Why Should I Care about Deployment Packages?
New with PeopleTools 8.55, customers will now have two installation options when moving to the latest version:
The first is a “classic” install using a virtual CD. The second is a Deployment Package (DPK) installation, a new feature delivered as part of PeopleSoft Cloud Architecture (PCA). It’s worth noting that in future PeopleTools releases, the virtual CD method used in previous releases (8.53 and 8.54) will be phased out. Oracle recommends that customers on Microsoft Windows and Linux use the DPK method for their installations and patch updates. For this reason, companies need to gain an understanding of how DPK’s work.
What do Deployment Packages do?
The DPKs can be installed on any Linux or Microsoft Windows platform supported by Oracle for PeopleSoft systems. DPKs allow for fast deployment of PeopleSoft environments on both physical hardware “bare metal” platforms and virtual platforms. DPKs enable users to skip the time consuming manual steps associated with the following processes:
- Gathering the necessary installation programs
- Installing third-party products such as Oracle Tuxedo and WebLogic and the latest patches (CPUs)
- Installing Application Home (PS_APP_HOME)
- Installing both PeopleTools and the PeopleTools patch binaries
- Configuring the PeopleSoft domains
Using the new DPK method to create a PeopleTools middle-tier consisting of an Application Server, a Process Scheduler, and a PeopleSoft Internet Architecture (PIA) typically takes less than 15 minutes. This process previously took around 3 hours for each new environment created. The streamlined approach allows for dynamic scaling and quick patching. Rapid creation of middle-tier components allows customers to optimize hardware resources by creating middle-tier virtual machines (VMs) on demand. These VMs can be removed to free up hardware resources when not in use, yet be quickly recreated as needed.
How Do I get DPKs?
DPKs can be deployed using Oracle VirtualBox or other virtualization systems such as Oracle VM Manager and VMware® products. DPKs are available on My Oracle Support as zip files, and are delivered with a Bootstrap script that automates the procedure to setup a PeopleSoft environment. The Bootstrap script is an interactive script that verifies that the downloaded DPKs are correct, and prompts the user for the information required to set up the environment. The script also enables the user to choose various types of environments (ex: full tier, mid-tier). DPKs deploy a default instance of each of the PeopleSoft mid-tier domains— PIA, Application Server and Process Scheduler domains. These domains are fully functional out-of-the-box. However, it is assumed that you will need to make changes to these deployments. These changes reflect customer’s standards, preferences, and customizations. DPKs provide the infrastructure, allowing you to make changes to the environments to produce various topologies which offer different functionality. In this way the user can create environments for testing, performance testing, development, and so on. These customizations can be retained through application maintenance (upgrades, patches, and updates).
All indications from Oracle suggest that PeopleTool’s 8.55 is just the beginning of PeopleSoft’s Cloud Architecture (PCA). I believe that the future PeopleTools roadmap will emulate the Continuous Delivery model followed by PeopleSoft. For now, DPK’s are definitely a powerful tool for deploying PeopleSoft Applications. If they are indicative of the direction that Oracle is taking for the future, I am excited to see what is next.