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I have just finished my first PeopleSoft installation. I've been working with the product for more than 10 years as a developer but the installation was a whole new world for me. In the link that Nicolas provided, someone mentioned that you need to read the manuals. I can tell you I've probably read the PeopleTools Installation and the HCM Installation manuals at least twice. I have found that I cannot read enough or know enough. Let me try to simplify some of this for you.
The difference between PeopleTools 8.52 and HCM 9.1 Feature Pack 2.
Let's use a car as an example. Ford makes multiple models of cars - Focus, Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang. Each of these cars has an engine that makes everything work. This engine is similar to what PeopleTools does. It is what lies under everything else to make the application work. The outside appearance and features on each car is sort of like the application (such as HCM). Ford has multiple models of cars and each car may have different options to allow for different engines (such as a 4 or 6 cylinder engine). It's concievable that the same engine that works in a Focus will also work in the Fusion. The PeopleTools "engine" is used by different applications that are produced by PeopleSoft. They have a financial, HCM, and customer relationship application that has the same engine that works under each of these applications. In the same respect that a single model of car (like the Focus) could have a 6 cylinder and a 4 cylinder engine, the same application (like HCM) could have different versions of People Tools working underneath it. PeopleSoft produces many documents that tell you which version of PeopleTools works with which version of the application.
With that being said, the PeopleTools "engine" will take care of a lot of the common pieces of application development - inserting data into a table, table defintions, creating tables, displaying data on a screen. The application itself (HCM9.1) deals with the business logic. Things like how to set an employee's hire and termination date, how to determine the next employee id, what is a resonable hourly rate, etc. What PeopleSoft delivers in HCM9.1 Feature Pack 2 is all of the pages and business logic that is necessary to run hman resources and payroll.
Prior to version 8 of PeopleTools, you had to have PeopleTools installed on every client workstation. Version 8 and later, the application part (HCM) is accessed via a web browser. This saved everyone a lot of grief in not having to put PeopleTools on every client machine. Where ever PeopleTools is installed, it must have access to the database (though there are exceptions to this). In our car example we'll make the database the gas tank. Nothing gets to the gas tank except the engine. It's not a good illustration but it gives you a general idea. So the car (application) works by using the engine (PeopleTools) that pulls from the gas tank (the database).
For the end user, the typical infrastructure is to have a web browser that sends a request to a web server which forwards the request to the application server. The application server is where PeopleTools is installed. It can do some processing on it's own (in the case of edits) or send data to/from the database. Then a response is sent back to the web server and web browser. Because PeopleTools is installed on the application server, you must have the Oracle Client installed here.
As a developer you will also use PeopleTools to customize pieces of the application. You may choose to add new pages or make changes to existing pages. Because you are using PeopleTools (more specifically, the application designer), the Oracle client must also be installed on the developer workstations.
This is a very over simplified view of a very complex application. This example has not covered batch process like COBOL, SQR, or application engine. I've not talked about the process scheduler, Oracle SES or Verity, integration broker, or the report manager.
Your question implies that you have no experience with PeopleSoft. If you are working for a company, you need to have them send you to some training. Reading manuals can only carry you so far without actual hands on training from an experienced person. Without some formal training you are in for a very difficult battle.
Yes, I would look very seriously at asking Oracle to come in and do the initial setup for you. If you choose to follow that option, please do not let Oracle do all the work without your involvement. In essence this can be training time for you. Oracle may come in and do the work, but it's nice to have someone on site to administer the system.
If you are very involved with learning how Oracle setup your system and you're the local system administrator, you should be well prepared for the next upgarde that occurs (you'll probably upgrade within 5 years). Besides the training, you will have the existing system to use as a template for your upgrade.
Can I ask you a question? So does client side need to install
- Oracle WebLogic Server 11gR1 (10.3.4) Generic and Coherence
- Tuxedo 10gR3 for MS Windows Server 2008 wMS VS 2008 x86 32-bit
when they already have installed PeopleTools as well as Feature Pack 2?
Please get back to me ASAP. I really need to know an answer soon.