Saturday, September 12, 2009

Support.Oracle.Com is here

How I welcome the new site for product support from Oracle! is a very very welcome change from the clumsy erstwhile metalink website. For users who were comfortable with the Peoplesoft's customer connection site, navigating and raising a Service Request in Oracle's Metalink site was a night mare, it was terribly slow and required tons of clicks to get somewhere, add to add, finding the required information and product was incredibly difficult on Metalink.
But the new site for product support is an excellent one by my initial experience. Oracle has really gone in for flashy Web 2.0 features and Ajax and DHTML are heavily sprinkled all over the site. User friendly pagelets, saner page layouts, DHTML driven menu bars and an extremely improved process to raise Service Requests gives a rich experience to the users. I am particularly impressed with the redesigned SR creation process. A new window which summarises the information and points out the fields that a user has missed to fill are extremely handy. The image below shows the new Ajax enabled Oracle support site with a refreshing layout and design, note the small bar on the left side of the page alerting the users of the status of the IR. All in all, a neat job from Oracle!

Peoplesoft 9.1 - Release Value Proposition for Time and Labor

Oracle's coming out with some welcome enhancements to Time and Labor in the 9.1 release. The release value proposition (RVP) document which highlights the major feature additions to the various modules talk about the following enhancements to T&L:

  • Integration with Oracle Workforce Scheduler: I had mentioned this in a previous post and it will be a major product enhancement and offering from Oracle. I am raring to see how this integration works in 9.1 and I am sure a number of customers would love to have this feature in their enterprise application suites for workforce management.
  • Adoption of Approval Workflow Engine for T&L approvals: A number of HRMS modules like Absence Management has been using AWE from version 8.9, while the T&L application development team stuck to the traditional row security and time and labor groups driven approval. It is good to bring T&L to the fold of modules using AWE as organisations will be able to maintain the approval rules under a single framework. It will be interesting to see though how customers who are using custom T&L Dynamic group driven approval routings will migrate to AWE - I see some retrofit work there.
  • Adoption of Delegation Framework in T&L: Oracle started offering the delegation framework in version 9.0 and it is a welcome move that even T&L has moved over to that fold.
I also read about a very interesting and welcome enhancement is a bi-party integration with Microsoft Outlook 2007 (they have not mentioned whether they will be supporting older versions of MS Outlook) - I had mulled about this possibility while piloting the one way integration with MS Outlook from Peoplesoft. It is exciting to note that in 9.1, the Outlook Calendar and events can be read from Peoplesoft - it's high time that enterprise products integrate with desktop applications and this is a move in the right direction.