PeopleSoft upgrade focuses on integration

PeopleSoft Inc. plans to announce an upgrade of the data warehousing software that’s part of its new application integration suite, adding Web services support in a bid to make it easier for users to connect to applications from other vendors.

The planned release of Enterprise Warehouse Version 8.8 is the latest step in PeopleSoft’s evolution of its AppConnect line, a combination of portal, data warehousing and data integration broker tools that was announced in August.

Paola Lubet, vice president of technology marketing at Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft, said the data warehouse upgrade includes support for Web services technologies such as the Simple Object Access Protocol and the Web Services Description Language. That should let users more easily connect Enterprise Warehouse with other applications or software portals that also support those specifications, said Lubet.

For example, she said the upgrade should simplify the process of importing data from applications developed by PeopleSoft rivals SAP AG and Oracle Corp. and exporting information back to them.

In such cases, Enterprise Warehouse can act as a company’s core business intelligence platform and run multidimensional analyses on data, regardless of where the information came from, Lubet said.

Version 8.8 is due for release by the middle of this month and can be bought separately or as a component of AppConnect, she added.

Although the enhancements included in the upgrade are relatively small, they signal PeopleSoft’s commitment to competing aggressively in the portal and data warehouse markets, said Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Daly City, Calif.

Building in support for multivendor applications will become even more important as users increasingly look to integrate software from different vendors, Greenbaum added.

“These are little bits and pieces of [technology] that have to be established now so that six to 18 months from now, when the decisions are made, PeopleSoft has a fighting chance to be one of the top contenders,” he said.

Jim Prevo, CIO at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. in Waterbury, Vt., said he’s interested in using Enterprise Warehouse and the other AppConnect components to help tie together his PeopleSoft-based systems and potentially other vendors’ applications.

The company, which runs PeopleSoft’s business applications on Oracle databases, currently lacks a full-featured data warehouse. But Prevo said he plans to implement Enterprise Warehouse within 12 to 18 months to support business reporting uses.