Category: Great Links

Packt Celebrates Their 1000th Title

You may want to sign up on Packt’s website!

From what I understand, Packt is publishing their 1000th book on September 30th.  To celebrate, they will be giving out two free surprises.  I don’t know what the surprises are, but they have been good to me so far.

Here’s the official text:

To celebrate this event with our readers, we’d be gifting them with not one but two assured surprises which would be revealed to them by the 30th of September, 2012. Anyone who is already registered or signs up for a free Packt account before 30th September 2012 is guaranteed a surprise gift.

So, head on over to their website:

Review: Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9.1

I have been working my way through “Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management 9.1 Implementation“, and it has been a great experience for me.  For once, I get a beginner’s introduction to the system rather than trial by fire.  The book does a great job describing how PeopleSoft Financials works and how the modules fit together.  It is a first of its kind in the area of PeopleSoft Financials books.

While this book does not or could not ever give you all you need know about PeopleSoft Financials, it does give you a strong foundation.  No book nor person could contain everything about this system because it is so large, but this book is a definite starting point.  I would recommend it to anyone who is either starting a job where they will use PeopleSoft Financials or anyone going through a Financials implementation.  This book will give you the fundamentals that you need and provide a reference to understand why things work the way they do.

This book is definitely up to date as you can tell by the screen shots.  The book has plenty of graphics to let you know what the various pages look like as you read.  All of the shots reflect the new look delivered by PeopleSoft 8.5x.  The one thing I didn’t see is specific mention of new features delivered in Financials 9.1.  So, the book is geared toward a person new to financials or someone looking for a system overview rather than a person looking for new features after an upgrade from an older PeopleSoft release.

Chapter one did a great job providing an overview and foundation for the rest of the book.  I felt it was a bit long, but there was a lot to cover.  Next the security chapter gives you a good view of how security works in PeopleSoft applications and it also explains the preferences settings that go along with security.  The following chapters walk through the key modules: Billing, Accounts Receivable, Asset Management, Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Expenses, and Commitment Control.  Each chapter tied the module in with the rest of the system, explained the main setup options, and showed the pages used to make it work.

One of the key features of this book was the real-world examples and situations.  The author did a good job of explaining situations in which one would use these features.  You can always go to PeopleBooks and read about what the pages do, but the author provides additional value by showing you how you use the pages of the application to accomplish a business goal.  Throughout the book, you will find “Implementation challenges” where you apply what you have just read in a read-world situation.

The book seemed thorough to me.  It covered many of the functional areas where I have done development work, and I was glad to understand the functional side of those areas much better.  For example, the Expenses module was very interesting to me.  Purchasing and Pay Cycle information was something I was looking for, and while they were mentioned, I learned from a friend that those are more Procurement topics which are outside the scope of the book.  So, the book did a tremendous job at covering such a huge system.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn the basics of PeopleSoft Financials.  It will give you a great overview of the system and is the best starting place I know. Check it out!

Finding TNSNames Path

Thanks to this post on StackOverflow, I learned a new trick with diagnosing TNS Names issues.  First, you need to download this tool called Process Monitor from SysInternals.

Installing the program is pretty easy.  Simply unzip the program and place it in a good location such as the Program Files directory:

Process Monitor Installed

I always like to create a shortcut in the Start Menu.  If you right click on the Programs menu in your Start Menu, you can choose the open option to open it.  Then, drag with your right mouse button, and you can drop a shortcut in your start menu:

Shortcut for Process Monitor

Once you have Process Monitor installed, you can use the filter to narrow it down to show where it is looking for tnsnames.  Here is what I found that works:

Process Monitor Filter

Add the process name for the process that you want to check.  Use psdmt for Data Mover.  pside for App Designer.  PrcsAppSrv for the App Server launched by psadmin.

Then, if you put tnsnames in for the Path it will show where it is looking for the tnsnames file.

This tool works great for all kinds of situations.  I have also used it to diagnose other connection issues.  I found it was loading the wrong Oracle client on one installation.  I found it was looking in the registry in the wrong place for Tuxedo settings because I had the wrong version.

So, this is a great tool that will help with troubleshooting.


Great Link: Learning Documentation From a Croissant

I couldn’t even spell croissant without looking at the title of this article, but now I am going to learning something from it! I can’t bake croissants: a fable on project documentation

This is a great link to remind you how to approach documenting.  If I could add one thing — a picture is worth a thousand words!  For me, that means use Shutter like crazy.  The pictures help clarify things for users who are not as familiar with the topic yet they don’t slow down users who are more familiar with the topic.  It’s a win-win situation.

Furthermore, these principles apply both to traditional documentation and blogging.

Fusion and PeopleSoft

I ran across Tim’s post on the Myth of Oracle Fusion.

I don’t have any insider information, but my view from PeopleSoft was somewhat different. When Oracle purchased PeopleSoft, that’s when I began first hearing about Fusion.

What scared me at the time was that Oracle might take the PeopleTools platform that I had begun to love, and that they would drop it for something inferior but more familiar to their products. PeopleTools is somewhat unique from what I can tell, and the records, pages, and components form a very innovative platform for which one can build applications. Did Oracle really understand the benefits of this platform? Could they preserve these benefits and still combine it with their products to create Fusion?

Personally, I am glad that we haven’t seen Fusion yet. I would rather Oracle take their time and get it right than for them to mess up an awesome platform. Oracle has added some features in the recent releases of PeopleTools, and the platform continues to expand. For that, I am grateful.

That’s my take on it. Maybe I misunderstood the intentions of Oracle at the beginning, but that was my view from the PeopleSoft world.

Great Links: Feature Packs

I just watched the presentation on Feature Packs:

PeopleSoft Apps Strategy Blog: More About PeopleSoft Feature Packs

This article is a follow up from a first article that lists some of the new features provided via feature packs.

The one thing that I learned is that Feature Packs are more for people installing new versions of PeopleSoft whether a new customer converting to PeopleSoft or an existing customer upgrading to the latest version.  If you are keeping current on bundles you also get the new features.

So, the important thing in my opinion is to create a business process that can quickly install and test the bundles so that you keep your system updated.  This allows you to both avoid problems by getting fixes in and allows you to take full advantage of system with the new features.