeopleSoft applications.  We are happy to announce that image 2 is now generally available from the PeopleSoft Update Manager home page. (Choose the Upate Image Home Pages tab, then choose the Interaction Hub Update Image page.)

Here are a few of the valuable features included in this image that customers should consider:

  • Guided process for branding.  The Hub offers a guided process that enables customers to do simple branding of their Fluid UI-based home pages and headers.  This is called Theme Builder and is described in PeopleBooks. Using this quick and easy process, administrators can set the header logo, banner color and text, background image and color, and more.  The administrator can also set roles to determine which branding themes are seen by which roles within an enterprise.  In addition, once the branding theme is set, you can publish your branding theme across all PeopleSoft applications in the wizard at the push of a button!  The Hub also gets its own delivered theme, but of course it's easy to create your own.
  • Administrator Landing Page.  The Hub delivers a landing page from which an administrator can monitor the health and performance of their PeopleSoft ecosystem.  This may also be where the administrator performs branding activities.
  • Guest Landing Page.  This page can be assigned to Guest roles for people that don't have full access to a system.
  • Navigation Collections.  Fluid Navigation Collections were actually implemented in PeopleTools 8.55.  However, Nav Collections have been used extensively in Hub designs, so now customers can design Fluid Hubs with home pages that use Nav Collections to streamline user navigation.

See the Update Image Home Page for complete details about this image.  

In addition, review the Planned Features page on My Oracle Support for updates regarding the Hub and a look at what we have planned for future images. 

Multiple PeopleSoft Applications: Using the Interaction Hub or Not

Mon, 2016-02-08 16:25

Many PeopleSoft customers have multiple PeopleSoft applications.  We often refer to this type of environment as a ‘cluster’.  Customers have different types of clusters, some using the Interaction Hub to unify the cluster and some without the Hub.  We are often asked how these are different.  Should a customer use the Interaction Hub for clusters?  Can you get by without it?  

The scenario I’m describing in this post relates to PeopleTools 8.55 and it’s use with applications using the Fluid header (whether the content is Classic or Fluid).

What is a Portal System in PeopleSoft?

This can be somewhat confusing because the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub was originally called the ‘PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal’, which was designed to be used as a traditional portal, aggregating content from multiple sources.  People still often refer to that product as simply ‘The Portal’.  The Interaction Hub still provides that traditional, aggregating functionality.  However, PeopleSoft also uses the term ‘Portal System’ to mean more than just the Interaction Hub system connecting to content systems like HCM, FSCM, and Campus Solutions.  In PeopleSoft, whatever system the user logs into first is considered to be acting as the Portal system.  For example if Single Sign-On (SSO) is set up between HCM and Campus Solution and the user logs into the HCM system and from there access Campus solution then the HCM system acts as the Portal system. 

What Does This Mean to My Users?

Let’s look at a specific Example.  In this scenario, the customer is NOT using the Interaction Hub, but they have PeopleSoft HCM and FSCM and have SSO set up for these applications.  A user of this system logs into HCM and is presented with an HCM-based Employee Home Page.  That home page contains a tile for FSCM content, and there is other FSCM content represented in the Nav Bar.  When the user selects an FSCM tile, they are presented with the FSCM content, but the header context remains in HCM. This means that the Nav Bar will still be the one from the HCM system.  It also means that if the user employs Global Search, the results will only come from HCM. Similarly, any notifications/alerts/actions they receive will originate from HCM only.  Basically, the partitioning between the applications is maintained.  If users want to search in FSCM, they must log out of HCM and log into FSCM, which at that point will become the acting portal system.  

Now let’s look at an example in which the customer is using the Interaction Hub to unify the cluster including HCM and FSCM.  In this scenario, the user logs into the Interaction Hub system, which provides the header and context.  The home page displayed initially can come from HCM or FSCM (or any application), and the Nav Bar can contain content from any PeopleSoft application where the content from these applications are registered.  When the user navigates to any content--whether it comes from the Interaction Hub, HCM or FSCM--the header and the Nav Bar is from the Interaction Hub system, which is where the user originated.   In this case, even when the user navigates to an HCM or FSCM transaction page, they can still use the header or the Nav Bar to navigate to any content in the cluster seamlessly.  In addition, if the user executes a search, the results of that search can come from any application in the cluster—in this case HCM, FSCM, or the Interaction Hub.  Furthermore, the user can take action from those search results using Related Actions regardless of where that content originated.  Similarly, the notifications in the header will deliver actions and alerts from all content systems in the cluster, and users can act on those notifications from the notifications window.

What We Recommend

Customers that have a cluster of multiple PeopleSoft applications should use the Interaction Hub to unify their user experience.  The Hub enables you to break down the barriers between applications and align your user experience with your business processes.  This enables your users to navigate freely among PeopleSoft content (and even external content) to complete their work--without having to know which PeopleSoft application is being used.  In addition, users don’t have to log in and out of different applications to complete business processes that may cross application boundaries.  Instead, the Hub presents the PeopleSoft cluster as a single unified ecosystem.

PeopleTools CPU analysis and supported versions of PeopleTools (update for January 2016 CPU)

Fri, 2016-02-05 14:30

Questions often arise on the PeopleTools versions for which Critical Patch Updates have been published, or if a particular PeopleTools version is supported. 

The attached page shows the patch number matrix for PeopleTools versions associated with a particular CPU publication. This information will help you decide which CPU to apply and when to consider upgrading to a more current release.

The link in "CPU Date" goes to the landing page for CPU advisories, the link in the individual date, e.g. Apr-10, goes to the advisory for that date.

The page also shows the CVE's addressed in the CPU, a synopsis of the issue and the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) value.

To find more details on any CVE, simply replace the CVE number in the sample URL below.

http://www.cvedetails.com/cve/CVE-2010-2377

Common Vulnerability Scoring System Version 2 Calculator

http://nvd.nist.gov/cvss.cfm?calculator&adv&version=2

This page shows the components of the CVSS score

Example CVSS response policy http://www.first.org/_assets/cvss/cvss-based-patch-policy.pdf

All the details in this page are available on My Oracle Support and public sites.

The RED column indicates the last patch for a PeopleTools version and effectively the last support date for that version.

Applications Unlimited support does NOT apply to PeopleTools versions.

Fluid Header and Navigation is the New Standard

Tue, 2016-02-02 16:15
Beginning with PeopleTools 8.55, PeopleSoft 9.2 applications will have a Fluid header on their classic pages that matches the fluid pages.  This unifies the user experience of classic pages with newer fluid pages and applications.  With the fluid user interface, user navigation is more seamless and intuitive.  Using fluid homepages, tiles, global search, related actions, and the new fluid Navigation Collection feature, users can more easily navigate to the information most important to them.  Refer to the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface and Navigation Standards White Paper (Document ID 2063602.1) for more information on design best practices for navigation within PeopleSoft applications.
Part of this change that makes Fluid the default is the replacement of the drop down menu navigation.  In most cases, customers will want their users to simply use the Nav Bar in place of any classic menu navigation.  However, if there is a special circumstance where customers want to maintain the classic menus, they can do so.  There are two ways of displaying the classic menus:

 Method 1 – Switch back to default tangerine or Alt-Tang theme

1. Go to PeopleTools >> Portal >> Branding >> Branding System Options; 2. Change the system default theme back to default tangerine or alt-tang; 3. Sign out and sign in again to see the changes.

Method 2 – Unhide the drop down menu in default fluid theme

1. Go to PeopleTools >> Portal >> Branding >> Define Headers and Footers; 2. Search and open the DEFAULT_HEADER_FLUID header definition; 3. Copy the following styles into the “Style Definitions” field at bottom of the page, and then save; .desktopFluidHdr .ptdropdownmenu {     display: block; }

4. Sign out and sign in again to see the changes.

We encourage customers to stick with Fluid navigation as the standard.  It's simply better and more intuitive. 

Simplified Analytics: Putting Power in the Hands of End Users

Mon, 2015-12-21 16:19

PeopleTools 8.55 is an important release with lots of exciting features.  We recently held a Partner Summit, where PeopleSoft Development and Strategy met with many of our implementation partners to describe and discuss the new capabilities of our products and the value they provide to customers.  One feature that garnered quite a bit of interest is our new Simplified Analytics feature.

Simplified Analytics is important because it puts reporting and analytic power in the hands of end users.  It enables users to generate ad hoc analytics in the context of transactions.  This can be tremendously valuable for a myriad of business processes.  For example, when a manager wants to give an employee a raise, they may want to analyze how that employee is currently compensated compared to peers in the same role and performance class.  Or suppose a person is working with suppliers and they want to determine which suppliers to use.  They may want to analyze suppliers’ performance, price, etc.  Simplified analytics can be valuable in so many transactions, the list is almost endless.  And again, end users can employ this feature without having to turn to technical experts to generate reports for them.

Let’s look at how this would work from the end user perspective for one of the use cases I mentioned above:  I am a manager who is planning to give one of my employees a raise, and need additional information to provide the appropriate amount.

As a manager, I use Related Actions to initiate a Salary Change for Rosanna, one of my subordinates.

This takes me to the transaction where I can provide the change, but I’m not sure how much to give Rosanna, so I create a new analytic in the related information section on the right side of the page.

This initiates the simple process for generating a Simplified Analytic.  Note that the analytic is contextually bound, so the results are generated for me as the user of the transaction in this context.  

It’s quite easy for me to create the analytic I want for my purpose with this guided process.  First, I’ll give my new analytic a name and determine how I want the data visualized.

In this case I’ve chosen a chart to render the output.  Next I’ll choose the data that I want.  Notice that the Manager name is already determined.  (Betty is the person I logged in as.) 

I can select or deselect fields until I have what I want.  

When I save the Analytic, it is presented to me using the visualization I chose earlier; in this case, a chart.

Note that I have row and column data, and other data is represented as facets.  Facets can be selected to filter the results, or I can drag data items to or from the Row and Column areas to slice and dice the analytic any way I wish.  It’s flexible and powerful.

In this case, I’ve dragged the Department field to the Row area, which changes the Analytic and gives me a new perspective on the information.

Now when I save the analytic, it appears in the related information area so I can run this any time I’m in this transaction.  The data is fresh and secure. 

If I’ve created an analytic that I want to use frequently and have at hand regardless of context, I can easily create a tile for it and add it to any of my home pages. 

Now the analytic appears as a tile, and I can run it easily any time from my home page. 

As you can see, creating simplified analytics is easy and fast for end users.  It is wonderfully useful, because users can get the information they need when they need it, without having to seek assitance from IT or reporting experts.  

Our applications teams will be delivering some simplified analytics with our products, so you will see some when you simply take upcoming PeopleSoft Update Images.  However, simplified analytics are easy to create, so you can provide them to your users wherever you see a need.  

Look for more posts on this topic.  We’ll also cover how to publish reports to make them available to other users, and we’ll show you how to set up simplified analytics to make them available for your end users. 

Oracle Proudly Releases PeopleTools 8.55

Fri, 2015-12-04 16:29

PeopleTools 8.55 has now been released for general availability.  With this release, Oracle continues to demonstrate our commitment to extend the value of our customers’ investment in PeopleSoft.  The capabilities included in this release have been designed to enhance many of the features we’ve delivered previously as well as to provide our application users substantial new functionality.  Features in this release focus on continued improvements to the PeopleSoft User Experience while providing additional technology options that will help you take advantage of data center innovations proven to reduce ongoing operating costs and assist in developing a Cloud deployment strategy. Our beta customers have been using PeopleTools 8.55 for a few months and definitely liked what they saw.

The PeopleTools Beta Program had two participants, Centene Corporation and Cerner Corporation. During the Beta Program, participants explored the improvements to the PeopleSoft Fluid User Experience and the PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture (PCA) and found “smooth sailing” with few bugs reported and significant productivity improvements to environment provisioning with PCA.

PeopleTools 8.55 dramatically extends our investment in the Fluid User Experience. New in 8.55 are features such as Fluid Dashboards, Fluid Master/Detail pages and the new Activity Guide Framework.  Our intention with this latest release is to extend the capabilities of PeopleSoft Fluid to include functionality required by Power Users and to make the overall application experience as intuitive as possible. 

For example, PeopleTools 8.55 introduces a new Tile Wizard that makes the creation of these important navigation elements and process “building blocks” much simpler.  Tiles automatically resize based on the content they display, the size of the device being used, even based on the orientation of the mobile device. 

With this release we deliver Fluid Dashboards that augment our existing Fluid Home Page structures.  Dashboards can display tiled content just like home pages, but also allow Tiles to display external, non-PeopleSoft content such as information from a BI system or an external website or application system.

One of the long-standing strengths of PeopleSoft’s user experience has been the ability for our customers to alter the look and behavior of the screens to reflect their own company’s “brand”.  With PeopleTools 8.55, we extend the Branding Framework to include the ability to easily apply your company’s brand to Fluid pages and components.

There are very many new PeopleSoft Fluid features in PeopleTools 8.55, all of which extend our commitment to ensuring you have the most powerful, complete business applications and that these applications reflect the intuitive usability that your employees expect from today’s web systems. 

In a similar vein, we have extended many other elements of the PeopleSoft system infrastructure including Selective Adoption and Application Lifecycle Management features, the PeopleSoft Analytics capabilities and the ability for customers to deploy and manage PeopleSoft in a cloud datacenter. Most of the cloud infrastructure technology applies to on premise customers as well, and even to customers who don't use virtualization. A major benefit of our approach is that we can bring cloud-like benefits to customers who are not running on any form of cloud infrastructure.

With PeopleTools 8.55, we have continued to address the needs of our customers to achieve improved operational efficiency in the deployment, configuration and administration of their PeopleSoft applications.  As our customers see innovations across the technology landscape that include cloud service offerings, datacenter efficiencies through system virtualization and improved resource automation, they have asked us to identify opportunities for them to take advantage these innovations to help them better manage their datacenter operating costs.  Many of our customers are looking to cloud offerings as a strategic opportunity to achieve improved leverage and efficiency. 

PeopleTools 8.55 introduces the new PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture (PCA), a comprehensive organization of system-wide structures, features and capabilities that will allow our customers to achieve greater operational efficiencies.  Whether a company has a DevOps strategy to improve the collaboration between their internal PeopleSoft development and Quality Assurance teams and their IT Operations group, or a comprehensive initiative to leverage Cloud solutions for datacenter operations, PeopleSoft’s Cloud Deployment Architecture will assist our customers to reach these strategic goals with their own PeopleSoft application investment.

The PCA and incorporated features such as Deployment Packages (DPKs) work with the Application Configuration Manager (ACM) and PeopleSoft’s virtualization capabilities to provide customers a near fully automated process to install and configure PeopleTools.  Our goal is to help our customers leverage server and datacenter innovations such as market-leading resource virtualization solutions with choice of virtualization platform vendor as well as dynamic deployment of our solutions to public and private cloud platforms. PeopleTools patches deployed using DPKs can be found on MOS on the new PeopleSoft PeopleTools Patches Homepage.

PeopleTools 8.55 offers significant enhancements across the entire product footprint.  We introduced new features that improve the productivity of your developers as well as your end users.  It will be easier to deploy PeopleSoft applications on the cloud, develop custom mobile applications that incorporate PeopleSoft data and provide your users personalized access to PeopleSoft information and analytic content.  This release builds functionality into the product as a result of direct customer input, industry analysis and internal feature design.  New features, bug fixes and product certifications combine to offer PeopleSoft customers improved application user experience and operational efficiency.

As you get started with your PeopleTools 8.55 planning, be sure to review PT 8.55 Certifications on MOS so that you don’t encounter any last minute incompatibilities. Setting up the infrastructure can take time – plan for it. If you are looking for more information on PeopleTools 8.55, be sure to review the Technology tab for PeopleTools 8.55 Features and Enhancements or go to peoplesoftinfo.com for more information on anything related to PeopleSoft.

Enjoy!

PeopleSoft Announces Certification of Oracle Database 12c with Secure Enterprise Search

Fri, 2015-12-04 12:13

PeopleSoft is pleased to announce that the Oracle's 12c database is now certified for use with Secure Enterprise Search and the PeopleSoft Search Framework.  Details on how to use 12c with PeopleSoft Search are available in PeopleTools Certification Notes (Document 2081577.1) and the Knowledge Document Upgrading SES database to 12c (Document 2084851.1).

In addition to the certification steps, we have also provided an automated mechanism for customers to upgrade their SES Database to 12c.  This is an important business need for customers to perform their SES Database Upgrade.


PeopleSoft Information Portal--New and Improved!

Tue, 2015-11-17 17:01

The PeopleSoft Info Portal is a popular one-stop shop for getting at everything PeopleSoft. If you are looking for information on PeopleSoft and wondering where to begin, that is often the best place to start. It's an easy name to remember: www.peoplesoftinfo.com The new site is responsive, so you can access it from any form factor.  If you have any questions or want to find out what's new, what's coming in the future, where to learn more--try the PeopleSoft Information Portal.


Cryptowall, USB's, emailed malware and "honor among thieves"

Mon, 2015-11-02 02:23

 I'm sure many of you have heard recently of the rising prevalence of ransomware, particularly Cryptolock/Cryptowall and the growing prominence of walk-in Bitcoin exchanges and Buttonwood meetups.

 Cryptowall is a case in point of the malware. Spread mainly by infected email and "found" or shared USB memory sticks.

==============================
What is CryptoWall?
https://www.pcrisk.com/removal-guides/7844-cryptowall-virus

What is CryptoWall?
The CryptoWall ransomware virus infiltrates users' operating systems via infected email messages and fake downloads (for example, rogue video players or fake Flash updates). After successful infiltration, this malicious program encrypts files stored on users' computers (*.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.ppt, *.psd, *.pdf, *.eps, *.ai, *.cdr, *.jpg, etc.) and demands payment of a $500 ransom (in Bitcoins) to decrypt them. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing this rogue program, ensure that it executes on all Windows versions (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8). CryptoWall ransomware creates HELP_DECRYPT.PNG, HELP_DECRYPT.HTML and HELP_DECRYPT.TXT files within each folder containing the encrypted files.


"Note that at time of writing, there were no known tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by CryptoWall without paying the ransom." 12 September 2015 
==============================

There is generally no good business reason why typical corporate workstation/laptop users should:
- have local administrator access
- have enabled USB ports
- need to open office productivity tools documents containing macros

These features should be disabled.

My "honor among thieves" statement relates to the tendency, as observed, that payment of the "ransom" in Bitcoins has been the only current successful way of retrieving the encrypted data/disks. The alternative is frequent backups.

Attending OpenWorld? Come and say HI!

Fri, 2015-10-23 15:09

We’re ready, are you??  As you plan your schedule for next week, please be sure to stop by PeopleTools booths at the Demogrounds area in Moscone West, first floor. The Demogrounds will be open Monday through Wednesday, and you’ll find us in 3 pods in section 3155. Rumor has it that we’re back in the far corner to attract traffic throughout the entire vendor fair. Do you have questions about Selective Adoption? The Fluid UI? PeopleSoft on the Cloud? Be sure to stop by.

We’ll also have our PeopleTools experts available to chat with you in the Meet the Experts hall on Wednesday at 1:45 - stop by Moscone West 3001A and get answers to your questions. We’re not trying to put the Support Center out of business, so DON’T bring your list of open SRs…but if you have some things you’ve been wondering about, run them past us - we’ll share our thoughts.

See you next week!