PeopleSoft Upgrade Specialist/PeopleSoft Architect
With all of the buzz around PeopleTools 8.55 I have decided to take a few minutes to explain Puppet Modules. Puppet Modules are inextricably linked to DPK’s, the subject of my last blog (DPK Blog). In that blog, I explained how DPK’s improve IT responsiveness to business demands by enabling rapid deployment of PeopleSoft environments. Since Puppet Modules and DPKs work hand in hand, I thought the subject warranted some further exploration. So, let’s discuss what puppet modules are, what they look like, how they relate to DPKs, and how they may impact you.
What is a Puppet Module?
Puppet Modules are a tool that allows you to automate software installation, configuration, backup, recovery, and cloning for all PeopleSoft Components (WebLogic, Tuxedo, Application Server Domain, Process Scheduler, PIA etc..). They provide a shell to bundle and deliver necessary manifests along with files that those manifests require. These neat little self-contained bundles of code and data are both reusable and shareable. Now you may be asking yourself, why automate PeopleSoft Component Installation at all? Automation can add value to your organization in a couple of ways. The first is speed. Automation reduces errors and decreases the turnaround time for spinning up new PeopleSoft environments. This frees up your IT team to tackle new, more challenging problems. The second is consistency. Automated processes are easily replicable. Resources may come and go from your organization, but an automated process endures and ensures consistency moving forward.
What Does a Puppet Module Look like?
The image below shows the Puppet Module Tool. It is the command line companion to the Puppet Forge, which is the online repository for reusable Puppet code. Software changes and configurations are automatically saved to the Puppet Forge Repository for use in future Puppet Modules.
What do Puppet Modules have to do with DPKs?
DPKs are delivered with the PeopleSoft Puppet modules. DPKs have a built in, interactive Bootstrap script that dictates what server an application can be installed on. The system uses the predefined parameters in this script to install application components on their corresponding servers (Application, Web, Process Scheduler). PeopleSoft Puppet Modules allow you to customize the configuration files once the applications are installed
- Beginning with PI 16, all PeopleSoft Images will be using DPK’s/Puppet Modules and will be on PT 8.55
- Clients on Application 9.2+ and PT8.54, PT8.53 can still use PeopleSoft Image 16 to apply any fixes or enhancements using traditional deployment methods. [Minor tools patch requirements may apply.]
- At this time, the PeopleTools Client deployment is fully automated for PeopleSoft Images. This means you are not prompted for any drive location to install Clients (Source and Target) and the Change Assistant. The C: drive is the default install location and there is no option to change it.
- Once installed, the PeopleTools Client(s) can be moved to another drive from ‘C:’. However, the Change Assistant software cannot be moved due to certain installation parameters that are stored in the Windows registry.
What is Next for Puppet Modules
Moving forward there will be more information available on the extent to which Puppet modules can be used to customize site configuration. This new and evolving feature in the PeopleSoft world means a significant learning curve for PeopleSoft Administrators. We are excited about the future of this technology.