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All too often individuals are not aware of what is going on at the other end of an implementation. Programmers do not understand the reasons behind requirements, and human resources professionals (the users) do not understand the limitations of the application. When PeopleSoft users and programmers understand each other's concerns, a better product results every time. This book bridges this gap. The material in the chapters that follow answers questions related to specific human resources issues, and then goes on to explain how to implement real solutions. The philosophy is simple technical and functional individuals should be exposed to as much of the other's viewpoint as possible. You cannot separate the two without generating greater confusion.
As a result, this book is organized by function: human resources, payroll, and benefits. Within each function the structure, features and pitfalls of the PeopleSoft database are explained in detail.
There are many items that are not covered in depth. The online application, where users enter transactions and process data, is better left to PeopleSoft's documentation and online PeopleBooks literature. The PeopleTools, which assist in one-time tasks such as modifying a panel or uploading converted data, are also well-documented elsewhere.
Why are these items not covered in this book? Because they have little to do with the issues that truly make or break an implementation. The PeopleSoft online application and tools are important skills, but they do not reveal the underlying data structure if anything, they conceal it. And this creates misunderstandings between those who interact every day with the online application, and those who report on the data directly.
This book also does not provide detailed explanations of standard reporting languages. You will note, however, that examples of reporting code are often shown to clarify an important issue or provide a solution. These examples assume a basic knowledge of how a relational database is organized. A rudimentary understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL) is also useful, even if it is limited to the basic meanings of the SELECT/FROM/WHERE terminology.
Knowledge of basic Structured Query Reporting (SQR) language, a language provided with PeopleSoft, is only necessary for the final chapter, Chapter 26. This final chapter demonstrates some advanced SQR techniques and also details many of the advantages and pitfalls of using SQR.
In sum, this book contains a great deal of information, much of it garnered from experience. It does not contain everything to do so would occupy volumes and volumes. Instead, this book is a detailed guide to the PeopleSoft database, concentrating only on the areas you will encounter the most. It explains how the underlying database relates to the core PeopleSoft functions, such as payroll calculation and benefits administration. It explains each table and field, and how they relate to one another. This book is not simply a reference tool it is a critical guide to how PeopleSoft works behind the scenes.
To help you derive benefits from this book long after you've purchased and read it, go to the Prentice Hall PTR ERP Series Companion Website. This website is designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest tools, techniques, information, and data on Enterprise Resource Planning technologies. You'll find this Companion Website to be a great information kiosk, one that you may go back to again and again and again. So go to: http://www.phptr/erp