Unicode in PeopleTools 8: 5 million lines of code, 5 months, 5 people

Toby Phipps - PeopleSoft, Inc.

Intended Audience: Manager, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst
Session Level: Intermediate

PeopleSoft 8 will be the first major enterprise resource planning system to implement Unicode in a generally-available release. This project was primarily undertaken in PeopleTools, the underlying technology behind all PeopleSoft Applications, and involved significant changes to well over 5 million lines of code yet was completed in less than 5 months. Unlike most Unicode conversion projects involving development tools where not only the underlying technology needs to be changed but also the higher-level application definitions built using these tools, the goal of the project was to move to Unicode with minimal disruption to the existing application definitions and business rules built using the toolset. In addition, well over 1000 application developers, both internal and external needed to be able to continue to develop applications using the Unicode-enabled toolset with no specific knowledge of Unicode or its workings.

Given the extensive breadth of the PeopleSoft applications suite, the move to Unicode not only had to encompass changes to the core C and C++ code in the toolset, but also had to cope with:

  • 7 database management system backends
  • 8 back-end operating system platforms, including IBM EBCDIC platforms
  • 15 third-party integrated products
  • Unicode Executable support on Win95/Win98

This session will take a look at some of the techniques used in the project to accomplish the Unicode integration while other major development work was in progress, how operating system specific issues were solved, and how the Unicode story was internally marketed to the applications development organization and upper management. Additionally, it will take a look at the architecture of the PeopleSoft 8 release, and how the Unicode standard plays an important role in all processing and storage tiers of the system.

When the world wants to talk, it speaks Unicode
Unicode Standard Program Conference Board WWW9 Talks and Papers Past Conferences
Showcase Registration Accommodation Travel Sponsors Next Conference
International Unicode Conferences are organized by Global Meeting Services, Inc., (GMS). GMS is pleased to be able to offer the International Unicode Conferences under an exclusive license granted by the Unicode Consortium. All responsibility for conference finances and operations is borne by GMS. The independent conference board serves solely at the pleasure of GMS and is composed of volunteers active in Unicode and in international software development. All inquiries regarding International Unicode Conferences should be addressed to info@global-conference.com.

Unicode and the Unicode logo are registered trademarks of Unicode, Inc. Used with permission.

31 October 1999, Webmaster