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.
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.
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
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.
is no secret that ERP vendors have identified the Internet as the next
step in their business survival. SAP has announced its "mySAP.com" 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.