In the PeopleSoft context, a web service provides external applications a web-based means of accessing PeopleSoft data. Web services are implemented through the PeopleTools Integration Broker (IB) framework. PeopleSoft Enterprise delivers web services that facilitate integration, including integrations with external partners, making processes more streamlined and efficient. Integrations can be costly to develop, maintain and upgrade. Any service which can streamline an integration and make it more efficient can have a positive effect on total cost of ownership.
Web services running through the PeopleSoft IB aren’t getting the limelight they should.
Web services should be explored when external integrations are a requirement. Organizations can certainly build their own web services integration, but there are out-of-box web integrations that can be taken advantage of to improve the PeopleSoft experience. We have summarized some of the new web service functionality below as described in the 9.0 and 9.1 release notes.
Oracle’s BPEL Process Manager. BPEL, or Business Process Execution Language, is a standard language introduced by Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP to define composite applications or process-centric applications. It is an umbrella for standards and technology that can be used to reduce the cost and complexity of developing, deploying, and managing web services across diverse applications. These services can be created by an application and used by other applications. These services can be consumed in a logical sequence or in parallel. BPEL Process Manager also provides portals/interfaces for each of the applications to receive or send the services. These portals/interfaces also work with web user interfaces to facilitate an action using a service and external website. Using this solution, you can develop business processes that are portable across products from different vendors. This portability eliminates the lock-in that customers faced when they used EAI or Business Process Management solutions from pure-play solution providers.
Web Services for Chartfield Validation
Web services facilitate integration requirements for building connected applications for deployment on the Web and are especially useful for exposing services and service operations for applications that do not share the PeopleSoft Enterprise financials database, such as legacy applications.
A typical web service is a self-contained, stateless function that accepts one or more requests and returns one or more responses through a well-defined interface. Web services can perform discrete units of work such as editing and processing a transaction.
Enterprise General Ledger 9 uses open standard Web Services for Combination Editing that enables you to validate transactions from legacy systems up front. This means that you can use this enhancement to validate transactional data prior to saving it to the tables and that minimizes the time-consuming activity of reconciling errors after the fact.
Integration with Travel Authorizations
By importing pending and confirmed reservations from online booking solutions, you can use these services to create a travel authorization or an expense report and thereby maintain greater controls on spending. For those organizations that do not require the use of travel authorizations, the travel reservation can be linked and referenced in an expense report. PeopleSoft Expenses uses Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and web services to facilitate the communication between PeopleSoft Expenses and your travel partners.
Integration with Project Costing
In PeopleSoft Enterprise Project Costing 9, web services are available to integrate projects, activities, and transactions from third-party applications directly into PeopleSoft Enterprise Project Costing. These web services, based on industry standards, allow seamless integration and loading of projects, activities, and transactions from third-party applications. With a single, standardized interface, data integrations are delivered that streamline processing and reduce costs of maintaining multiple integration points in terms of time and IT resources.
PeopleSoft Enterprise Project Costing 9 provides third-party loader web services to which any third-party application can subscribe and send projects, activities, and transactions data to Project Costing interface staging tables.
Physical Inventory Functionality for Non-Capitalized Assets
Physical inventory functionality is extended to include non-capitalized assets. It is also enhanced to allow integration with third-party physical inventory tools by means of web services.
Web Service Integration with Mobile Devices and PeopleSoft Maintenance Management 9.1
Availability of web services integration with mobile devices grants maintenance organizations the flexibility of entering and retrieving work order data from a handheld device. Real-time mobile device integration fosters accuracy and efficiency in managing work order data and reporting from the field.
We’ll talk more about web services and mobile devices in an upcoming blog post.
Microsoft Outlook plug-in for PeopleSoft Desktop Integration
Desktop Integration uses web services via the PeopleSoft Integration Broker, and in the case of PeopleSoft Services Procurement, queues and synchronizes work order tasks with Microsoft Outlook tasks.
What I’ve given you here is a summary of some popular high-level web service functions that you can use for PeopleSoft technologies and business functions. This information runs far deeper than what I’m able to present here. If you have any questions about any of this, please email me. I’m more than happy to chat about this stuff.
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