PeopleTools: A Complete Guide PeopleSoft’s Dev


PeopleTools: A Complete Guide PeopleSoft’s Dev

PeopleTools is

  • PeopleTools is Oracle’s suite of development tools for PeopleSoft applications.
  • It enables the creation, customization, and management of PeopleSoft systems.
  • Includes design, scripting, data management, integration, and reporting tools.
  • Facilitates application development, data exchange, and enhanced user experiences.
  • Supports efficient, secure, and scalable enterprise application solutions.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Development Environment: It’s a comprehensive development platform for building, customizing, and deploying PeopleSoft applications.
  • PeopleCode: The primary programming language used in PeopleTools, object-oriented and event-driven.
  • Application Designer: The central Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for creating and modifying PeopleSoft applications.
  • Core Applications: Underpins PeopleSoft applications like Human Capital Management (HCM), Financials and Supply Chain Management (FSCM), and Campus Solutions.
  • High Abstraction Level: Enables development of platform-independent applications, enhancing portability and flexibility.

Brief Overview of PeopleTools

peoplesoft tools

In the world of enterprise software, PeopleTools stands as a cornerstone. It’s a proprietary software development environment created initially by PeopleSoft Corporation.

PeopleTools provides the underlying technology for all PeopleSoft applications, making it a vital part of the PeopleSoft ecosystem.

PeopleTools Components

what is peopletools

Application Designer

The Application Designer is a central tool for creating and modifying PeopleSoft applications. It allows developers to define and customize the database objects, pages, and user interfaces that comprise a PeopleSoft application.

This tool is crucial for the initial development of applications and ongoing customizations and enhancements.

Benefits: Facilitates rapid application development and customization, provides a visual interface for designing application elements, and supports version control for managing changes.


PeopleCode is PeopleTools’ proprietary scripting language that developers use to add logic to PeopleSoft applications. It can be applied to various application events to customize behavior, validate data, and integrate with other systems.

Benefits: Enhances application functionality and user experience with custom scripts, enables complex validations and calculations, and supports integration with external systems.

Application Engine

The Application Engine is a tool for batch processing that allows developers to write and execute SQL-based programs for data manipulation and batch-processing tasks within PeopleSoft applications.

Benefits: Improves data processing efficiency, supports complex business logic outside the online user interface, and can be scheduled during off-peak hours to optimize system performance.

Integration Broker

Integration Broker facilitates communication and data exchange between PeopleSoft applications and external systems. It supports protocols and formats like SOAP, REST, and XML, enabling seamless integration with other enterprise systems.

Benefits: Enables interoperability between PeopleSoft and other systems, simplifies data exchange processes, and supports real-time integration scenarios.

Data Mover

Data Mover is a utility for exporting and importing PeopleSoft database objects and data. It is commonly used for data migration tasks, such as moving data between development, testing, and production environments.

Benefits: It facilitates easy data migration and backup, efficiently supports large-scale data transfers, and helps maintain data integrity across different environments.

PeopleSoft Query

PeopleSoft Query is a tool that allows users to extract data from PeopleSoft applications using a graphical interface to build SQL queries without writing SQL code.

Benefits: It allows non-technical users to generate custom reports, enhances data accessibility, and supports decision-making processes with timely data insights.

BI Publisher

BI Publisher (formerly known as XML Publisher) integrates with PeopleTools to enable the creation of complex reports and documents. It allows for the design of report layouts that can be populated with data from PeopleSoft applications.

Benefits: Offers advanced reporting capabilities, supports multiple output formats (e.g., PDF, Excel), and allows for the customization of reports without changing underlying application logic.

These components collectively make PeopleTools a powerful and flexible platform for developing and managing PeopleSoft applications.

By leveraging these tools, organizations can tailor their PeopleSoft applications to meet unique business requirements, integrate with other systems, and efficiently manage application data and processes.

Real-life use case for PeopleTools

real life use cases for peopletools

PeopleTools plays a crucial role in deploying applications. It provides the infrastructure to run PeopleSoft applications on various platforms and databases.

With PeopleTools, developers can create platform-independent applications that run on various operating systems and databases without requiring any modifications.

Here are some key use cases for PeopleTools, detailing when and how they should be used:

Application Development and Customization

  • When to Use: Creating new PeopleSoft applications or customizing existing ones to meet specific business needs.
  • How: Use the Application Designer component to design and modify database tables, pages, and user interfaces, ensuring applications align with unique organizational processes and workflows.

Business Logic Implementation

  • When to Use: When you need to enforce business rules, conduct validations, or automate processes within PeopleSoft applications.
  • How: Utilize PeopleCode to embed custom logic into application events, enabling dynamic responses to user actions and data changes, thereby enhancing application functionality and user experience.

Batch Processing and Data Manipulation

  • When to Use: For processing large volumes of data or executing tasks requiring complex calculations or updates outside normal transaction processing.
  • How: Employ the Application Engine to develop and run high-performance batch programs that efficiently process data in the background, minimizing impact on system performance and user experience.

Integration with External Systems

  • When to Use: When exchanging data or functionality between PeopleSoft applications and other enterprise systems, such as ERP, CRM, or third-party web services.
  • How: Leverage the Integration Broker to facilitate seamless data exchange and interoperability through industry-standard protocols like REST, SOAP, and XML, enabling a unified IT ecosystem.

Data Migration and Management

  • When to Use: Moving data between environments (e.g., development, testing, production) or performing data backups and restorations.
  • How: Use the Data Mover utility to efficiently export and import database objects and data, ensuring data integrity and consistency across different PeopleSoft instances.

Reporting and Analytics

  • When to Use: When generating reports or extracting insights from PeopleSoft applications to support decision-making processes.
  • How: Utilize PeopleSoft Query for ad-hoc reporting and BI Publisher to design sophisticated report layouts that can be dynamically filled with PeopleSoft data, catering to various organizational informational needs.

User Interface Customization

  • When to Use: When adapting PeopleSoft applications to enhance usability and accessibility or to provide a responsive design for mobile and tablet devices.
  • How: Use PeopleTools’ Fluid User Interface capabilities to create modern, user-friendly interfaces that automatically adjust to different screen sizes and device types, improving user engagement and productivity.

Peoplesoft Tools vs Peoplesoft

Peoplesoft Tools vs Peoplesoft

Their respective functions characterize the distinction between PeopleSoft and PeopleTools:


  • A suite of Applications: Includes HRMS, FMS, SCM, CRM, and EPM.
  • Purpose: Designed to manage various organizational operations like human resources, finance, and supply chain.


  • Development Tools: A set of tools and technologies for application development.
  • Functionality: Used for building, customizing, and deploying PeopleSoft applications.
  • Includes: Development environment, PeopleCode programming language, and application designer.

In essence, PeopleSoft is the suite of software solutions for organizational management, while PeopleTools are the tools used to develop and manage those solutions.

The Primary Language and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Used in PeopleTools

PeopleTools primarily uses a proprietary language called PeopleCode. PeopleCode is an object-oriented, event-driven programming language designed to be easy for developers and non-developers.

The primary IDE used in PeopleTools is the Application Designer. This tool provides a graphical interface for creating and modifying PeopleSoft applications.

It allows developers to create and customize various objects, including fields, records, pages, and components.

Core Applications of PeopleTools

Core Applications of PeopleTools

List and Brief Explanation of Core Vendor-Developed PeopleTools Applications

PeopleTools provides the foundation for several core PeopleSoft applications, including:

  1. Human Capital Management (HCM): This application helps organizations manage their human resources, from hiring and onboarding to payroll and benefits administration.
  2. Financials and Supply Chain Management (FSCM): This application supports financial and supply chain processes, including accounting, procurement, and inventory management.
  3. Campus Solutions (CS): This application is designed for higher education institutions and supports student enrollment, financial aid, and academic advising processes.

The High Level of Abstraction Used in PeopleTools

One of the critical features of PeopleTools is its high level of abstraction.

This means that developers can create applications without worrying about the specifics of the underlying hardware or operating system.

This makes PeopleTools applications highly portable, as they can run on various platforms without requiring modifications.

PeopleSoft Tools – How to use them

PeopleSoft Tools - How to use them

PeopleSoft Tools, it’s essential to adhere to best practices for efficient and effective development.

Here are some key recommendations:

  1. Understand the Architecture: Familiarize yourself with PeopleSoft Internet Architecture (PIA) for better application development and maintenance.
  2. Utilize PeopleCode Effectively: Master PeopleCode for customizations and enhancements.
  3. Effective Use of Application Designer: Use the Application Designer intelligently to create and modify applications.
  4. Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keep the PeopleTools updated to ensure compatibility and security.
  5. Performance Optimization: Regularly optimize applications for performance and scalability.

The Role of Application Designer

peoplsoft developer

Explanation of What Application Designer Is

Application Designer is the primary tool used to create and customize PeopleSoft applications.

It’s a graphical interface allowing developers to create and modify various objects, including fields, records, pages, and components.

The Functions That Can Be Undertaken in Application Designer

Application Designer supports a wide range of functions, including:

  1. Field Definition: Developers can define the fields that make up a record, specifying the field type, length, and other properties.
  2. Record Definition: Developers can define the records that make up a database table, specifying the fields that make up the record and their order.
  3. PeopleCode: Developers can write PeopleCode to define the behavior of fields, records, pages, and components.
  4. Page Definition: Developers can define the layout of a page, placing fields and other elements on the page.
  5. Component Definition: Developers can define an application’s components, specifying the pages that make up each component and their order.

FAQs on PeopleTools

Q: What is PeopleTools?

A: PeopleTools is Oracle’s proprietary technology platform developers use to create, customize, and maintain PeopleSoft applications. It offers development, runtime, and integration tools to enhance the functionality of PeopleSoft systems.

Q: What are the key components of PeopleTools?

A: The key components include Application Designer, PeopleCode, Application Engine, Integration Broker, and Data Mover. These components are essential for application development, customization, integration, and data management.

Q: How does PeopleTools support mobile application development?

A: PeopleTools provides frameworks and tools for developing responsive and mobile-friendly interfaces for PeopleSoft applications, ensuring compatibility across various devices.

Q: Can PeopleTools handle JSON data?

A: PeopleTools can parse and generate JSON data, facilitating integration with web services and external applications that communicate using JSON.

Q: How does PeopleTools ensure application security?

A: PeopleTools includes security features like field-level encryption, Oracle’s Identity Management integration, and authorization mechanisms to secure application data and access.

Q: What is PeopleCode, and how is it used?

A: PeopleCode is a scripting language in PeopleTools for adding custom logic to PeopleSoft applications, used for validations, dynamic content, and process automation.

Q: How can developers manage customizations in PeopleTools?

A: Developers can use Application Designer and other utilities in PeopleTools to manage customizations, track changes, and ensure that customizations are preserved during upgrades.

Q: What data management capabilities does PeopleTools offer?

A: PeopleTools provides data import/export utilities and data archiving tools and supports the efficient management of large data volumes.

Q: What is configurable search in PeopleTools, and how does it work?

A: Configurable search allows developers to customize search behavior in PeopleSoft applications, improving the efficiency and relevance of search results through enhanced criteria and filters.

Q: How can developers ensure their PeopleSoft applications are accessible?

A: PeopleTools supports accessible application development with guidelines and tools that comply with accessibility standards, making applications usable for people with disabilities.

Q: What are the best practices for PeopleTools development?

A: Best practices include using the latest features of PeopleTools, adhering to Oracle’s customization guidelines, effectively utilizing PeopleCode, and conducting thorough testing.

Q: Where can developers find resources and documentation for PeopleTools?

A: Oracle’s official website, along with the PeopleSoft community and forums, offers extensive documentation, tutorials, and support resources for PeopleTools.

Q: How does PeopleTools integrate with other systems?

A: PeopleTools’ Integration Broker supports various integration protocols and standards for seamless data exchange and functionality integration with external systems.

Q: Can PeopleTools applications be customized for specific industries?

A: Yes, PeopleTools enables the development of solutions tailored to specific industry needs by offering a flexible platform for customization.

Q: How does PeopleTools support reporting and analytics? A: PeopleTools includes tools like PeopleSoft Query and BI Publisher, enabling the creation, customization, and distribution of reports and analytics to aid decision-making.

Recap of the Importance and Role of PeopleTools in Application Development

In conclusion, PeopleTools is a vital part of the PeopleSoft ecosystem. It provides the underlying technology for all PeopleSoft applications, enabling developers to easily create, customize, and deploy applications.

Whether working with Human Capital Management, Financials, Supply Chain Management, or Campus Solutions, PeopleTools provides the tools and technologies you need to succeed.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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