Saturday, July 20, 2013

PeopleTools Automated Environment Configuration

Don't you just hate it whenever you create a new instance of PeopleSoft or clone a production environment, you have to take the same manual configuration steps, like renaming the default local node, settings portal URI, configuring Integration Broker, configuring SES, etc? Wouldn't it be great if this could be automated?

That is probably what someone at Oracle also thought ...


With PeopleTools 8.53, Oracle introduced a trail version of PeopleTools Automated Environment Configuration.

PeopleTools Automated Environment Configuration is an Application Engine developed to read a properties file (that you create manually) and based on that configures the PeopleSoft environment. Currently PAEC (would that be the correct abbreviation?) can be used to automate configuration of the following sections:
  • PeopleSoft Integration Broker
  • PeopleSoft Test Framework
  • PeopleSoft Search Framework
Although PAEC was made available in March 2013, I happened to stumble upon it while surfing Oracle Support. I was not able to find any references to PAEC in official Oracle media, nor was I able to find any blogs describing this tool. Hence this blog post.

Before I start explaining how it works, I want to share with you the disclaimer Oracle states for PAEC:

Disclaimer
This material has not been submitted to any formal Oracle test and is published as is. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. Oracle assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a customer responsibility and depends on the customer's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the customer's operational environment. While each item may have been reviewed by Oracle for accuracy in a specific situation, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results will be obtained elsewhere. Customers attempting to adapt these techniques to their own environments do so at their own risk.

Important! PeopleTools Automated Environment Configuration Framework is not supported by Oracle and is provided only for trial usage. This feature will evolve over time and it is intended to be a fully supported feature in future releases.

As said before, PAEC is an Application Engine (PTEM_CONFIG), which you can run from the command line using psae. So all that you need is a two-tier connection. PAEC reads a properties file that resides in the path as defined in the PS_FILEDIR environment variable. By default PAEC tries to read a file called ptem_variables.properties. If you wish to use a different file name you need to create an environment variable called PTEM_PROP with the value of the configuration file name.

The properties file consist of there sections:
  1. General settings
  2. Template settings
  3. Individual configuration plug-in settings

General Settings

The general settings of the properties file can contain four properties
  • configure=true/false
  • verify=true/false
  • encrypt_password=true/false
  • decrypt_password=true/false
When configure is set to true, the properties file becomes active when PAEC runs, otherwise PAEC will not make any changes to the PeopleSoft environment.

When verify is set to true, the properties in the properties file will be verified with the current configuration of the PeopleSoft environment.

When encrypt_password is set to true, sensitive data in the properties file like passwords are encrypted. This will create a new properties file named <property_file>_encrypted in the same directory as from where the PAEC was run.

When decrypt_password is set to true, you can run PAEC with an encrypted properties file. This will internally decrypt all encrypted properties and use these to configure the PeopleSoft environment.

Template Settings

The template settings of the properties file contain variables that can be reused throughout the rest of properties files. You can use PeopleSoft System Variables like for example %Userid or %DBName to set variables values. You can also use environment variables to set variables values using %ENV_VAR_NAME%. Finally you can also use @webhist.<property_name> to assign values from the webprofile history. Ofcourse you can also use static literal values.

Individual configuration plug-in settings

In this section you actually define what parts of PeopleSoft you want to have configured automatically.

You have the following options:
  • Rename default local node and purge messages
  • Configure default local node, service configuration and all local nodes portal and content URIs
  • Configure gateway URL, load connectors, define node in the gateway, set default Integration Broker node
  • Set keystore password, proxy host, proxy port, and non proxy host information in gateway properties
  • Activate Integration Broker pub/sub domains
  • Configure Peoplesoft system to recognize SES, assigns roles, and enable Global Search
  • Configure SES identity plug in, defines proxy user on SES
  • Deploy, Undeploy, Schedule index generation for search definitions
    and search categories
  • Grants PTF User role to the ptf_user
  • Flag to allow untrusted SSL certificates for PTF
  • Set Page Prompt and Prompt OK steps during recording in place of
    menu navigation for PTF
  • Set Message Recognition feature during recording automatically
For a detailed full list of all the properties, see Oracle Support doc PeopleTools Automated Environment Configuration (Doc ID 1536517.1). This document contains a Red Paper describing PAEC and all the properties. This document also contains a sample properties file to get you up an running quickly with PAEC.

Running PAEC

I am running this on a sandbox running:

  • PeopleSoft HCM 9.2
  • PeopleTools 8.53.02
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Oracle DB
I have set environment variable PS_FILEDIR to this c:\apps\psoft\paec.

I have create the ptem_variables.properties file in PS_FILEDIR directory with property configure=true.

I have created a bat file that runs psae to start application engine PTEM_CONFIG with the following command line
C:\apps\psoft\pt\bin\client\winx86\psae -CD HCM -CT ORACLE -CO PS -CP PS -R 
SOME_RUNCNTLID -AI PTEM_CONFIG

And this is how you run PAEC to configure your PeopleSoft Environment automatically.

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