Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Learning PeopleSoft Development Process

Recently I am working on building the PeopleSoft adapter for Oracle BI Applications. I need to drill into a certain level details of PeopleSoft application development for creating the new adapters. This is quite new experience for me.



PeopleSoft application is developed using the PeopleTool. PeopleTool is actually a suite of products. The Application Designer is what I need for researching its data model and process. PoepleTool lets you to query and view the definitions of various application objects within a single interface. You have Project, Field, Record, View, Page, Component, Menu choices within the Open Find window. I believe that all of these definitions are stored with the repository. I surprise that the search also uses '%' as the wildchar, like Oracle Applications.

I guess that their development cycle would like below:
  • Create Project - Project is the container of development work
  • Create Field - It lets you to reuse the Field definition for multiple tables.
  • Create Record - This like what we did in E-Busienss Suite development of creating tables. But PeoleSoft encapsulate their internal architecture layer details to records, so application developers do not need to deal with them directly.
  • Create Page - This is the step to build the UI.
  • Create Components - A component actually groups pages. I don't know why they call this component. So the inquiry page, edit page, child pages can be grouped together as a page flow.
  • Create Menu - menu exposes the component to the users.
  • Create Message
  • Create PeopelCode
The major difference is that the "database objects" are created and managed by the tools automatically. You don't deal with client side/server side design. When I was in E-Business Suite development, we built a lot of server side PL/SQL API. We followed a thin-client model at that time. PeopleSoft seems moved directly from the thick client server model to the M-Tier model.

This may explained why their development organization is much slim. The application tool and architecture can have a big impact on development productivity.
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