The TRAG Quarterly Newsletter - August 2020

E-newsletter Title.png


Editor's Note editor_note.png

"Technology can no longer be seen as a utility working in the background. It’s a strategic asset that’s vital to every institution’s success."

John O'Brien,  president and CEO of Educause, wrote an article back in May, which highlights the Herculean efforts of college and university staff to transform their institutional operations. John is giving a much deserved shout out to the technologists, working in the background, making things happen. The Technical and Reporting Advisory Group wants to send out a similar shout out to all the technical folks in this amazingly supportive community. We see how active you all are, hear about connections happening among you. We are amazed and proud at the spirit of comradery that the HEUG members are displaying constantly. We appreciate it more than anything and least of all during this stressful time our entire world is facing. We all have so much to deal with at work and at home, but even when times have proven rough, this community has shown resilience. We have seen it at the awesome participation at Virtual Alliance and we are seeing it day after day on our advisory group calls, listserv communications, and more. The TRAG wants to thank each and every one of you for continuing to be a part of this great community. Tamara Foster, our beloved Chair and a member of the TRAG for 7 years, shares her thoughts in a recent blog about the HEUG TRAG during Covid-19 and encourages people to contribute to this unique community through advisory group nominations or volunteering in other ways.

Virtual Alliance virtual_alliance.png

Jason Koziara, VP of Alliance, as well as the entire HEUG team did a phenomenal job pulling together this year's first ever Virtual Alliance. There were wonderful networking opportunities as well as fun giveaways and contests. Jason's virtual closing toast was particularly memorable and who can forget Marty's favorite conference pants! Aside from the conference's overall success, the TRAG would like to highlight a few statistics from the technical and reporting side:


What TRAG members had to say about Alliance:


Oracle's commitment oracle_support.png

Supporting institutions across the world

"We are prioritizing any covid-19 related service requests above all normal work and I have asked to personally see all those requests in order to ensure we're responding in the most appropriate way possible." 

- Paco Aubrejuan, Senior Vice President, Applications Development

Early on in the coronavirus outbreak, Oracle showed increased support for their PeopleSoft customers. With prioritized service requests, extended support for security patching for PeopleTools 8.56 through April 2021, extended support dates for older generations of microfocus cobol compilers, as well as free online learning for selected trainings, Oracle has solidified its commitment. The PeopleSoft Information Portal is the go-to place for PS customers to get the latest updates on services and applications. We recommend that you check this page regularly for any other changes.

Institution Highlight Highlight.png

Lone Star College implements LiveChat to connect students with critical services

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) has brought forth many challenges to colleges and universities. Most institutions are moving to online-only or some kind of hybrid-based instruction model and for some departments preparations are a 24/7 job. Aspects of college life are being altered from orientation, to registration, to athletics.  In the midst of all this, institutions like LoneStar College in Houston, Texas are stepping up.

Lone Star College, founded in 1973, is a public community college system and offers Associate Degrees, Workforce Certificates and Transfer Credits. Longin Gogu is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Enterprise Applications at Lone Star, and our very own TRAG Vice Chair. He spoke to us about how Lone Star College has implemented a LiveChat solution in order to better support and help students.

"During these challenging times, Phone and Email are an item of the past.  LiveChat is connecting prospective and current students with a live agent in any of our Student Services departments, such as Admissions, Advising, Financial Aid, Student Records, and more."

Furthermore, the solution is fully integrated into the PeopleSoft Campus Solution Self-Service, providing students with contextual help and staff with the necessary information to better answer any questions they may receive. Overall, LiveChat has been very successful and the college averages 27,000 chat requests per month from prospective and current students alone.



Beyond just serving Lone Star students, the LiveChat solution is also deployed in PeopleSoft Human Capital Management Self-Service in order to provide the same type of assistance to all employees, as they are digitally engaging with Human Resources to address their questions and needs.


If you would like to share with us how your institution used technology in an innovative way, please contact our Communications team, Anna Kourouniotis ( and Dede Young (

Recent Webinars webinars.png

Aug 14: Successfully Navigating Through PUM and PeopleTools Upgrades - The Security Version

July 24: Using Drop Zones to Isolate Customizations

Recent Blogs articles.png

Oracle Announces Support for PeopleSoft on Autonomous Database

Did You Know? PS Query Tree Flattener - August 2020

July 2020 CPU Technical Analysis and Summary

Did You Know? Drilling URLs - July 2020

Did You Know? - June 2020

PeopleSoft COBOL Compiler Changes

Surveys and Responses survey.png

Drop Zones

Digital Assistant/Chatbot & Live Chat Implementations

2020 Reporting Tools Survey Results


Hot Topics hot_topics.png

Didn't get a chance to read everything on the forums? If you only have time to read a few posts, here are our Top 6. As you will see, the tech, reporting, and security Listservs are always bustling with conversation.


#1 Anybody upgraded to PeopleTools 8.58?

#2 PeopleTools 8.56.21 Intermittent, Invalid date error after upgrading Oracle database to 19c

#3 Delegated access, tools 8.57

#4 Data Integrity errors after Compiling PeopleCode

#5 BI Publisher not like operator

#6 Query Manager access to functional users in production environment

TRAG on the move! on_the_move.png

Oracle Groundbreakers Yatra took place as a fully virtual event in July 2020. These Groundbreakers include talented individuals, experts in their own areas, such as  Oracle ACEs and Oracle User Group Evangelists in the region of India. Our very own, Sasank Vemana, spoke and demonstrated various trending PeopleSoft related topics in his presentation, the Life Hacks for PeopleSoft. Here is what Sasank had to say about the event:

 "OGYatra 2020 was a marathon event which ran for 14 days. I enjoyed the wide variety of presentations even if it meant waking up in the wee hours to catch a few sessions. The energy and excitement of the event was evident even though it was in a virtual format. It was also a great experience for me to speak at an AIOUG event and interact with the Oracle community in India. Special thanks to AIOUG and Oracle ACE Program for the invitation to speak."

Sasank also spoke at another event in the DEUG area. This was hosted by CY2 and partners working with DEUG. "It was fun to join friends at CY2 and the DEUG community for a day packed with 30 minute sessions focused on innovation. Thanks to Ernst La Haye from CYs for the invitation! "





Recent Stories
Did You Know? Combined Axis Chart in Tableau - September 2020

PeopleSoft Tree Flattener

The TRAG Quarterly Newsletter - August 2020