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Separate Ways: The PeopleSoft Split

Friday, May 1, 2015

PeopleSoft, the enterprise information system that supports all major lifecycle student events from admissions to graduation, and employee events from hiring through retirement, is undergoing a significant back-end change this summer.
In the current implementation of PeopleSoft, applications that support student-related functions (Campus Solutions (CS)) and those that support HR-related functions (Human Capital Management (HCM)) reside in the same physical database, sharing a variety of data elements and processes. As of this July, however, Oracle/PeopleSoft will cease product support for shared PeopleSoft 9.0 instances. Customers must move to separate instances of Campus Solutions and HCM in order to retain support from Oracle and maintain the system into the future.

Primarily a back-end change

University IT began planning for the project known as The PeopleSoft Split in early 2014. The complexity of the system, along with the myriad integrations existing between PeopleSoft and other systems at Stanford, render this a significant technical effort. End users, however, should see very little change in the applications that they use. A key goal of the project is to minimize the impact on Axess self-service users, report users, and PeopleSoft third-party integrations.

The project will effectively establish separate databases for Campus Solutions and HCM operations. Several tables common to both databases will be synchronized between CS and HCM and available in both. One benefit to be gained from this: separate paths can be established for future independent evolution of the student and HR sides of PeopleSoft at Stanford.

Reducing dependency

In the past, upgrades and patches required a lot of work from business offices on both sides of the PeopleSoft house — if a system change was required to support the student side, the HR side could not avoid being involved in all the work associated with the change, even if it provided no direct update to the HR parts of PeopleSoft. The same was true in the opposite direction.
Stanford's academic and business calendars don't always coincide nicely, so this enforced co-mingling of functions has often posed challenges in scheduling maintenance work for the system. The split will mitigate this conflict by reducing the dependencies between the two sides, easing the burden on the offices charged with supporting the business functions provided by PeopleSoft.
User acceptance testing of the separated environments is currently underway and goes through mid-July. Go-Live for the newly-split PeopleSoft is scheduled for July 28, 2015. Further information will be shared with the campus as the Go-Live date approaches.


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