#53 – UMRUG 2016 Fall Recap

This week on the podcast, Charlie Sinks joins us to talk about everything we learned at the Upper Midwest Regional User Group meeting. We talk about PeopleTools 8.56, changes in Lifecycle Management, Fluid adoption, Elasticsearch, Dan’s DPK session, and much more.

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.

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Show Notes

  • Benefits of the Roundtable @ 3:30
  • Roundtable Topics:
    • Extending 9.1 Support @ 5:15
    • Current Versions of PeopleTools @ 6:30
    • Fluid, Fluid, and more Fluid @ 8:45
    • Classic Plus @ 10:45
    • Classic Pages and Support @ 14:00
    • Elasticsearch in 8.55.11 @ 17:45
    • Getting started with Decoupled Homes @ 25:30
    • Conditional Navigation @ 32:00
    • 9.2 Upgrade and Tools? @ 35:45
    • PeopleTools 8.56 Details @ 39:30
      • Selective Adoption
      • ACM
      • Event Mapping
      • BI Publisher
      • The “PeopleSoft” name
  • Dan’s DPK Talk @ 52:00
  • LifeCycle Management
    • PTF, Usage Monitor and PTF Upgrade Utility @ 57:00
    • PUM Environments for Testing @ 61:30
    • How to determine the PeopleSoft Image you are on @ 67:45
    • Keeping older PeopleSoft Images @ 72:15
    • Best Practices for Lifecycle Management Red Paper @ 78:00
    • PUM Analytics @ 79:00

#44 – Changing Operating Systems

This week on The PeopleSoft Administrator Podcast, Dan and Kyle talk about the psadmin.io Stylesheets, Enterprise Manager 13c, and new portal behavior in recent PeopleTools patches. Then, Kyle shares his thoughts about possibly changing Operating Systems.

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.

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Show Notes

Simplify PeopleSoft Image Downloads

getMOSPatch is a great utility for downloading patches from Oracle Support. The utility will log into Oracle Support for you and download patches you supply. All you need is the patch number, and your MOS credentials. And, version 2 of getMOSPatch is written in Java, so you can use it on any platform.

getMOSPatch

Let’s walk through a quick demo of downloading a recent PeopleSoft Image using getMOSPatch. We’ll be downloading the Windows NativeOS DPK for HR 9.2 Image 18, which is patch 23263167.

  1. Grab the latest version of getMOSPatch.jar from GitHub.
  2. Open a command line and navigate to where you saved getMOSPatch.jar.
  3. Run java -jar getMOSPatch.jar patch=23263167 patch is a required parameter. You can specify multiple patches; make the patch values a comma separated list
  4. Enter your MOS credentials after running the command.
  5. Select the platform you want to download the patch for. 233P is the Windows 64-bit code, so I’m using that. The .getMOSPatch.cfg file will store the platform you last selected when running getMOSPatch.jar, so you won’t be prompted every time for the platform. To reset the stored code, add reset=yes to the command line.
  6. Next, getMOSPatch will present a list of files available to download for the patch. In our case, we are selecting a PeopleSoft Image patch, so there will be 10 or more files. Use a comma separated list to specifiy the files you want to download. If you want to download all the files in the patch, you can use download=all in the command line.
  7. getMOSPatch will download the patches into your current directory.

getMOSPatch Demo 1

Quick Download Example

Let’s clean up our first example so that we can easily download future PeopleSoft Images using only a patch number. If you haven’t run getMOSPatch yet, run it once to identify the platform code you will use.

Next, we’ll create our command for getMOSPatch to download all the PeopleSoft Image patch files for our platform. This example will download the Windows NativeOS DPK for HR 9.2 Image 18:

java -jar getMOSPatch.jar patch=23263167 platform=233P download=all MOSUser=<email>

When I run the command, we’ll only need to enter the password for your MOS account. getMOSPatch will download all the patch files we need for the PeopleSoft Image.

getMOSPatch Demo 2

#39 – Reconnect 2016 Recap

This week on the podcast, Kyle gives a recap of the Reconnect 2016 conference. Some of the highlights we discuss are a PUM Success Story, how to adopt Fluid, and SAML 2.0. Dan and Kyle also discuss the new PeopleSoft Image Videos and using WLST with the DPK.

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

  • AMA Recap on the Community @ 1:00
  • HR Image 18 – Video Overview and Admin Impacts @ 3:00
  • DPK and WLST @ 6:15
  • Reconnect Recap @ 14:00
    • Phire Networking @ 17:00
    • PeopleSoft Tech SIG and PTF/UsageMonitor @ 24:00
    • PeopleSoft Keynote @ 33:00
      • Cloud Count: 66 “clouds”
      • Oracle Cloud Manager – Cloud Computer only at first @ 36:00
      • Fluid as a new UX and strategies to adopt Fluid @ 40:00
    • REST and QAS @ 53:30
    • SAML 2.0 @ 58:00
    • PeopleTools Product Panel @ 63:00
    • PUM Success Story @ NYU Langone @ 65:00

Linux DPK: Dealing with Missing Required OS Packages

For those of you using the NativeOS Linux install for Update Images, you have probably come across this scenario. You start the DPK install and once you get to the Puppet installation section, the script comes to an abrupt end. What the heck! Looking in the log file, you quickly figure out your OS is missing some required packages. So now what?

In the PeopleSoft Deployment Packages for Update Images Installation document, task 2-3-3 walks you through how to get the required OS packages needed for Puppet. They make it clear that it is your job to obtain these packages and install them – you’re on your own. They then list a few steps on how to accomplish this. The steps pretty much come down to this:

  1. Install DPK
  2. DPK will fail on missing packages
  3. Find missing OS packages by reviewing the log
    • $DPK_INSTALL/setup/psft-dpk-setup.log
  4. Run DPK cleanup
  5. Install missing OS packages
  6. Install DPK again

Following the steps is pretty straight forward, but I don’t like having to manually dig through a log file and pick out the missing OS Packages. So, what I did is write a little shell script to extract them for me. This script will generate the list of missing OS packages and write it to a file. After reviewing the list, you can then use this file for installing the packages.

Here are the steps I follow to ensure I have all the needed OS packages when installing NativeOS Linux DPKs. These steps assume your current directory is $DPK_INSTALL/setup.

  1. Install DPK
  2. DPK will fail on missing packages
  3. Generate missing packages list
    • grep "is needed by" psft-dpk-setup.log | awk '{print $1;}' >> os-packages.list
  4. Run DPK cleanup
  5. Review list, edit if needed
    • vi os-packages.list
  6. Install missing OS packages
    • sudo yum install $(cat os-packages.list)
  7. Install DPK again

Unfortunately, you may have to repeat this process a few times to identify all the missing packages. Once I have gotten through a DPK install on a particular OS, I save off the os-packages.list file for safe keeping. I then make sure I install this list of packages to any new VM that I am doing a fresh DPK install on. Doing this before DPK installs will ensure we don’t see any missing OS package errors. I’m sure this list will need to be updated as time goes on and we see different versions of Puppet, etc in our DPKs.

Hopefully you found this post helpful! This little tidbit was pulled out of the PeopleSoft Deployment Package QuickStart course. Feel free to enroll in this FREE course today for more DPK goodness.

os-packages

Renaming VirtualBox DPK Images

If you are using the VirtualBox DPK PeopleSoft Images, you may have noticed the Virtual Machine names are not descriptive. By default, the names use this pattern: SHELL_8_55_xx. This name is the PeopleTools version the image is based on, but it tells you nothing about the application release. I prefer to use a different naming standard for our VirtualBox PeopleSoft Images, like: HCMDB-8-55-03-017. This naming convention tells me what application (HCMDB), PeopleTools release (8-55-03), and image number (017) a vm is running.

You can change the name of a VirtualBox vm pretty easily. When the vm is stopped (the vm can’t be running, or in a paused state), click the Settings button or select Machine > Settings. In the Name field, change the vm name to something meaningful. This will change the label of the vm in VirtualBox, as well as the folder name on the machine. It will not change the name of the hard drive files.

DPK Considerations

When you run the VBox DPK bootstrap script, you get a question that asks if you want to “Import the PeopleSoft Appliance into VirtualBox”. If you answer “Yes”, the new vm will use the name SHELL_8_55_xx. You can shutdown the vm after it is configured and rename it at that time.

If you answer “No”, you can import the SHELL_8_55_xx.ova file manually. The import page in VirtualBox lets you set the name of the vm. Keep in mind, if you import it manually you will need to create a Shared Folder back to the DPK files.

#18 – Large Scale PeopleSoft with Wayne Fuller (Part 1)

Wayne Fuller joins us this week to talk about running PeopleSoft in large environment. Wayne shared so much knowledge with us that we are breaking his interview into 2 parts. Dan and Kyle also talk about their experience with the Linux DPK and using the DPK for server maintenance.

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

8.55 – Build PeopleSoft Images with DPKs (Part 3)

As we have discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this discussion, Oracle is now shipping PeopleSoft Images with 8.55 and Deployment Kits(DPKs). Dan and I have talked quite a bit about our experiences using these DPKs with VirtualBox and NativeOS installments on Windows, so naturally Linux is up next. This is the OS that I spend most of my time in, so I have been excited to give it a try.

To get started, I took another read through the PeopleSoft Deployment Packages for Update Images Installation guide. Again, this can be found under Installation Documentation on the PUM Home Page. In this document it clearly states that Oracle Linux is supported for this installation. I normally don’t run Oracle Linux, so I was curious if it would work on other flavors. I gave it a try on both SuSE and Ubuntu without success. The bootstrap script basically fails right away, and I didn’t dig any further. So, I spun up a fresh lab install of Oracle Linux 7.2 and used that instead.

As with the other styles of DPK, the first step after you download the Linux .zip files is to extract the first file. Once extracted, you will find a setup directory which contains the bootstrap script psft-dpk-setup.sh. Before running this script, you will need to enable execution by running sudo chmod +x psft-dpk-setup.sh. After that, execute the bootstrap script and you are off and running.

I ran into a few issues with the installation, all related to dependencies(Update: More info here.). I ended up having to install all these packages to get past the issues:

sudo yum install libc.so.6 libgcc_s.so.1 libselinux.so.1 libxml2.so.2 libcrypto.so.10 libdb-5.3.so libffi.so.6 libgdbm.so.4 libncurses.so.5 libncursesw.so.5 libreadline.so.6 libssl.so.10 libtinfo.so.5 ruby rubygem oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall

After getting these installed, it was time to give it another try. Running the bootstrap script again was not needed for this. Instead, I simply ran puppet apply site.pp which needed to be executed from the /etc/puppet/manifests directory. This time everything ran to success.

I chose the default initialization process, but you may want to make a few changes in your deployment. The changes you are most likely to make are related to security. By default the DPK will create 4 local user accounts: psadm1, psadm2, psadm3 and oracle2. This may not fit in with your security polices, so changing this could be crucial. In the installation guide, search for Task 6-1, which will walk you through the changes needed in your psft_customization.yaml file. If you do choose the defaults, then take a look at Task 7-1. This will cover all the default installation directories, as well as the default users and how they are used.

As always, if you ran into any other issues or have other observations related to the Linux NativeOS install, please let us know about it in the comments below!

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.

 

Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows (Part 2)

In Part 1, Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows, we covered the service changes and TNS Listener change to resolve issues with the NativeOS DPK. But, I realized today that I approached the TNS Listener issue the “old way”. We are working with DPK’s now and there is a different method to manage configuration changes: Puppet and Hiera.

In the new 8.55/DPK setup, configuration changes are handled in the psft_customizations.yaml Hiera file. psft_customizations.yaml overrides the default configuration provided by the DPKs. So, if we want to change the Oracle Listener port, let’s add it the YAML file.

psft_customizations.yaml

---

db_port:               1521

Don’t forget the --- at the top of the file. The --- is a file delimiter; you can include more than one YAML “file” inside a physical .YAML. file.

Copy the file to C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\Puppet\etc\data or /etc/puppet/data.

Fresh Install v. Existing Install

The theory behind Puppet (and the DPK’s) is that you describe your configuration and Puppet does the implementation. In our case above we have changed the configuration of db_port. If this was an existing installation of the DPK (e.g, you’ve already build HR 9.2 Image 16 using the DPK), we should be able to change that value. Unfortunately, the Puppet providers for PeopleSoft aren’t that robust. (I hope that is a feature that will be released). If you have already installed your PeopleSoft Image, you can make the change above, but when you run puppet apply site.pp the listener port is not updated.

But, if you are installing a NativeOS-based PeopleSoft you can include this change. When you run the bootstrap script, you are presented with the question “Do you want to continue the default initialization process?”. Answer No. (This [poorly worded] question means: Do you want to change any configuration?)

At this point, the bootstrap script will stop and you can copy your psft_customizations.yaml file into the data folder. Once your change is in place, we just start the Puppet process using puppet apply site.pp

You need to run the puppet apply site.pp command from C:\ProgramData\PuppetLabs\Puppet\etc\manifests or /etc/puppet/manifests.

Fix NativeOS DPK Issues on Windows

The NativeOS DPK’s for PeopleSoft Images are a welcome change. With the NativeOS DPK, you can deploy the PeopleSoft Images on Windows. This is great news for PeopleSoft customers who run Windows; the PeopleSoft Image can be on the same platform as the rest of your systems. The DPK process is great. There are so many advantages with DPK over the previous methods, but there are a few rough edges in the DPK process. Here are some changes I made to our HR 9.2 Image 16 virtual machine. We ran the NativeOS DPK on this Windows 2012 R2 server, with no changes to the configuration.

Services

The DPK installation will create a Windows service for the PIA, but no service is created for the Tuxedo domains. And, the services are set to “Manual”. So, when you reboot the VM, the web, app and batch server’s won’t start. This is an easy fix, but an annoying change to make when the DPK’s are supposed to automate everything. In psadmin,

  1. Select “Services Setup” option (6).
  2. Select “Configure Windows Service” (1).
  3. Enter “Y” to change the values.
  4. Enter “Y” to change the values (yes, you have to do this twice…)
  5. I changed the service delay to 10.
  6. Add APPDOM for the Application Server Domain.
  7. Add PRCSDOM for the Process Scheduler Domain.
  8. Leave the Search Server Domain blank
  9. Enter “N” – we are done with our chagnes.
  10. On the Services Administraton menu, select “Install Windows Service” (2).

Now we have a service for the Tuxedo domains, but the service is configured to start manually. Let’s go change that.

  1. From the Start menu, select Run and enter services.msc.
  2. Find the new service “PeopleSoft …” and double-click it.
  3. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window.

We also want to change the PIA service to start automatically.

  1. Find the service “PIA Domain peoplesoft Service” and double-click it.
  2. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window. The same is true for the Oracle services.

Let’s set those to start automatically.

  1. Find the service “OracleServiceCDBxxx” and double-click it.
  2. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window.
  3. Find the service “OracleOraDB12cHomeTNSListener” and double-click it.
  4. Change the Startup Type to “Automatic” and close the window. The next time you reboot the server, your PeopleSoft and Oracle services will start automatically. But, you’ll probably run into this next error on the reboot.

Oracle Listener

After rebooting the NativeOS DPK installed server, the Oracle listener cannot find the database, which also prevents the app and batch server from starting. If you try to connect to the database you’ll get a

ORA-12514: TNS:listner does not currently know of service requested in connect descriptor error. This is a pretty easy fix (although I spent a few hours testing many different “fixes”). Change the port number for the Listener.

UPDATE: There is a different/better way to make this change if you haven’t run the DPK for your PeopleSoft Image yet

  1. In the tnsnames.ora file, change the port to 1521. The DPK default path is [base folder]dbtnsnames.ora
  2. In the listner.ora file, change the port to 1521. The DPK default path is [base folder]dboracle-server12.1.0.2networkadminlistener.ora. Restart the Oracle services and test your listener configuration. From the command prompt, try to connect to the database with SQL*Plus:

sqlplus sysadm/sysadm@hr92u016

Once you can connect to the database, you can boot the app and batch servers. Or, reboot the entire server and make sure all the services start automatically.

Final Thoughts

While there are some issues with the DPK process right now, it’s easy to get frustrated. The effort to build the DPK’s was incredible and a huge task. So, it’s not surprising that there are some rough edges with the DPK’s and the new PeopleSoft Image process. But, I’m trying to keep an eye on where these changes are taking us. The DPK’s are a very large undertaking from the PeopleTools group and will substantially improve the way we manage PeopleSoft installations.