An Introduction to PeopleSoft Maintenance

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If you're new to PeopleSoft, you may be wondering how PeopleSoft/Oracle bundles up their fixes and delivers them to their customers. Here's a quick rundown:


  • Fixes - This is the smallest unit of maintenance. A fix generally resolves a single issue.

  • Bundles are accumulations of Fixes for a particular module for a specific time period - usually one month.

  • Maintenance Packs are accumulations of bundles across all modules for a specific time period - usually one quarter.

  • Service Packs are complete application releases with all of the latest patched code. Sometimes new functionality is introduced in service packs, but the focus is generally on bug fixes. Service Packs are released about once per year depending on the amount of fixes that need to be included.


Fixes, Bundles, and Maintenance Packs can all be installed using Change Assistant if you're running the more current application releases. If you're running an older application release, the install process is similar to the following:

  1. Determine the maintenance level you want to get to

  2. Identify all of the prerequisites for that level

  3. Determine the correct order to apply the maintenance

  4. Carefully follow the instructions to apply each maintenance pack, bundle, and/or fix in Demo



Identifying prerequisites and determining the correct order to apply them can be a time consuming process. It generally involves researching each maintenance pack, bundle, or fix on Customer Connection and reviewing prerequisites. Then you have to check the prerequisites to the prerequisites. I generally track each patch in a spreadsheet with their prerequisites and post date to determine what order they should be applied. To make it easier, be sure to apply the patch that has the largest number of fixes at a time -- apply a maintenance pack if you can, otherwise apply a bundle, or finally apply an individual fix.

The following steps will be performed regardless of if you're using Change Assistant or not:

  1. Do some sanity checks in Demo

  2. Run compare reports

  3. Apply the maintenance in the next environment (development)

  4. Reapply customizations

  5. Apply the maintenance plus customizations in the next environment (test)

  6. Test

  7. Deploy to Production



Since service packs are complete application releases, you'll have to follow the upgrade methodology to apply them. The general approach is to create a new Demo environment from the CD's, run compare reports, and follow the instructions to create an upgrade project, migrate into a copy of production, reapply customizations, test the move to production, etc. The upgrade methodology allows for a PeopleTools upgrade to occur at the same time, so it's often a good time to combine a Tools upgrade with an Application upgrade and save some testing time.

Service packs are more than the sum of the fixes that make them up. If you apply all of the bundles or even maintenance packs that were included in a service pack, you still don't necessarily have the equivalent of the service pack installed. According to an conversation I once had with Oracle support, service packs have code that may not have been applied when you applied a maintenance pack (because you haven't licensed a module for instance), or it may not have been released with a maintenance pack.

Testing should be structured so that all modules that you applied patches for are tested, along with their upstream and downstream processes. A Service Pack upgrade should include a test of the entire application.

It's important to stay up with maintenance because Oracle develops new fixes based on the latest code-base. If they release a fix that you need for Financials 8.4 SP2 but you're on SP1, you won't be able to apply it until you upgrade to SP2. You will notice that after Oracle releases a Service Pack, future bundles will be dependent on that service pack.

Occasionally you can get Oracle to release a one-off fix for an older version, but it's not always easy even if your company carries a lot of weight with Oracle.

I hope you find this helpful. Please let me know if there's something I missed or if something has changed.
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Comment from Jag
written by Jag, June 12, 2006
Thanks for the info. It was very useful. Can you Pls. tell me the difference between cumulative and delta maintenance packs?
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, June 15, 2006
Good question.



Cumulative maintenance packs generally contain all of the fixes since the last service pack (or application) release. That way if you're behind, you can apply just the cumulative maintenance pack and get current.



Delta maintenance packs contain just the fixes released since the last maintenance pack.
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Comment from Jack
written by Jack, June 20, 2006
Brent,



A quick question, as bundles are not cumulative, does it mean that prior to applying PT846 bundle 13, bundle 01 - 12 have to be applied?



Thanks.
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, June 20, 2006
Yes, part of the joy and fun of applying PeopleSoft maintenance is identifying and applying the prerequisites. So if you need to apply bundle 13, you must apply bundles 1-12 first.

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Comment from Jack
written by Jack, June 20, 2006
Thanks for the quick reply.



Do you usually use Change Assistant (if available) to sort out prerequisites etc?
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, June 20, 2006
I always let Change Assistant determine the prerequisites if I'm using a version that supports it. CA will also keep you from applying a fix if a prerequisite hasn't already been applied. It hasn't steered me wrong yet.
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Comment from Steve Harris
written by Steve Harris, June 21, 2006
The re-apply customization part. Is there a way to combine existing projects so they don't have to be copied one-by-one?
Brent Martin
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written by Brent Martin, June 22, 2006
In Application Designer, try File > Merge Projects. This will allow you to create one big project with multiple smaller projects.
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Comment from Sultan Zeb
written by Sultan Zeb, August 11, 2006
Some people use PIA port for change assistant, I always a different port number for CA (PSEMhub)then PIA.

Which one is the good practice to use?



Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, August 12, 2006
I'm not sure if it's a best practice but I've always picked a Demo environment to serve as the PSEMHUB, and I run it through the same PIA port that Demo uses.



I like to use Demo for this for several reasons:



1) I don't want to have to maintain a separate environment for the PSEMHub which is used infrequently.

2) Demo is usually isolated from development and testing activities which could make it unstable

3) Demo isn't a production environment, so I don't have to follow any special rules if I need to shut it down, clear the EMHUB info, or even rebuild it.



Of course you'll have to do what makes sense for your organization. If you have a lot of applications spread across a lot of different servers, a single dedicated PSEMHUB environment might be the way to go.
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Comment from Sultan Zeb
written by Sultan Zeb, August 15, 2006
May be its not the right place to ask this question here.

We are in the process of trying to "upload" units (departments) into the department tables for PSGL. We have completed a upload to a test environment and this was successful however are unable to load to Production.

Please explain because our production is load balanced and its gonna hit load balncer first. We have two web servers.

Do you have any alternative way to do that.

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Comment from Melody
written by Melody, November 27, 2006
We are attempting to apply patches for the first time using Change Assistant. We have had MP3 cumulative and MP4 Delta applied and now wanting to apply MP5. Which patch should we choose that will be the least labor intensive? What will be the long term effect? Change Assistant only generated a list of patches, but nothing exactly named MP5. How can we be sure we are applying what we thought we were going to, say, FSCM MP5?
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, November 27, 2006
Unless something has changed, Maintenance Packs can't be downloaded from Customer Connection so Change Assistant can't identify and download them. But if you want to apply MP5, you can either ask Customer Care to send it to you on CD or download it from http://edelivery.oracle.com. You'll find it under the PeopleSoft Enterprise - Financial & Supply Chain Management 8.9 Media Pack.



Once MP5 is downloaded, Change Assistant will still apply it, although you'll pick up the process on the "Apply Change Packages" step.
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Comment from Bert Barske
written by Bert Barske, December 19, 2006
"Maintenance Packs can't be downloaded from Customer Connection"



Or you mean something else, but i get them from:



ftp://ftp.peoplesoft.com/outgoing/maintenances_packs/

or

ftp://ftp.peoplesoft.com/outgoing/ptools/



Your contact can give you the standard login/password



Bert

Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, December 19, 2006
Thanks for the tip, Bert. I didn't realize PeopleSoft had maintenance packs available on their FTP server. I've always either requested a CD from Customer Care, or downloaded them from http://edelivery.oracle.com.
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Comment from Frank Staheli
written by Frank Staheli, December 28, 2006
We are in a situation with a development database where we are sure that we applied several pre-req bundles, but CA is telling us that none of them have been applied (about 9 bundles), and we can't go any further in CA. Interestingly, the PSPROJECTDEP and PSPROJECTINC tables (seem to) indicate that only 3 bundles have not been applied (the only 3 that we thought hadn't been applied.)



Is it possible that a metadata database table did not get updated correctly when we originally applied the pre-req bundles? Or has become corrupted?



Another solution is to restore our stage database instance into our dev database instance, but (even though we have made a backup of dev) we are still worried about losing any custom objects that we may have forgotten to back up.



Any suggestions? Thanks.
Brent Martin
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written by Brent Martin, December 31, 2006
I believe which patches have been applied are tracked in PS_MAINTENANCE_LOG. The first thing would be to make sure your patches in PS_MAINTENANCE_LOG are in sync between your dev and stage databases. Then instruct PSEMAgent to recrawl to move the data to the PSEM hub.



If that doesn't work, you can always go the restore route. I'd keep a copy of the old dev database on-line for a month or two just in case you forgot to migrate some valuable development.
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Comment from Frank Staheli
written by Frank Staheli, January 02, 2007
Thanks for your reply.



We actually did go the restore route, and interestingly, after the restore, the PeopleSoft Update Gateway still says the same several patches need to be applied. We are sure that the restore (from our stage database, where all patches have been applied) was successful, so I have opened a ticket with PeopleSoft to see if perhaps there is something corrupted for that entry in their Update Gateway database.
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Principal
written by Mandava, August 03, 2007
well I am trying to do a maintainance packs for the customer who is on PT 8.48 and PS8.8 finance running on SQL server 2k and on win2k environment.Well I joined them at a point that they have already applied the MP8 &9 and bundles 19&20. They do not have compare reports.They applied on Demo, Test(Copy of Prod) environemnts.Now they gave me the demo, Test (both with Mps and Bundles) and I got an additional Prod Copy as Sand Box SBX and ran compare reports between this Test& SBX. Test as Source and SBX as Target. Got the reports in Excel.Now they do not have any details on the customizations they made(No comments, No add ons nothing to trace by them). What could be my best approach to handle this? How much time that will take? Plese advice - Regards, Mandava
Brent Martin
Good luck!
written by Brent Martin, August 04, 2007
First, start with the compare reports. Make sure the chartfield configuration process has been run in your Test environment -- this should eliminate chartfield-related false-positives on your compare report. Then create a new project and merge all of the individual maintenance projects into this one. Then run the compare report on the merged project between Test and Prod (or SBX I suppose). Once run, I like to use CutePDF writer to print them to PDF to make them easy to share with the team.

The PeopleCode compare reports are the nicest because they actually show you the differences. Record compares are pretty good too. Integration broker compare reports are actually quite lousy, and if you're on tools 8.48 you might as well ignore the Operation Handler one or it'll scare you into opening needless PeopleSoft cases. But I digress.

If you have absolutely no documentation, sometimes it's helpful to write a query against psprojectitem to see which custom objects in the maintenance project are also in other projects. I'll post a query that does this when I get a minute to fire up my old machine and dig it out. Sometimes developers will add comments on their project to give you a clue of the purpose of the mod, other times just seeing the other objects it's associated with can help. If you're not TOO customized, there shouldn't be a huge amount of collisions. And it may sound cynical but if you're simply bring customizations forward you usually don't need to know much about their purpose.

Regarding how long it will take: I just went through a process to apply two 8.9 maintenance packs and a bundle, and I got it done in Demo, Test, and reapplied customizations in under two weeks calendar time.
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Thank You
written by Mandava, August 06, 2007
Hi Brent, Thank you for the detail.U R right that we are not too custmized.. My target is to just keep the customizations only and make sure we move the MP Changes as well.So tat MP will not flush of our customizations. I do not have any clue or a line of documentation on the customizations.not even comments inside the PeopleCode or in the App Engine Steps and not even in SQRs.I ran the compare reports and now I have them handy. Converted them to Excel. I am just using the follwing matrix to keep the customizations:

Source Target Action
Changed Changed Check for Customizations and keep Customizations
Changed Un Changed Copy
Un Changed Changed Check for Customizations and Keep Customizations
Absent Changed Check for Customizations and Keep Customizations

For all combinations just copy to target. we are using a third party migration toolset. Not using PS. Am I doing right or missing any key components.Please advice.

--Regards Mandava
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, August 07, 2007
Sounds right but just to be clear: You'll almost always want to take PeopleSoft's version even if it overwrites a customization, then re-apply the customization on top of PeopleSoft's latest changes. The Absent/Changed scenario shouldn't be a problem, just make sure the project's actions won't delete your custom code. I don't think you'll see the Unchanged/Changed scenario because maintenance pack projects shouldn't include unchanged objects.

There are a lot of little tricks you'll discover to reduce risks in the process. Here's one example: When you are building the alter scripts in your target environment, don't let it drop any columns until after your customizations have been reapplied. That'll keep you from accidentally loosing any data from custom columns. You can always run an Alter with Deletes after customizations are complete.
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Senior PeopleSoft Lead
written by Shyam Modi, October 12, 2007
Hi Martin

Thanks for the article

I wanted to know if there is any way i can run the report on entire database. I want to compare the customised 8.8 and vanila 9.0

But i dont know the impacted objects and want to run the compare report through App deigner.

Please advise

Shyam
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Comparing Database using Compare Options
written by Frank Staheli, November 08, 2007
Shyam,

I'm not sure whether you can compare different tools versions, but assuming that you can...

1. In App Designer, select Tools->Compare and Report->To Database
2. Specify the database in the login dialog and wait for all the permission lists, etc. to load.
3. When the Compare and Report Dialog comes up, click the Options button.
4. When the Upgrade Options dialog comes up, click on the Compare Options tab.
5. In the Compare Type area of the Compare Options tab, click the Database radio button.
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Comparing Database using Compare Options - One other thing
written by Frank Staheli, November 08, 2007
I ran across a problem in Tools 8.46.05 in that if the project you have open does not have any definitions in it, the Compare button will be greyed out, even if you are doing a full database compare.

And beware, a full database compare takes a LONG TIME.
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doubts and text books reg
written by kishore, November 12, 2007
Hi friends,
this is kishore joined in people soft recently to learn but i am little late in joining that batch so little confusion in understanding the basics can u suggest any ood test book to understand the basics perfectly?
regards,
kishore.p
Brent Martin
re: doubts and text books reg
written by Brent Martin, November 17, 2007
I haven't looked for PeopleSoft books in a long time, and there seem to be some new ones. Unfortunately I haven't read any of them so I can't make any recommendations. You might check out Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.c...leSoft&z=y
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Bundle to Maintenance Pack Mapping?
written by Shawn, March 01, 2008
If I apply all the released bundles am I essentially at the latest maintenance pack? I asssume so since MPs are packs of bundles. Is there an easy way to tell which maintenance pack I am on if I've been applying all the bundles? Or do we need to map the individual fixes in each.
Brent Martin
RE: Bundle to Maintenance Pack Mapping
written by Brent Martin, March 12, 2008
If you apply all of the bundles, yes you are essentially at the latest maintenance pack. Service packs are different though. If you apply all of the maintenance packs you aren't necessarily at the Service Pack level.

I was thinking the maintenance pack release notes told which bundles were included. If you don't find them there try calling customer care -- I believe those folks can tell you.
Shawn Cosmas
RE: Bundle to Maintenance Pack Mapping
written by Shawn Cosmas, March 12, 2008
Thanks for the response. You are correct it looks like the release notes list out the bundles and individual fixes included in the maintenance pack. I am looking at MP6 and 7 for HRMS 8.9. The breakdown is as follows:

MP6:
HRMS 8.9 Bundles #1 through #8
Many other individual fixes

MP7:
HRMS 8.9 Bundles #9 and #10
Many other individual fixes

Do you know are the extra fixes in MP6 some of those included in Bundle #9 (that were perhaps resolved prior to the bundle was created), or are the listed indivdual fixes in MP7 just those that are included Bundle #9 and #10? It seems odd that the MPs list bundles as well as individual fixes.

I checked some of the individual incidents listed in the MP6 to see which
bundle they are in, and I couldn't find any mapping. I guess the short answer is stick with the MPs if possible as you recommended above.

Thanks!
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...
written by Dana, April 11, 2008
We are on HCM 8.9 MP5. We have a few mods in place. Our IT has stated that they only apply the Deltas and will only apply the Deltas for MP6, MP7, MP8, MP9 and MP10. Though I am new to PeopleSoft, I am wondering the logic/methodology behind this approach. In other orgs, an MP6 Delta would be applied after the MP6 was installed and so on and so forth. Deltas to me denote that they are "changes" (implied "fixes") to the designated MP. Can you provide some additional insight and reasoning? We have had issues in the past and I would say our current environment is far from maintenance-free. I want to be sure we are following the correct methodology for applying any fix, bundle, MP or SP.
Thanks for your time!
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, April 12, 2008
I think you're OK. In the PeopleSoft world, a "Delta" means "Everything since the last maintenance pack", and a "Cumulative" means all of the maintenance packs starting with MP1 through the current one. So if you haven't applied any maintenance packs, you could grab MP6 Cumulative and apply it and you'd be current (assuming MP6 is current).

Off-cycle changes to a designated MP would be delivered through bundles or individual fixes.
Sarah
How often should companies consider updating PeopleSoft HCM to the most current Maintenance packs?
written by Sarah, May 29, 2008
Aside from upgrading PeopleSoft to a newer version, how often should companies using PeopleSoft HCM consider installing fixes / maintenance packs / service packs / tax updates? Is there any sort of standard for applying the maintenance packs? Or do companies just apply them on an 'as need' basis?
Brent Martin
RE: How often should companies consider updating PeopleSoft HCM to the most current Maintenance packs?
written by Brent Martin, May 29, 2008
In HCM, Tax Updates should be applied roughly whenever one is released. They have few (if any) prerequisites and they do impact employee's paychecks so it's not good to wait until it makes a noticeable difference.

How often other maintenance "should" be applied depends on what your company perceives the benefit to be.

In practice, I see very few companies applying any non-regulatory maintenance after the implementation or upgrade unless they have a bug that impacts the business significantly and there's just not another way to work around it. It makes me wonder why companies bother with support sometimes (especially after the first year). Of course nobody sets out to never apply maintenance, it just happens because it's usually a big effort with minimal justification after go-live. 4 or 5 medium-priority bugs don't justify a 2-3 month project.

Sometimes annual processes like W2's or 1099's require more than the standard regulatory updates to make them work. And sometimes you'll want to turn on new functionality only to discover it doesn't work right on your current patch level. But usually it's easier to write your own workaround for the issue at hand instead of applying months (or years) of prerequisites for one little fix.

PeopleTools upgrades are no different in that companies still wait for good reasons to apply them. But there are often more good reasons to upgrade PeopleTools, and the testing footprint can be isolated to IT so the project is much shorter making it easier to justify. A common reason to upgrade Tools is that sometimes a Tools upgrade is required to stay supported whenever you want to upgrade other components in your platform like Operating System or database version. Or you might want to take advantage of Oracle's new Fusion middleware enhancements.

If anybody has a different experience or some good reasons to stay current with maintenance I'd love to hear them!
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How do you handle various customizations in the Application?
written by Yatish, September 09, 2008
We are looking at applying bundle 1 through 26 on our FSCM 8.9 version. We indeed, like others have a lot of customizations in the system & I was wondering how we would need to apply the bundles. One thing was suggested by oracle that , we remove the customizations, apply the bundles and then reapply the customizations. Can anyone share their experiences in this scenario please? Any other hints/suggestions?
Brent Martin
RE: How do you handle various customizations in the Application
written by Brent Martin, October 23, 2008
Here's how that usually works: First, you apply the customizations into a demo environment where there are no customizations. Then you run compare reports against the bundle projects against your production and development databases to see what the changes are. Then you apply the bundles to your development database, reapply the customizations, and put all of your reapplied customizations into a project. Then you apply the bundles to a test environment, and migrate your customization project from development to test. Once testing is complete, apply the bundles to production and migrate your customization project in the same way you did in testing.
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How to find the Bundle ID
written by suman, December 30, 2008
Hi Brent,
Can you please let me know is there any table(or any other way) where we can find the Bundle ID?
0
...
written by Aqeel, January 28, 2009
Hi Suman,

PS_MAINTENANCE_LOG table has the information (update ID, description, date applied etc.) on all the bundles/patches/tax-update/MP that are applied in the system.
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...
written by Carlos VArgas, March 23, 2009
Please a need help, I'am installing Peoplesoft, i have the Maintenance Pack 8 and the Maintenance Pack 6 Multi-Languages.

My question is which should i intall if i want my application in Spanish. First MP8 an after MP6-ML or just MP6-ML

Excuse my English

Thanks
Brent Martin
RE: Multi-Languages
written by Brent Martin, March 23, 2009
Just install MP6-ML. If you have a ML environment, only install the ML maintenance packs.
0
...
written by Carlos Vargas, March 24, 2009
Brent Thanks for the answer.
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...
written by Carlos Vargas, March 24, 2009
Hi Brent, another question the same applies to the Bundles only install the ML if my environment is ML.
Thanks
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Manager
written by RamRaj, June 01, 2009
Brent,

We are trying to do away with Oracle support and look at other companies offering support solutions that cover applying maintenance packs, tax updates etc. Is this even possible? Are there external companies that offer this service? And any companies that you know who provide this service?
Brent Martin
RE: Oracle Support
written by Brent Martin, June 01, 2009
There are alternatives to Oracle support. I'm sure you realize that once you sever the ties with Oracle for support, you no longer have access to PeopleTools and Application Updates (bundles, maintenance packs, tax updates, etc.). But if your system is relatively stable, that's not the end of the world. There are providers that will provide tax updates and develop custom fixes for you as needed. The two I'm familiar with are NetCustomer (http://www.netcustomer.com) and Rimini Street (http://riministreet.com).

Summit Technology (http://www.summitsti.com) is a company I've worked with in the past that does a nice job in this space. They partner with Rimini Street to provide a complete PeopleSoft Support solution without the Oracle maintenance fees. Contact Steve Beard at sbeard@summitsti.com for more information about their offerings.
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PS Admin
written by JJ, June 11, 2009
Hi Brent,

This is a great resource, thanks!

We are far behind applying Maintenance Packs. I would like to get us current, but it will be a long project. I was thinking, is it safer/faster to apply bundles instead of MPs? For my small team, doing individual bundles may be a better plan since it will aloow us to be more flexible with other defects, etc. We may be able to get 3 bundles done in the same time we can do 1 MP (that contains 2).

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again,

JJ
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EPM 8.8 to 9.0 Upgrade
written by Ashok, August 11, 2009
Hi
This is Ashok.We are on a task to upgrade EPM 8.8x-9.0 version.I have some queries which im not able to solve them.Im new for an upgrade application.Please help me up.

1.Target App MP level that comes with upgrade
2.Current Latest Maintenance Pack release on top of what comes with Upgrade (Bridge Gap)
3.MP Bridge Gap - Impact analysis, any structural changes
4.Required for install/ Required for Upgrade patches

Thanks,
Ashok K.
Brent Martin
RE: EPM 88 to 9.0 Upgrade
written by Brent Martin, August 11, 2009
Maintenance during an upgrade is more complicated than you might expect and it certainly deserves it's own post. But in a nutshell, the recommended approach is to upgrade to the target release with no maintenance except for the required at install/upgrade patches. Then keep it static, it will be your source for future "Move to Production" runs. Then make a copy of your upgraded database and apply all of the maintenance. Finally, reapply your customizations on top of this.

Future move to production runs will go like this: 1) Perform the "Move to Production"; 2) Apply Maintenance; 3) Migrate customizations.

Roy Joslin has some great PeopleSoft upgrade posts over at PSWisdom. Check out http://pswisdom.com/?cat=31.
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DBA
written by Frank, January 14, 2010
Maybe I missed something but there has not been much mention of PeopleTools security vulnerabilities and/or issues regarding impact to IT infrastructure. Specifically, when going to a 3rd party support like Rimini. I can't find any information on their site either regarding PeopleTools. All the support options refer to the various applications and versions. Since they don't have the source code how can they fix these types of vulnerabilities?
Brent Martin
...
written by Brent Martin, January 18, 2010
PeopleTools support was always my concern, too. I talked to Punita Pandey, CEO of netCustomer a while back (you can find the article here: http://www.erpassociates.com/p...ition.html). Like any good CEO she talked around the problem a good bit. But here's what I remember from our discussion:

1) These 3rd party support vendors look for stable installations. If you've just gone live on the latest and greatest versions, don't expect to get your support from Rimini Street or netCustomer. But if you've been running for a while and the only maintenance you care about is tax updates, these guys are going to love you.

2) There is actually quite a bit of PeopleTools code that is accessible. iScripts come to mind. As is almost all of the PeopleTools data model. And at one time you could download and apply weblogic fixes even if you weren't current on PS support (although now that Oracle owns BEA that might be a different story). At any rate, it's not out of the question that 3rd party support vendors could fix PeopleTools issues.

3) There are a lot of customers that only deploy PeopleSoft internally and don't necessarily keep up with PeopleTools security updates. There are other ways to control and monitor employee activity.

But if your company doesn't fit into these categories, 3rd party support might not be for you. Here's another consideration: I've known companies that wanted to go back to Oracle when it came time to Upgrade, and Oracle made them pay every bit of the missed maintenance. Maintenance is a revenue stream that Oracle guards jealously.
David Eade
3rd Party Support
written by eadmon, November 01, 2010
Hi Brent,

My company just went with a 3rd Party PS support. Being the Application Admin - I apply all patches bundles tax update - blah blah blah...The support company has provided the latest tax update for the states we need payroll, and supplied the CREF expiration patch. Both are fine and seem to function as well as Oracles patches. My concern with it is - no entries in PS_MAINTENANCE_LOG!! That concerns me because I have many environments and without outside documentation I may forget where and when I applied something. I've always relied on the log to keep me stright in where I was - patch levels. Not sure if I can manually update the log ...but it is a concern and something to consider. ALSO - if you ask the 3rd party support a question on setting up something -they will not answer unless you also have a consulting contract, Oracle would always answer - even though it might take a while. Ask the right questions if anyone decides to go 3rd party or it may cost you more than you think.
0
Bulk update of tools
written by Nikola, November 05, 2010
Thanks for the article! I've googled maintenance pack best practices, to double-check my sanity, as the shop I've just joined did this... and I have no idea why, how, or if I'm missing something:
They've applied HCM Maintenance pack to Demo (good)
They've created a Copy of Production (COP) (good)
They've, erm.... bulk-copied all the tools tables from MP-ed demo, to COP, and told developers to figure out the customizations... (bad??)

During refreshes, etc, it's common to export settings tables from target environment; bulk-overwrite it from source (production, usually); then import the settings tables again. I have no idea if they've exported the settings tables in this case, but it just doesn't seem kosher. I doubt there's any convincing reason to follow up that strategy up the chain, especially into prod. Any tips? Have you seen it done this way in the past, or would you say it's pretty much always just the PROJECT that's copied from demo to COP?

Thanks for any tips/thoughts smilies/smiley.gif

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