Oracle Upgrades PeopleSoft Development Tools - InformationWeek

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Oracle Upgrades PeopleSoft Development Tools

PeopleTools 8.48 gives customers the ability to adopt SOA. It also forms the foundation for Oracle's Enterprise 9 suite as it rolls out with continued support for Web services in the coming years.

Oracle Corp. on Monday released a new free version of the PeopleSoft Enterprise development toolkit known as PeopleTools 8.48. The toolkit focuses on customer deployments of Oracle Fusion Middleware as interest in service-oriented architecture (SOA) grows.

PeopleTools 8.48 gives customers the ability to adopt SOA. It also forms the foundation for Oracle's Enterprise 9 suite as it rolls out with continued support for Web services in the coming years.

Web services in the toolkit are enabled through PeopleTools Service Designer and PeopleTools Integration Broker. "The unique factor about PeopleTools 8.48 is it's backward compatible to any 8.4 application," said Jose Lazares, senior director of product strategy at Oracle Corp. "Customers can maintain their existing PeopleSoft application, for example 8.9, and upgrade the tools."

Oracle created capabilities in the toolkit that let customers expose standard-based Web services to publish directly to any UDDI or WSDL-based registry. It's meant to lower costs by eliminating the need for adapters to connect applications. For example, a service like "create order" can expose a Web service called up by Fusion Middleware that supports the platform, such as WS-Addressing, Web services for Remote Portlets, and WS-Security, Lazeres said.

Software vendors, such as Oracle and SAP AG, are trying to convince customers to move toward SOA, touting responsiveness and cost benefits, which are all legitimate, said Jim Shepherd, vice president at AMR Research Inc. But customers don't feel a sense of urgency to switch. "We're not seeing companies say they don't want an enterprise application unless it's SOA based," he said. "SOA is also good for software vendors because it's a more flexible architecture that can quickly respond to change and easily configure products for specific markets."

Forrester Research Inc. principal analyst Ray Wang said SOA long term may cost customers more because processing, storage and bandwidth requirements will increase over time, and customers on processor-based licensing agreements for databases could feel the pinch in three to five years.

"XML publisher is a great example of how this lowers customer costs as it separates the data, layout and translation areas, and allows for more flexible reporting and reduced report administration," Wang said. "Data hubs, on the other hand, are a large footprint that requires upfront investments, but will lead to lower costs in the long term."

To keep costs down, Oracle will include in the toolset PeopleSoft Change Impact Analyzer, an analysis workbench for gauging in advance the impact of patches and changes to applications. Developers and IT administrators can use PeopleSoft Change Impact Analyzer with PeopleSoft Change Assistant, the standard set of tools for applying system updates and upgrades. By expanding on the existing integration of PeopleTools with Oracle Fusion Middleware, PeopleSoft customers have access to new functions, such as Oracle XML Publisher. Now embedded into PeopleTools, Oracle XML Publisher works with PeopleSoft reporting, offering users more options for custom reports.

Oracle XML Publisher lets users create reports, letters, invoices, checks and fill out government forms through standard desktop tools like Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat, generating multiple output formats such as PDF, HTML, RTF, EFT and EDI.

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