The Hype About PeopleTools 8

  • Written By: A. Turner
  • Published: February 18 2000


Event Summary

On January 18, 2000, PeopleSoft announced a new server-centric development platform. PeopleTools 8 Internet Architecture will enable the development, deployment, and management of PeopleSoft's eBusiness applications for business transactions and collaboration via the Internet.

The new application is designed to offer developers and customers a single Internet architecture for Internet-based access, effectively lowering application development, deployment, maintenance, and training costs. PeopleTools 8's server-centric architecture will eliminate the need for client software installations. It will also allow access to PeopleSoft's eBusiness applications through low bandwidth networks, including phone lines and any platform supporting a Web browser.

Using PeopleTools 8, developers will be able to build, deploy, and support Internet applications with a common look and feel. The architecture will be scalable to support thousands of concurrent users and will authenticate, authorize tasks, and encrypt transmitted data to ensure secure access to PeopleSoft eBusiness applications.

PeopleTools 8's Internet-based "Enterprise Integration Points" will make cross-enterprise commerce and collaboration possible by linking PeopleSoft eBusiness applications to both internal and external third-party systems. The suite will include Enterprise Application Integration tools such as Application Messaging, Business Components, and Business Interlink. The tools are all based on emerging technology standards such as XML, HTTP, and Java.

Market Impact

It is no secret that ERP vendors have identified the Internet as the next step in their business survival. SAP has announced its "" with a full service offering targeting 10 individual vertical markets. Baan is attempting to revive its troubled company with their "E-Enterprise" offering. Meanwhile, JD Edwards is working with Tradex/Ariba and PeopleSoft maintains a partnership with Commerce One.

Peoplesoft's endorsement of Internet-based technology is expected. However, the announcement of 100% Internet connectivity with the elimination of required client side software is a new twist. Not only will it speed application deployment time (browsers are free and often pre-installed), it will allow access to anyone with a cell phone, hand held or browser equipped machine. This is an attractive prospect for remote offices, sales teams, and business partners. Look for other ERP vendors to embrace a similar strategy.

PeopleSoft's January 18th press release is confusing, as it states People Tools 8 is available immediately. We have learned PeopleTools 8 is in controlled release with Enterprise Performance Management, their business intelligence product. The toolset will be generally available in Q2 of this year with the launch of the PeopleSoft 8 suite.

User Recommendations

Current PeopleSoft Customers:

If you are a current PeopleSoft Client and you are interested in version 8, contact your sales representative for more information. The first question to ask is about availability, but don't stop there. Obtain a list of recent customers and ask them about the product.

Users should also be aware of a potentially hidden cost. Within the January announcement, PeopleSoft states, "PeopleTools 8 speeds the migration of existing customers to the Internet and protects their investment in PeopleSoft by preserving their business rules and customizations." This is a valid statement, but in order to preserve the rules, a certain amount of application logic must be "mapped" into XML. For customized applications this could represent a significant amount of coding and require a complex understanding of the business rules. Find out what resources are required to preserve the business rules and most importantly, who pays for it.

New Customers:

Organizations considering ERP applications (both web based and network dependent) should consider all options. PeopleSoft's activities are promising. The notion of a full Internet based solution could save time and money on the integration. An additional consideration might be the complete outsourcing of the ERP application with an Application Service Provider (ASP).

Another attractive potential is PeopleSoft's partnership with Commerce One. New and existing customers should explore what benefits this represents and use the combined features of the PeopleSoft/CommerceOne marketplace to negotiate comparable, or reduced pricing with other vendors.

Finally, consideration should be given to the products availability and endorsement of "web standards." Should a different XML standard be adopted (industry wide) after installation, identify who will be responsible for accommodating the change and what measures have been engineered into the application to support evolving standards.


comments powered by Disqus