I regularly get into conversations with PeopleSoft customers, consultants and others about the future of PeopleSoft. There is no doubt that Oracle continues to invest heavily in PeopleSoft technology and applications and I don't think there's been a more exciting time to be a PeopleSoft customer. Is it just me or does it feel like that in recent years there's been a huge increase in the new release of new features, enhancements and new technology in the PeopleSoft products? This product is far from being in maintenance mode.
- Best in KLAS winners for ERP systems in the healthcare sector, a leading student administration solution for university campuses and the feature rich HR system used by some of the largest organisations in the world.
- Recent (since 2013) innovations from Oracle include continuous delivery of features through Selective Adoption, responsive mobile ready UI (Fluid), PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture, Pivot Grids, WorkCentres, powerful facet based search (SES), REST based web services, Push messaging technology, Activity Guides, PeopleTools Test Framework, inclusion of JQuery and Oracle JET, and more. And this is just referencing the underlying technology and development framework. I haven't spoken of the thousands of new features and enhancements across the applications themselves.
So, talking about the past and present is easy. But what does the future look like? Here's some of my thoughts on what might happen in the Oracle PeopleSoft world. I reserve the right to be proved right when these predictions come true and I reserve the right to change my mind as time goes by.
(Actually some of these things have already happened since I started writing this blog)
1) One click provisioning of PeopleSoft Update Images in the Oracle Compute Cloud. I've been saying for some time now that Oracle were very likely to allow customers to buy on a pay as you go basis a PeopleSoft Update Image on the Oracle Computer Cloud. You can now do this through the Oracle Cloud MarketPlace. Read more here http://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/obe/cloud/compute-iaas/deploy_psft_app_marketplace/deploy_psft_app_marketplace.html or access the images here https://cloud.oracle.com/marketplace/faces/homeLinkPage and search for PeopleSoft.
2) Easy Migration of existing on-premise PeopleSoft instances to the Oracle Cloud. Actually this already exists as of 8.55 and is part of the DPK toolkit. I think we'll see this process get easier in time. Read more here http://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/obe/cloud/compute-iaas/migrating_psft_app_occs/migrate_psft_app_occs.html
3) One click provisioning of individual PeopleSoft components in the Oracle Compute Cloud. Tuxedo, WebLogic, PS_HOME file systems, Batch Servers are all commodity items in the PeopleSoft stack. Yes... they can be configured and tuned but the platform itself is pretty much black-boxed as far as PeopleSoft is concerned (in my opinion). A natural step is for Oracle allow customers to provision individual components in the Oracle Compute Cloud and plug them together with other Cloud based components or even on-premise components. WebLogic doesn't even need an operating system either as since 11g you can run in just JRockit in hypervisor mode. I wonder what Oracle will do with one of it's most recent, Feb 2016, acquisition Ravello Systems, specialists in virtualisation, instance provisioning and cloud management tools.
4) PeopleSoft on Oracle Database Cloud (DBaaS). An Oracle PeopleSoft database in the Oracle Cloud. I predict we'll see this as a deployment option when installing PeopleSoft or when migrating an on-premise instance. An easy, low cost, pay as you go, hassle free database platform for all those test, development, trial, UAT, training instances of PeopleSoft and soon, one day, even production. Read more here https://cloud.oracle.com/database. I'll be writing in more depth on my experiences of getting a PeopleSoft instance operational in the Oracle Database Cloud soon.
5) Automatic patching of Oracle Cloud provisioned components. I predict this will be a service offered by Oracle and/or Partners. If the component is running in the Oracle cloud then why can't you pay some extra $ and have all the latest security updates and bug fixes automatically applied. As Dan and Kyle (psadmin.io) point out in a recent podcast this may well take other forms as such as patching a shadow component and hot swapping the old for the new. Either way, I don't worry if my electricity supplier has patched their sub-stations.... I pay for a service and they deliver. One day PeopleSoft component will be purchased in a similar way.
6) PeopleSoft Update Manager in the Oracle Cloud. I think that prediction (5) above will extend to include PeopleSoft application and PeopleTools updates. I wonder what this might look like as an automated service? A monthly subscription to keep your PeopleSoft application up to date with every new PeopleSoft Update Image?
7) PIA(web) based drag and drop development of Fluid pages. The beauty, power, future proofing and extensibility of PeopleSoft is the underlying PeopleTools meta data driven architecture. Ha !!! GENIUS!!! It made the transition form WIN32 client apps to HTML based pages relatively straight forward and it will make the development of a drag and drop web based page and component designer for building Fluid pages a natural evolution. We already have seen this with the drag and drop Forms Designer. Combine this with the powerful Event Mapping framework which allows customisations without customising and hey-presto you have a cloud application that you can extend and modify.
Happy to be proved wrong on all of these. But one thing seems certain to me. PeopleSoft has a bright future whether you're deciding to stay on premise or moving to the cloud.
Comments, suggestions, discussion and other predictions welcome in the comments below.
Many thanks for reading this far. :-)