PeopleSoft Launches Browser-Based ERP Suite

FRAMINGHAM (07/11/2000) - PeopleSoft Inc. Tuesday announced a totally redesigned version of its flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, adding a series of Internet-enabled applications plus a host of features that the company said had been requested by users.

For Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft, the reworked PeopleSoft 8 suite is the culmination of two years of work aimed at transforming the ERP software from a client/server offering into a browser-based package that the company hopes will reverse the disappointing sales it has had since early last year.

"PeopleSoft 8 really marks the end of the PeopleSoft client/server era," said Jim Littlefield, director of Internet architecture at the software vendor. The company invested $500 million to re-engineer the current 7.5 release of the applications, including rewrites of more than 14,000 Windows-based user interface screens, Littlefield said.

Instead of having to install a client version of PeopleSoft 8 on desktop PCs, customers will be able to give their end users access to the applications through Web browser -- a change that PeopleSoft said should make the software more portable and less costly to maintain and support.

Analysts have said the new release will pull PeopleSoft even with rival ERP vendors by giving its software the Internet features that users now expect their applications to have.

At Tuesday's announcement in New York, PeopleSoft said the backbone of the revamped suite is an open and scalable Internet architecture based on HTML and XML technologies. The architecture will make it easier for users to customize the applications to meet their business needs. PeopleSoft 8 includes 108 core applications and 59 new Web-based features, it added.

Also included is an embedded multilanguage search engine through a partnership with Verity Inc., according to PeopleSoft. In addition, the Unicode global language standard is built into all of the applications, making the products usable in more than 100 languages.

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