Tuesday, September 30, 2014

OOW14 Update: PeopleSoft's new Delivery Model

Oracle Open World 2014 is a truly storm of information. Not only because of the myriad of sessions and the struggle needed to get from room to another with so many people around, but also due to the clouds, which seem to be everywhere. Ok, that was a really bad joke, but really clouds are omnipresent in Oracle's vocabulary nowadays.

Still, within the storm, I managed to attend some very interesting PeopleSoft sessions. I may discuss some other findings in future posts, but today I want to focus on the new Delivery Model.

This model, based in the PeopleSoft Update Manager, has been around since the release of PeopleSoft 9.2 applications. Initially, I had mixed thoughts on the approach. Naturally, it's great to be able to download a periodically updated Virtual Machine and be able to review the latest and greatest functionality. On the other side, the need of downloading the image files (which account for more than 30 Gb) to apply a single regulatory patch increases the time needed to apply single patches for which you had all the prerequisites.

However, Oracle has started to deliver important new functionalities in the latest update images (or plans to deliver some of them soon such as the first FluID applications in the HCM Update Image 9), so the benefit of the new delivery model becomes much more visible.

Oracle has announced that today there are no plans to deliver PeopleSoft 9.3. Is that bad news? Not necessarily. Actually, if new functionality keeps flowing through newly delivered update images, it becomes a significant improvement over having to perform an application upgrade every 4 or 5 years.

The new delivery model (a.k.a. Continuous Delivery Model) allows customers to pick new functionalities individually, without having to apply changes for other function points. This greatly simplifies the update process, reducing maintenance costs over the old application upgrade approach.

Oracle has recently release a white paper which I found very illustrating on the Continuous Delivery Model. On top of that, today the announcement was made that the Cumulative Feature Tool available at peoplesoftinfo.com will include the image numbers as releases in order to easily identify new functionalities.

Time will tell what the final innovation pace will be. Today, with FluID and self service application being delivered or planned frequently, the Continuous Delivery Model looks like a nice step forward.

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