PeopleSoft Ties Its Apps to J.D. Edwards' Software

Connectors link product lines, but users may need to buy new licenses

Looking to deliver on the promised benefits of its acquisition of J.D. Edwards & Co., PeopleSoft Inc. last week released integration links that are designed to let users exploit functionality from both companies' lines of business applications.

But users will have to buy new application licenses to take advantage of the packaged connectors if they don't already run software from both PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards. PeopleSoft said the next step in its integration plan is to transfer technology between the product lines, but it didn't disclose a schedule for doing so.

The licensing issues are a concern for Irving Tyler, CIO at Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quaker Chemical Corp., which uses J.D. Edwards software. The integration work done by PeopleSoft is a good thing, Tyler said. "However, it's confusing," he added. "Things are all moving about, and we're not sure what products are which and how they apply to the licenses we already have."

Tyler said he will have to meet with PeopleSoft to get a better grasp of what's available from an integration standpoint, how it can be used and the software licensing ramifications.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft initially is offering a set of seven connectors that integrate specific modules in its PeopleSoft Enterprise and EnterpriseOne application suites, which were known as PeopleSoft 8 and J.D. Edwards 5, respectively, prior to the July merger.

For example, PeopleSoft has linked its strategic sourcing software to the procurement application developed by J.D. Edwards. That means EnterpriseOne users who have deployed the procurement tools at various manufacturing plants now can aggregate their purchases of materials and supplies on a global basis, said Rick Bergquist, PeopleSoft's chief technology officer.

The integration rollout hews to a road map that PeopleSoft officials laid out in September . Other connectors tie together order processing and inventory management applications as well as finance and human resources modules.

In addition to the links, PeopleSoft said users can consolidate data from EnterpriseOne and J.D. Edwards' older World applications into its data warehousing software and use its Enterprise Performance Management tools to analyze the information.

PeopleSoft is taking some good first steps and appears to be picking up the pace of its integration efforts, said Barry Wilderman, an analyst at Meta Group Inc. In particular, he cited PeopleSoft's support for warehousing data from all of its business application suites.

But Wilderman cautioned that different metadata formatting approaches may prevent J.D. Edwards users from taking full advantage of PeopleSoft's analytic applications. He also advised IT managers to work with PeopleSoft to find out how seamless the application-to-application integration is.

More Technology

PeopleSoft this week will announce these professional services automation tools:

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A program management module that will let users develop a repository of all data related to a services project
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A portal-style user interface designed to give role-specific views of information to services workers
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A template for creating project proposals, including estimates of associated expenses

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