version controls for PeopleSoft with Dimensions

Robert Zerby's picture
Robert Zerby asked on March 14, 2013 - 10:54am | Replies (4).

not being a developer myself, can Dimensions be used for version control of the PeopleSoft application?


4 Answers

Drew Benson's picture

Have you got "entities" that can be be reliably identified and extracted..... a multitude of which make up you configuration.

Can these entities be reliably loaded back into the system.

If the answer is yes - then Dimensions (or any VM tool) can manage them.

They don't need to be "readable" - they can be binaries - but you can version them and groups of them could be baselined. 

The "entities" must be able to be "got" from the system repeatably and crucially the thing that is "got" MUST be able to be "put" back into the system as/when required.

The get could be an export mechanism 

The "put could be an import mechanism

ie It is pointless getting an entity to store if you can't put it back.  


Joe Townsend's picture


To add to Drew's comment, yes you can use any Version Management tool to version PS artifacts.  TYeh question becomes, why would you?  There are plenty of other applications that bolt on to your PS code, files, configurations, etc.

Otherwise you will have to export out all of the xml files into a directory and ingest them into your VM system, like Drew said getting those back in may be the issue and as XML files go thats not easy, because the fact you are editing a XML file when you could be doing it through the tools that bolt on in PS which are more drag and drop than check out and check in.  They also can capture baselines easier.



Bob Aiello's picture

Hi everyone,


I have run into very similar issues with version controlling objects within frameworks such as informatica. What I found is that some objects get extracted as XML that may or may not be well formed. I found that some version control systems (VCS) could not handle the poorly formed XML. So the bottom line is that you have to test this files. (Check them in and then check them out to a different sandbox and see if they still work!)

An example of a problem that I found was an XML generated by an Oracle tool that did not have any carriage return line feeds (CRLF) and was treated as a binary by some of the VCS tools that I tried. 

Hint - usually VCS that use a real database as a backend (as opposed to a flat file system or RCS wrapper) can handle these XML better.

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief

Drew Benson's picture

Slight disagreement Joe!!!

I am a great advocate of the SCM repository being the definitive source of truth...

Many of the non-CM tools pay lip service to version management and baselining but in reality they normally don't have proper utilites to really "manage" versions (often they record a version but older versions can't be rolled back so you record another "version" which might be the same as a previous version (but equally might not be).

And those that do have adequate utilities normally don't have adequate enforcement of standardisation (or experienced users can bypass good practice because they don't really "get" good SCM and they can make it work - or are just too bl**dy lazy))

A typical example is:

Tool X has a perfectly adequate way to identify its entities to a level of granularity that can be managed as CIs - it also has an adequate way to export (and import) entities to this granularity..... CIs could therefore be defined and managed in a SCM/VM tool.........

But when Bill B*g B*lls tool guru makes several changes to several of these entities it is much easier (for him) to export/dump a much higher level in one go (combining several "logical" CIs in to a single blob) - This "blob" can be imported/exported at will - but obviously destroys any logic round versioning of CIs.

Conversly when BBB makes a small change to a single entity he won't (or doesn't) export the same level of "blob" he just exports a small part - once again destroying logic of CIs.

As the tools don't have the ability to enforce import/export at a standard level BBB can *&%$ it up very easily (and as per usual when BBB is defending his little world he likes to *&%$ it up so that he can say "The CM Tool can't cope with MY Tool X")

This is just an extreme example of the type of BBB who don't really "get" good cm and will do everything in their power to hold on to their little kingdom - they just won't accept the model where their all powerful Tool X is just regarded as a glorified editor and the outputs from it can be managed perfectly well without it.

I won't bore you with a recent example (OK yes I will).....

A BBB Tool "Guru" maintained that Tool X had Version Management and that it was impossible to export and/or import at a granular level - therefore we would have to "make do" with a dump of executables (that were also not re-loadable into the tool either).

VM in the tool was literally recording a "number" everytime an entity changed.... with no way of viewing/seeing or re-using the previous versions (and obviously no mechanism for parallel development etc)........

A little research from me on the discussion forum for the tool discovered that there was a menu option to export the "entity" at whatever granularity was required and to import back into the tool at that level (the output was also text based and readable - give or take some header info). So we could do proper VM and revert back to older versions "at will" plus carry out a level of comparison (which wasn't possible in Tool X) and manage parallel branches etc etc .........

I even got into a discussion with one of the board boffins to discuss baselineing and named branches etc of these entities in Dimensions.....

When presented with this solution BBB changed his tune to "the import/export utility (that he had just recently denied existed) was unreliable and risked 'corruption' of the system!!!".......

My snort of derision didn't go down too well................

Needless to say I am not on BBBs Xmas card list........ ;-)















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