#87 – PeopleTools 8.56

PeopleTools 8.56 has been released. This week on the podcast we talk about new features in 8.56 that we are excited about and dive into some of the changes to Deployment Packages.

Show Notes

  • 8.56 is out! @ 2:00
  • Platform Changes @ 4:45
  • Fluid Changes @ 7:00
  • Event Mapping API? @ 11:00
  • Searching Improvements @ 11:45
  • PUM @ 14:00
  • Portal Changes @ 18:30
  • Unified Navigation @ 21:00
  • PTSYS Database @ 26:30
  • Classic Plus @ 30:15
  • PSCBO @ 34:30
  • Role/PL Aliases @ 35:15
  • Event Mapping @ 37:45
  • VCD Still Around @ 40:00
  • Change Assistant @ 41:45
  • Deployment Packages @ 48:00
  • RECONNECT @ 68:00

#74 – Killing COBOL

This week on the podcast, Kyle and Dan talk about planning PeopleTools and Catch-up projects, BI Publisher security, and how to turn off excessive BI Publisher logging. We also talk about slowly killing COBOL with PeopleSoft (it’s not dead yet) and using multiple Change Assistant installations.

Show Notes

#62 – PeopleTools Patch Testing

This week on the podcast, Dan and Kyle talk about load balancing all environments or some environments, Diagnostic Plugins and syntax coloring code. Then, they dive into the getting current and how to test PeopleTools Patches.

Show Notes

Announcing the Deployment Packages Course

We are excited to announce a new course, Mastering PeopleSoft Administration: Deployment Packages. This course will teach you how to make Deployment Packages (DPK) work for you. We begin the course by exploring the different components that make up the DPK, how you can configure the DPK, and how to enhance it. Then, the course shows you how to extend the DPK beyond it’s current functionality and use it to build servers exactly the way you need them.

Out of the box, the DPK is great for building demo environments. But most organizations have requriements for their environments that go beyond what the DPK can do. Those requirements can include custom signon pages, deploying additional software, and more. Learning how to use the DPK to deploy those requirements as you build environments can significantly benefit you. With the DPK, environment and server builds are repeatable, consistent and fast.

To learn more about the course, check out the videos below.

  • A course introduction video
  • A segment from the podcast where Kyle and Dan discuss why we built the course and what you can learn from it
  • A video on why you should buy a course from psadmin.io
  • Dan’s 48-minute talk on Enhancing and Extending the DPK

Last, there are 5 free lectures from the course available to watch right now. Click here to visit the course page and make sure to watch all the free lectures.

Course Introduction

 

Podcast Segment about the Deployment Packages Course

Why Buy a psadmin.io Course

 

Enhancing and Extending Deployment Packages Talk

Dan presented at the Upper Midwest Regional User Group about Enhancing and Extending the DPK (October 2016). This 48 minute talk goes over some DPK basics, introduces configuring the DPK and your possibilities for extending the DPK. If this talk is exciting and you want to know more, The Deployment Packages Course will go into the details of this talk and show you how to accomplish it all.

 

#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.

Podcast RSS Feed

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

Automate PeopleTools Database Patches

With PeopleTools 8.55, applying database PeopleTools patches with Change Assistant is easy to automate. In 8.54, Change Assistant gained the ability to apply patches from the command line. But with 8.55 and the PeopleTools Client DPK, the process is even better.

There are three main steps to getting your PeopleTools 8.55 database patched:

  1. Install the new PeopleTools Client (and Change Assistant version)
  2. Configure your target environment
  3. Run the PeopleTools patch command

Let’s look at each step.

PeopleTools Client and Patch Files

The first step is to install the updated PeopleTools client using the Client DPK (PeopleTools Patch Client Install section). When you install the client, make sure you select “PeopleTools Patch” or “Full PeopleTools Upgrade”. Both of those options will create a PTP folder under the client home. The PTP folder will contain the PeopleTools Patch (PTP) .zip files and Change Assistant expects those files in the PTP folder. Make sure you install the new Change Assistant version too. With 8.55, you can install more than one version of Change Assistant; I used the convention C:\Program Files\PeopleSoft\Change Assistant-8.55.xx for the install path.

1-ptclient.gif

Change Assistant Configuration

In the updated version of Change Assistant, you need to create an environment definition for the target database. If the environment existed in an older version of Change Assistant, use the new Import feature under “Tools > Export/Import Change Assistant Settings”. If you don’t have an environment defined, to to “File > New Database” to create it. For your target database, change the PS_HOME directory to the new PeopleTools Client folder. Verify and Save the environment definition.

2-caenv

Automate

Open a command prompt and navigate to C:\Program Files\PeopleSoft\Change Assistant. We’ll kick off the PeopleTools Patch using the changeassistant.bat file. There are 4 parameters we specify:

  • -MODE: The Change Assistant mode to run (UM for Update Manager mode)
  • -ACTION: The change action to run (PTPAPPLY for a patch or PTUAPPLY for an upgrade)
  • -TGTENV: The target environment name
  • -UPD: PeopleTools Patch ID (PTP855xx)

3-ptpapply

Check the softwareupdatePTP855XX{-DBNAME}IP output folder (defined under Tools > Options > Output Directory in Change Assistant) for the logs. Change Assistant will create the usual logs, but you will also find a job.log file. job.log is the same output that you normally see in the left-pane inside Change Assistant.

I applied PeopleTools 8.55.08 (to an 8.55.05) database and the patch job took less than 10 minutes.

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.

 

#21 – Temp Tables w/ David Kurtz

We are excited to have David Kurtz join us! David wrote the book PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA and is a popular blogger. We talked with David for almost 2 hours, so we are breaking his interview into 3 parts. In Part 1, we talk about Temp Tables, PSAESRV, and more. Dan and Kyle also talk about Microsoft and Linux, and Dan’s DPK patching experience with PeopleTools 8.55.03.

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 2)

As you have likely heard – and if you haven’t, go see Dan’s post now– the first 8.55 PI has been released. It is a big change from how 8.53 and 8.54 PIs were delivered to us in the past. Oracle is now leveraging DPKs to get us our images. As Dan had mentioned in his previous post, there are two options with this new delivery method: VirtualBox and Native OS. Now, you may see VirtualBox and assume you will still be downloading zip files and then running good old ova_gen.bat to generate a PI .ova file. This is actually NOT the case anymore. The new ‘old’ way is still run in VirtualBox but delivered via DPK. Here is a basic run down of what happens now:

  1. Download the Update Image VirtualBox zip files.
  2. Extract the first zip file, which should produce a setup folder.
  3. Run the `psft-dpk-setup.ps1` script via PowerShell. Note: I had to adjust my Execution Policy to get this to work.
  4. The rest of the zip files will be extracted.
  5. A bunch of validation happens related to VirtualBox.
  6. If validated, a shell VM will be imported into your VirtualBox via a delivered .ova file.
  7. You will be asked some networking questions.
  8. The script will launch the shell VM and finish.
  9. The shell will now be running and prompt you with a few more questions.
  10. At this point the DPK files are actually imported into the shell VM.
  11. You are prompted with a few options to customize your deployment.
  12. The DPKs are deployed and the PI is up and running!

That was pretty high level, but I wanted to point out that the VirtualBox method is using DPKs – similar to the Native OS option. So again, don’t expect to find a ova_gen.bat file and full .ova file to drop into VirtualBox. There will be a slight learning curve with the new DPK method, even if you stick with VirtualBox.

Luckily, Oracle does a pretty good job going into detail in the DPK for Update Images installation guide. To find this guide in MOS, navigate to the PUM Home Page and then your Update Image Home Page. Under the Installation Documentation section, you should find a link to the document – PeopleSoft Deployment Packages for Update Images Installation (PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.55). This is a fairly lengthy document, walking you through all the different use cases and requirements for installation. It also covers the PeopleTools Client DPKs, which we will be covering in a Part 3 future post coming soon.

As always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments below. I would be interested to hear how others are fairing with this new process so far, and how it may change the way they currently operate.

#13 – PeopleTools Patching

This week, Kyle shares his lessons learned from a recent PeopleTools patching project, we discuss the pro’s and con’s of Unified Navigation, new PeopleSoft Rundeck plug-ins, and changes to the 9.2 upgrade with 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