#96 – Mom, I’m a spaces guy

This week on the podcast, Kyle discusses how he kept the Supplier Portal in Classic while going Fluid Nav for the rest of the application, Dan shares some Related Content feedback and some App Designer filtering tips.
 

Show Notes

 

#76 – Hybrid Cloud w/ Jim Marion

This week on the podcast Jim Marion joins us to talk about Fluid Development, embedding PeopleSoft into cloud applications, Event Mapping, where the cloud makes sense and Jim’s new role at GreyHeller.

Show Notes

  • Jim’s Background @ 2:15
  • New Role with Grey Heller @ 3:45
  • Thoughts on the future of PeopleTools @ 6:00
  • Fluid Development @ 9:00
  • Improving App Designer @ 11:30
  • Event Mapping and Branding Objects @ 14:00
  • Using the Cloud at Grey Heller @ 25:45
  • Embedding PeopleSoft with Cloud Applications @ 32:00
  • Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud Systems @ 43:30
  • Where the Cloud makes sense @ 47:30

Managing 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle Client

Beginning with PeopleTools 8.54, the PeopleTools client tools became 64-bit applications. This means the client tools require the 64-bit Oracle client. If are still running on PeopleTools 8.53 (or earlier), you’ll need both 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle clients installed. Managing both versions can be cumbersone, and often times frustrating.

Tim Slater offered a great solution for managing Oracle clients in the psadmin.io Community. Here is Tim’s method for managing Oracle clients:

  1. Install Oracle 32-bit client to c:\oracle2\product\12.1.0\client_1
  2. Install Oracle 64-bit client to c:\oracle\product\12.1.0\client_1
  3. Create a symbolic link c:\windows\system32\oracle to point to the 64-bit installation folder.

    mklink /j c:\windows\system32\oracle c:\oracle\product\12.1.0\client_1
    
  4. Create a symbolic link c:\windows\sysWOW64\oracle to point to the 32-bit installation folder.

    mklink /j c:\windows\sysWOW64\oracle c:\oracle2\product\12.1.0\client_1
    
  5. Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable to c:\windows\system32\oracle.

  6. (Optional) Set the TNS_ADMIN environment variable to %ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin

This works because of File System Redirection in 64-bit versions of Windows. If you are running a 64-bit application, Windows will route any system calls to c:\windows\system32. But, if you are running a 32-bit application, any system calls are routed to c:\system\sysWOW64 instead. Rather than manually configuring your applications and updating the PATH environment variable, you can let Windows do the work for you.

8.55 – PeopleTools Client DPK

 

In the Parts one, two, and three of our “Building PeopleSoft Images with the DPK” posts, we focused on installing the application and server components. In this post we’ll dig into the options for installing the PeopleTools Client using the DPKs. Starting with the PeopleTools 8.55-based PeopleSoft Images, there are two new ways to install the PeopleTools Client software.

  1. Update Manager mode when using the VirtualBox or NativeOS DPK
  2. Standalone mode if you download the PeopleTools Patch DPK

Behind the scenes, these options are similar. They run the same DPK scripts but they have variations in how they execute.

Python, not Puppet

The Client DPK does not use Puppet. To use Puppet for the Client DPK, you would need to install Puppet on the client machines. That wouldn’t work well with client installations. Instead, the Client DPK uses Python scripts to run the installation. Python is bundled with the client installer so you don’t need to install it.

Update Manager Mode Client DPK

Running the client install scripts from a PeopleSoft Image is Update Manager mode. The PeopleTools Client DPK will install a source client version and a target client version. The source client will match the PeopleSoft Image and the target client matches your PeopleTools version. The Client DPK script will also install the Oracle Database Client.

VirtualBox Client Install

 

The PeopleTools Client DPK is available through a network share. To install the PeopleTools client, open the tools_client share on the virtual machine.

  1. Map a drive to \\[PeopleSoft Image IP Address]\tools_client (I used T:)
  2. Open a command prompt
  3. Navigate to t:
  4. Run the command SetupPTClient.bat

You will be asked “Is this is a deployment for a Update Manager Environment?”. If you answer Yes, you will be asked to choose a target client version. The version you pick should match your environments PeopleTools major version (i.e, 8.53 or 8.54).

If you selected “Yes” and picked a target client version, next select the database platform for your target environment.

The SetupPTClient script will install both PeopleTools versions, the Oracle client, and Change Assistant. By default, the script uses these conventions:

  • PeopleTools Client Folder: c:\PT8.xx.xx_Client_[db]. The [db] value will be the Database Platform you selected. (E.g, ORA for Oracle).
  • Change Assistant is installed under c:\Program Files\PeopleSoft\Change Assistant. (I’m curious what the default path will be for the next PI’s. You can install more than 1 version of the 8.55 Change Assistant.)
  • The Oracle Client is installed under c:\oracle\ for the target client and c:\oracle2\ if you need the 32-bit client (8.53 customers). If you have an existing Oracle Client on the machine, the Client DPK will add a new client_x folder (x will increment, so you may see client_3 if you had two clients installed.)

NativeOS Client Install

 

The PeopleTools client scripts are located under the base folder. In my case, I chose e:\lm92u012 as the base folder.

  1. Open a command prompt and navigate to e:\lm92u012\pt\tools_client
  2. Run SetupPTClient.bat

The rest of the installation for the NativeOS Client is the same as the VirtualBox Client install.

Standalone Mode Client DPK

If you download a PeopleTools Patch DPK, or if you don’t want to use Update Manager mode, there is a Standalone mode for the PeopleTools Client DPK. With the PeopleTools Patch DPK, this is your only option. Here’s why:

When you download the PeopleTools Patch DPK, you get a .zip file called PTC-DPK-WIN8.55.03-1of1.zip. Inside this folder are the installation files for a specific client version (8.55.03 in this example). If you look at the tools_client hare on a VirtualBox or NativeOS DPK, you’ll see this structure:

  • SetupPTClient.bat
  • \client-853
  • \client-854
  • \client-855
  • source.properties
  • tnsnames.ora

The PTC-DPK-WIN8.55.03-1of1 folder in the PeopleTools Patch DPK is the same as the client-855 folder on the PeopleSoft Image. If you attempt to use Update Manager mode with the PeopleTools Patch DPK, it will fail because it won’t find the files it needs. That’s why Update Manager mode doesn’t work with the PeopleTools Patch DPK.

PeopleTools Patch Client Install

 

To start the PeopleTools Client DPK in Standalone mode:

  1. Run the command SetupPTClient.bat -t
  2. The Client DPK will ask “Do you want to deploy PeopleTools client?”. If you answer “Yes”, pick a database platform.
  3. Next, answer the question “Do you want to configure PeopleTools client?” If you answer “Yes”, you are asked for:

    • Database Name
    • Server Name
    • User ID
    • Connect ID
    • Connect Password

    The DPK script will create the Default profile in Configuration Manager and populate those values for you. If you already have your config file prepared, you can skip this step and import your configuration after you install the client.

  4. Next, select which type of PeopleTools Patch you want included in your client install. “Please make your selection for the PeopleTools Client deployment”

    • PeopleTools Full Upgrade
    • PeopleTools Patch
    • None of the above

    These options will determine what PeopleTools upgrade scripts are included with the client. If you want to install only the client, select 3. None of the above. The only difference between the “Full Upgrade” and “Patch” options is: the “Full Upgrade” option will include the updPTU855.zip project and Install Guide. Both “Full Upgrade” and “Patch” options include the minor patch releases like updPTP85503.zip in the PTP folder.

  5. After selecting options for the PeopleTools Client, answer the questions about Change Assistant, Change Impact Analyzer and PeopleSoft Test Framework.

After you select your options, the PeopleTools Client DPK will install the client tools.

One thing to note: if you choose to configure the PeopleTools Client, the Client DPK will overwrite any configuration you saved in Configuration Manager. I keep all our configuration in a single file (ps.cfg) that everyone imports. This keeps our client configurations the same. If we change or add an environment, everyone who has App Designer installed can import the ps.cfg file.

Script the PeopleTools Client DPK

 

With the PeopleTools Client, you may be pushing the software to many machines (e.g, other developers). To simplify that task, we want to script the installation. There is an undocumented flag -i that let’s you pass in a configuration .ini file.

The default .ini file is located under DPK_HOME\PTC-DPK-WIN8.55.03-1of1\scripts\tools-client and named PTClientSetup.ini. We can change the file and control the installation process.

In the PTClientSetup.ini file, there are a few sections that we can change to change the behavior of the installation scripts.

[GENERAL]

The [GENERAL] section is where we configure the main tasks, like installing App Designer, Change Assistant, etc. If you want to install a single version of App Designer and the other client tools, you can set the src_tools_client = YES.

[GENERAL]
upg_tools_client = NO
src_tools_client = YES
src_tools_config = NO
tgt_tools_client = NO
tgt_tools_config = NO
ca_install = NO
ca_config = NO
cia_install = NO
ptf_install = NO
ptf_config = NO

[SOURCEPTCLIENT] and [SOURCEDB]

Next, make sure you complete the [SOURCEPTCLIENT] and [SOURCEDB] sections. (The [SOURCEDB] section is required for the .ini option.) For example:

[SOURCEPTCLIENT]
pt_version = 8.55.03
dpk_extract_location = C:\DPK_8.55.03\PTC-DPK-WIN8.55.03-1of1
ps_src_home = c:\client-8.55.03
ps_app_home = %(PS_SRC_HOME)s
ps_cust_home = %(PS_SRC_HOME)s
dbtype = ORACLE
pt_icon = NO
pt_program_group = NO
deploy_type = NONE

[SOURCEDB]
tnsalias = HR92DMO
db_client_home = 
dbname = HR92DMO
portnumber(oracle) = 
sid(oracle) = 
service_name(oracle) = 
host = hr92t855.psadmin.io
userid = dan
password = 
accessid = 
accesspwd = 
connectid = people
connectpwd = xxxxxx

If you want to install Change Assistant or PTF, you can set the flags in the [GENERAL] section to YES. Make sure to fill our the configuration section for those installations.

BUG in 8.55.03

In PeopleTools 8.55.03, there is a bug in the Python scripts for an .ini installation. To fix the bug, modify the file scripts\tools_client\INI-Deploy-ToolsClientDPK.py. Change this line:

src_config_tools_client = ClsToolsClientConfig(srctoolsclienthome, srcdbtype, srcdbname, srchost, srcuserid, srcconnectid, srcconnectpwd, srcpsapphome, srcpscusthome)

to

src_config_tools_client = ClsToolsClientConfig(srctoolsclienthome, srcdbtype, srcdbname, srchost, srcuserid, srcconnectid, srcconnectpwd, '', srcpsapphome, srcpscusthome)

The init() call was missing a parameter. The value isn’t used, so we pass in a blank string.

Run the Scripted Installation

To run the installation with your .ini file:

SetupPTClient.bat -i c:\temp\PTClientSetup.ini

Another bug (or design) with the .ini installation, the -i install does not install the Oracle client. The capability is there (it’s in Update Manager mode). The Python scripts for the .ini installation don’t have the Oracle Database Client code. (I have an SR open on that bug and will update if/when that changes.)

Deploy Change Assistant Only

When you run SetupPTClient.bat -t, you can answer N to the question “Do you want to deploy PeopleTools client?”. The script will skip to the next question about installing Change Assistant. You can also script that with the .ini method. Change the flags in the [GENERAL] section and you can script the process.

Final Thoughts

I like the new PeopleTools Client DPK’s. The Update Manager mode is simple and reduces the steps to get new PeopleSoft Image’s running. I would like to have an option to change the folder names for the client tools, but that’s about it.

The PeopleTools Patch DPK and Standalone mode are nice, but I want to see improvements on automation. For organizations who push App Designer to many users, that’s a must-have. We are still pretty early in the PeopleTools 8.55 lifecycle though. I expect the PeopleTools Client DPK to keep improving.

Update: If you want to learn more about the DPK, check out our new PeopleSoft DPK QuickStart course. This free course will introduce you to the DPK, show you how to use the DPK with PeopleSoft Images, and show you how to customize the DPK for your servers.

 

#12 – Migrations

This week on The PeopleSoft Administrator Podcast we dig into migrations. Kyle shares everything he likes about Phire and the benefits of a version control tool. Dan discusses an alternative to Phire and Stat – Change Assistant. We also discuss the new Native Push Notifications update in PeopleTools 8.55.

We want to make this podcast part of the community discussion on PeopleSoft administration. If you have comments, feedback, or topics you’d like us to talk about, we want to hear from you! You can email us at podcast@psadmin.io, tweet us at @psa_io, or use the Twitter hashtag #psadminpodcast. You can listen to the podcast here on psadmin.io or subscribe with your favorite podcast player using the URL below, or subscribe in iTunes.

Podcast RSS Feed

Show Notes

HTML Compare Report Issue

The other day I ran into a situation where I needed to generate HTML compare reports. When I created the report though, all the support HTML files like the CompareViewer.html file were not generated. At first, I thought there might be a bug that was preventing the HTML compare reports from building. But I dug into the process and found that there was an easy fix. Before we get to that, let’s dig into the HTML compare reports and how App Designer builds them.

HTML compare reports are great for sharing with users who don’t have App Designer access. You can drop the HTML reports on a share and anyone you want to can view the reports. To view the reports, you open CompareViewer.html and you see all the information in the report. But if some of the HTML support files are missing, the reports won’t work.

Support Files

There are some base HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to support the HTML reports:

  • CompareViewer.html – Main HTML file. Open this one to view HTML Compare Reports.
  • projectHeader.html
  • projectList.html
  • projectList.xml – Contains all the HTML compare report projects in the directory.
  • projectList.xsl
  • source* – Support HTML, CSS, JS, images
  • projectName* – If you ran more than one HTML compare report to the same directory, each project will have it’s own folder. Each project folder will have any entry in the projectList.xml file.

UPGCOMPVIEWER Folder

In your PeopleTools client folder, you need to make sure the setupUPGCOMPVIEWER folder has the support files. When you generate the HTML compare reports, App Designer drops the HTML files into your output folder. Then, App Designer will add in your project and compare data to the output folder.

The UPGCOMPVIEWER folder has two sub directories:

  • report_files – The main HTML compare report files.
  • project_files – Used for each project in the HTML compare report.

If you wanted to customize your compare report output, you can make the HTML, CSS or image changes there.

Output Folder

You can’t change the output folder for compare reports in the Report Options tab (you should be able to though…). To change the output path, go to “Tools > Options > General” and change the “Report Output Directory”.

PeopleTools Client Install

If you haven’t figured it out yet, my problem was that the UPGCOMPVIEWER folder didn’t exist in the setup folder. I used the PeopleTools client install but it didn’t include the UPGCOMPVIEWER folder and files.

To make sure, I did a fresh client install with 8.53.24, 8.54.16 and 8.55.01. The 8.53 client installs did not contain the folder. The latest 8.54 and 8.55 client installers did include UPGCOMPVIWER in the setup folder.