Sunday, June 09, 2019

PeopleTools Table Reference Generator

Like many other PeopleSoft professionals, I spend a lot of time looking at the PeopleTools tables because they contain meta-data about the PeopleSoft application. Much of the application is stored in PeopleTools tables. Some provide information about the Data Model. Many of my utility scripts reference the PeopleTools tables, some of them update them too. Therefore, it is very helpful to be able to understand what is in these tables. In PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA, I discussed some tables that are of regular interest. I included the tables that correspond to the database catalogue and that are used during the PeopleSoft login procedure. The tables that are maintained by the process scheduler are valuable because they contain information about who ran what process when, and how long they ran for.
I am not the only person to have started to document the PeopleTools tables on their website or blog, most people have picked a few tables that are of particular interest. I wanted to produce a complete reference.  However, with over 4000 PeopleTools tables and views, it is simply not viable to do even a significant number of them manually.  So, I wrote some SQL and PL/SQL to dynamically generate a page for each PeopleTools table and views and put the generated pages on my website.  If you use Google to search for a PeopleTools name you will probably find the reference page.
I have now revisited that code and made a number of changes and improvements.
  • I have used a later version of PeopleTools to generate the reference on my website.  The list of PeopleTools tables is no longer defined in PeopleTools by object security, so I have used an independent and somewhat broader definition: Table or View records that are either owned by PPT or whose SQLTABLENAME is the same as the record name.
  • There is much less reliance on static pages.  There are now only 3 such pages everything else is generated.  Instead, additional data is loaded from static scripts into the PLAN_TABLE that should always be present in an Oracle database and so it doesn't have to be created.  It should be a global temporary table so there is no problem with debris being left behind or interference with other processes.  That data is then combined with data in the PeopleTools tables during the generation process.
  • The utility has been rewritten as a PL/SQL package that should be created in the PeopleSoft Owner ID schema (usually SYSADM).
  • The generated HTML is simply tidier, and more consistent.
The source is available on GitHub at, so you can download and generate your own reference on your own current version of PeopleTools. An example of the generated output can be found on my website.
The idea of the original PeopleTools tables reference was the people could contribute additional descriptions and information that were not in the PeopleTools tables.  That can still happen, and indeed should be easier, by making changes to the scripts that load the additional data and uploading new versions to GitHub.

Friday, June 07, 2019

PS360 enhancement: Added report of DDL models

I have written several blogs and presentations recently about how and how not to collect statistics in PeopleSoft.
  • Managing Cost-Based Optimizer Statistics for PeopleSoft recommends
    • If you are going to continue to use DBMS_STATS in the DDL model then
      • Do not specify ESTIMATE_PERCENT because it disables the hash-based number-of-distinct-values calculation, forcing it to go back to the COUNT(DISTINCT …) method that requires a sort, and may not produce accurate values because it only samples data.
      • Do not specify METHOD_OPT='FOR ALL INDEXED COLUMNS SIZE 1' because this will not collect histograms on indexed columns, and will not update column statistics on unindexed columns.
      • Do specify FORCE=>TRUE so that you can lock and delete statistics on temporary records.
    • However, the alternative is to use GFCSTATS11 package to collects these statistics.  This package is controlled by a metadata table so you can defined statistics collection behaviour for specific records.
  • How Not to Collect Optimizer Statistics in an Application Engine Program
    • This blog explains why you should not explicitly code DBMS_STATS calls into Application Engine programs.
This has prompted me to add a new report to the PS360 utility that simply reports the various DDL models for Oracle.  Thus during a health check, I can see how statistics are collected during batch processes.

PS360 can be download from