Thoughts on Developer Focus

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I just read this article from InfoWorld:

Google: Oracle lacks developer focus

The article kind of struck a chord with me.  I have long thought that PeopleSoft is sold to the executives and not to the developers.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think PeopleSoft is a great product, but it lacks a few developer features that I would like to see.  And, I would guess that the executives that make the decisions for purchasing aren’t going to pay for features like that.

The features I am talking about are things like code completion, refactoring, and indexing the code for searching.  Eclipse has many of those features with Java code.  Why can’t Application Designer do those things?  Is it because those features aren’t marketable to the executive?

The article makes the point that the product should be focused on the customer.  While I agree, I think placing some focus on the developer would provide some value to the customer.  Adding those features gives the software the ability adjust to changing business demands.  When users request a customization in PeopleSoft, what questions are asked?  How long with it take to develop versus how much benefit will it provide?  How maintainable is it going forward?

How many change requests are denied because the change would cost too much to develop or maintain?  Doesn’t the customer benefit by some level of developer focus?

So, while I think the customer should get focus, I don’t think the developer should be forgotten.  I would like Oracle to give the developer a little more focus in the PeopleSoft world.  But, hey, I am a little biased.

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PeopleSoft Moodle Interface

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I ran across this article recently, and it reminded me that I wanted to mention a project I just completed not too long ago.  I was asked to write an interface from PeopleSoft to Moodle.

At a high level, the interface was pretty simple.  Moodle was configured to allow logon security from LDAP.  Then, we we setup a view that told Moodle what courses to create based on enrollment data in PeopleSoft.  We created a screen to enable and disable a group of courses such as online courses based on term.  Then, we created another screen for an instructor to enable individual courses based on the instructor’s preference.

I heard some talk about implementing this interface at other schools, and I was curious how much interest was out there for this kind of thing.  If you are interested or have some thoughts, please leave me a comment.  Let me know if you are interested in some consulting on this, and I can put you in touch with our sales rep.