When you use PeopleSoft applications through Oracle, you gain access to applications that provide workplace management solutions. Originally designed for human resources and financial support, PeopleSoft now includes tools and applications geared toward general business operations. It concentrates on human resource management systems (HRMS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), financial and supply chain management systems (FSCM), and enterprise performance management systems (EPM). Over time, you might need to upgrade your PeopleSoft applications, so use this guide to learn more about the PeopleSoft upgrade steps.
What Exactly Is an Upgrade?
Avoid confusing an upgrade with an update, as they're two different actions. With an upgrade, you uninstall the old file and install a completely new one. Installation takes a while to complete because it contains a significant amount of data. With an upgrade, the application should look completely different than the previous version. An update, on the other hand, involves applying new patches to an existing program and making changes to files on your computer. The update file is relatively small, so the entire installation process shouldn't take long to complete.
When it comes to a PeopleSoft system, upgrading can involve migrating objects from one database to another, updating specific system components including software, or both. With a PeopleSoft upgrade, you will update your PeopleSoft software, then copy any new components into your database and adjust all aspects of the system, such as tables and indexes, accordingly. Whenever you perform these steps, you upgrade your database to a new release level.
What Types of PeopleSoft Upgrades Are Available?
An upgrade doesn't necessarily involve merging all the objects from a new PeopleSoft release into your database. Instead, it can simply mean you're adding a new page or record to the application. The three types of PeopleSoft upgrades include:
- PeopleTools: This upgrade involves moving to a new PeopleSoft PeopleTools release where you install new PeopleTools software and copy in new database objects. It also means you might need to update your hardware and/or software to function properly.
- Application: This upgrade moves to a new PeopleSoft application release where you install new software. It might also involve a PeopleTools upgrade. You usually opt for this upgrade when you don't want to override any of your modifications but want to take advantage of the new features found with a PeopleSoft application release.
- Customization: This upgrade moves your customized application aspects into production. It never applies to a PeopleTools upgrade. Use this upgrade when you want to move new or modified object definitions from development into production.
What Preparations Do You Need To Make?
If you're performing the PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade, you must use the PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) for all your application maintenance needs. PUM introduces hardware and software requirements necessary to prepare for the upgrade, such as installing the new release and images as well as planning future maintenance.
After ensuring you have access to PUM, make sure you have the proper hardware and software requirements. Look through the guidelines to determine what requirements you need, since these are the minimum levels required to prepare your PeopleSoft system for the new release. If you aren't sure what you need, download the guides directly from My Oracle Support.
What Steps Are Involved?
When you upgrade to a new PeopleSoft release, you must go through several upgrade passes to make sure the database performs as expected. To complete the upgrade, you must complete all the following:
- Initial pass: The first pass, called the initial pass, involves creating a copy of your production database. This is called the Copy of Production. From there, identify all your customizations by comparing the Copy of Production with a copy of the release you're currently using. Take the new PeopleSoft release, which is called the Demo database, and incorporate the new release along with your Copy of Production to create the first upgraded Copy of Production.
- Test move to production pass: Once you complete the initial pass, create another copy of your production database. This is the New Copy of Production. Using the upgraded Copy of Production created in the initial pass, incorporate the modified objects into the New Copy of Production. When this occurs, the upgraded Copy of Production becomes your Target. Repeat this process until it runs smoothly. You create a New Copy of Production each time you make a Test Move to Production pass.
- Final move to production pass: In this pass, you freeze your production database and include modified objects from the most current Copy of Production into the production database. The upgraded Copy of Production from the previous step is the Source, and the production database acts as the Target.
How Do You Install the New Release?
Once you know what type of PeopleSoft upgrade you need, have gone through all the preliminary steps, and have completed the upgrade passes, you can move on to installation:
- Download the PeopleSoft PeopleTools installation guide. Download the application-specific installation guide for each product release you plan to install.
- Install your new PeopleSoft software and Demo database. Follow the directions from the downloaded installation guides if you have questions.
- Swap out your New Release Demo database before the upgrade only if you're a multi-language customer and your base language isn't English. Select the base language of the New Release Demo database as the same as the production database.
Avoid installing any application fixes during the upgrade process because this can break the data conversion and other scripts required for the upgrade. You must wait to apply these fixes until after the upgrade is complete. The only fixes you can apply before or during the upgrade include Required at Install or Required at Upgrade.
If you're interested in undergoing a PeopleSoft upgrade process or still aren't sure how the process works, reach out to us at Dimension Systems. We have a dedicated team of highly experienced technical and functional experts who can walk you through all the steps. We also offer 24/7 U.S.-based PeopleSoft support, so we can help you anytime.