PeopleSoft, Inc. was a company that provided Human resource management systems (HRMS), customer relationship management, Manufacturing, Financials, Enterprise Performance Management, and Student Administration software solutions to large corporations, governments, and organizations. PeopleSoft is also the name of the company's product suite.


Founded in 1987 by David Duffield and Ken Morris, PeopleSoft was originally headquartered in Walnut Creek, California before moving to Pleasanton, California. PeopleSoft began with an idea Duffield had about a "Client-Server" version of Integral Systems popular mainframe HRMS package. Once Integral declined development, Duffield was released to pursue this endeavor on his own, and PeopleSoft was born. In 2003, when the company acquired J.D. Edwards, it decided to differentiate its former product line with those of Edwards by renaming both products. In January 2005, PeopleSoft was acquired by Oracle Corporation. PeopleSoft products continue to be used.

Product design

PeopleSoft's product suite (also called PeopleSoft) was initially based on the Client-Server architecture. The entire software suite moved to a web-centric design called Pure Internet Architecture (PIA) with the release of PeopleSoft Version 8. The new format allowed all of a company's business functions to be accessed and run on a web client. Originally, a small number of security and system setup functions still needed to be performed on a fat client machine, however, this is no longer the case. The inherent nature of Internet-based applications allowed for a straightforward transition from a client-server model . One important feature of PeopleSoft's PIA is that no code is required on the client - there is no need for additional downloads of plugins, or JVMs such as the Jinitiator required for Oracle Applications.

The architecture is built around PeopleSoft’s proprietary PeopleTools technology. (development platform similar to a 4GL) PeopleTools includes many different components a developer needs to create an application, including a scripting language called PeopleCode, design tools to define various types of metadata, standard security structure, and batch processing tools. The metadata describes data for user interfaces, tables, messages, security, navigation, portals, and so forth. The benefit of creating their own development platform allowed PeopleSoft applications to run on top of many different operating systems and database platforms. Currently, it is not tied to any specific database platform. PeopleSoft implementations exist or have existed on Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Informix, Sybase, IBM DB2 (including its z/OS, Unix and OS/400 variants), Oracle Rdb and HP AllBase/SQL.

All of PeopleSoft’s modules (Human Resources, Supply Chain, Financials, CRM, etc.) are built with the PeopleTools technology. A benefit of the technology is that all the code which makes up a module can be customized to suit a company’s business needs. An auxiliary product, PeopleCode, is an object-oriented proprietary language used to express business logic for PeopleSoft applications.

J.D. Edwards

In 2003, PeopleSoft performed a friendly merger with smaller rival J.D. Edwards. The former rival's similar product line was differentiated by its target audience: mid-sized companies who could not afford the original PeopleSoft applications. J.D. Edwards product lines, formerly J.D. Edwards World on the AS/400 and OneWorld, were and continue to be differentiated by the Configurable Network Architecture or CNC Architecture. This architecture is designed to shield applications from both the operating system and the database backend as long as some flavor of the SQL language is used. Thus, IBM's DB2/UDB, Microsoft's SQL 2005 and Oracle databases's are supported. J.D. Edwards also continued to support thousands of customers on AS/400s running its original J.D. Edwards World or ''WorldSoft" product.

Likewise, servers can run on a host of operating systems including Linux, Microsoft Windows and IBM's AS/400 operating system. In addition, PeopleSoft remains committed to supporting J.D. Edwards's original AS/400-based World software, also called WorldSoft, the old-style "green screen" application — the same application which drove Duffield to branch out and create PeopleSoft in the first place.

Oracle Corporation

Beginning in 2003, PeopleSoft battled with Oracle over control of the PeopleSoft company. In June 2003, Oracle made a $7 billion bid ($19.50/share) in a hostile corporate takeover attempt. In February 2004, Oracle increased their bid to approximately $9.4 billion ($26/share), a 33% increase; this offer was also rejected forthwith by PeopleSoft's board of directors. Later that month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block Oracle, on the grounds that the acquisition would break anti-trust laws; however, in September 2004, the suit was rejected by a U.S. Federal judge, who found that the Justice Department had not proven its anti-trust case; in October, the same decision was handed down by the European Commission. Though Oracle had reduced its offer to $7.7 billion ($21/share) in May, it again raised its bid in November to $9.4 billion ($24/share), marking a 14% increase.

In December 2004, Oracle announced that it had signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire PeopleSoft for approximately $10.3 billion ($26.50/share). In January 2005, Oracle made drastic cuts in the PeopleSoft ranks. These cuts affected approximately 9% of the 55,000 staff of the combined companies, but Oracle maintained at least 90% of PeopleSoft's product development and support staff.

Oracle moved to capitalize on the perceived strong brand loyalty within the JD Edwards user community by rebranding former JD Edwards products. Thus PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne became JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft World became JD Edwards World.

Oracle has announced that a new product Fusion is to be released in the near future. Oracle says Fusion will take the best aspects of the PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Oracle Applications and merge them into a new product suite.

Oracle continues to support the existing Oracle and PeopleSoft product lines for current users. By retaining current applications and supporting the move to Fusion when appropriate, Oracle may be attempting prevent customer defections to rival Enterprise Resource Planning vendors.

PeopleSoft in use

PeopleSoft projects have been successfully implemented by many users, though there have been instances of litigation. As with any ERP software, the implementation process (including analysis, planning and development), performance (load) testing and various other types of software testing are critical to the success of the project. In 1997, Cleveland State University licensed PeopleSoft's software for tracking student records. After seven years of difficulties, CSU sued PeopleSoft for $510 million, claiming breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and four other counts. The case was settled for $4.25 million in 2005.

On a number of occasions deployments have resulted in budget overruns, as in the case of King County, Washington where the system more than doubled in its projected cost. California State University was investigated by the state legislature after a $500 million investment in the PeopleSoft solution, finding multiple examples of possible misconduct and unnecessary expense.

Planned implementations

The largest PeopleSoft system currently planned is for the United States Department of Defense, which has over 10 million people on payroll .

PeopleSoft timeline

  • 1987: PeopleSoft, Inc. founded by David Duffield and Ken Morris in Walnut Creek, CA, USA.
  • 1988: PeopleSoft HRMS released.
  • 1991: Begins opening international offices.
  • 1994: Public distribution of Distribution and Financials modules.
  • 1995: Launch of Student Administration System.
  • 1996: Releases Manufacturing and PeopleSoft 6, their first ERP package.
  • 1997: PeopleSoft 7 is released within upgraded ERP modules.
  • 1998: PeopleSoft 7.5 is released with improved client/server technology. Acquired Intrepid Systems.
  • 1999: Craig Conway named new CEO; release products to enable Internet transactions.
  • 2000: Acquired Vantive Corporation.
  • 2000: Deliver PeopleSoft 8 with an in-house application service provider.
  • 2003: Acquired J.D. Edwards
  • 2005: Acquired by Oracle Corporation.
  • 2006: PeopleSoft FMS 9.0 is released.
  • 2006: PeopleSoft HCM 9.0 is released.(December 2006)

See also


External links

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