Successor Oracle Corporation
Founded 1987
Headquarters Pleasanton, California, United States
Key people
David Duffield, Ken Morris
Owner Acquired in 2005 by Oracle
Parent Oracle Corporation

PeopleSoft, Inc. was a company that provided human resource management systems (HRMS), Financial Management Solutions (FMS), supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise performance management (EPM) software, as well as software for manufacturing, and student administration to large corporations, governments, and organizations. It existed as an independent corporation until its acquisition by Oracle Corporation in 2005. The PeopleSoft name and product line are now marketed by Oracle.

PeopleSoft Financial Management Solutions (FMS) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) are part of the same package, commonly known as Financials and Supply Chain Management (FSCM).

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (CS) is a separate package developed as a student information system for colleges and universities.[1]


Founded in 1987 by Ken Morris and David Duffield, PeopleSoft was originally headquartered in Walnut Creek, California before moving to Pleasanton, California. Duffield envisioned a client–server version of Integral Systems' popular mainframe HRMS package. The company's sole venture backing came from IBM.[2] George J. Still, Jr. from Norwest Venture Partners joined the Board of Directors.[3]

PeopleSoft version 1, released in the late 1989,[4]:18 was the first fully integrated, robust client–server HRMS application suite.[4]

PeopleSoft expanded its product range to include a financials module in 1992, distribution in 1994, and manufacturing in 1996 after the acquisition of Red Pepper.[4]

Product design

Application architecture

The original architecture for the PeopleSoft suite of products built on a client–server (two-tier) approach with a dedicated client.[4] With the release of version 8, the entire suite was rewritten as an n-tier web-centric design called PeopleSoft Internet Architecture (PIA).[4] The new format allowed all of a company's business functions to be accessed and run from within a web browser.[5]

Originally, a small number of security and system setup functions still needed to be performed on a fat-client machine; however, this is no longer the case.

The PeopleSoft application suite can function as an ERP system, similar to SAP, but can also be used for single modules - for example, Student Administration or HCM (Human Capital Management) alone.

PeopleSoft uses a functionality now known as Integration Broker[6] to communicate with different modules (known as pillars). In addition Integration Broker can be utilized for web services calls between PeopleSoft and other applications.

Development platform

Implementation focuses on PeopleSoft's proprietary PeopleTools technology. PeopleTools includes many different components used to create web-based applications: a scripting language known as PeopleCode, design tools to define various types of metadata, standard security structure, batch-processing tools, and the ability to interface with a SQL database. The metadata describes data for user interfaces, tables, messages, security, navigation, portals, etc. This set of tools can make the PeopleSoft suite platform-independent.


Before PIA version 8.0, Components were called Panel Groups.[7] Components of the system include:[8]

JD Edwards

In 2003, PeopleSoft performed a friendly merger with smaller rival JD Edwards.[11] The latter's similar product line, World and OneWorld, targeted mid-sized companies too small to benefit from PeopleSoft's applications. JD Edwards' software used the Configurable Network Computing architecture, which shielded applications from both the operating system and the database back-end. PeopleSoft branded the OneWorld product PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne.[12]

Oracle Corporation acquisition

Beginning in 2003, Oracle began to maneuver for control of the PeopleSoft company. In June 2003, Oracle made a $13 billion bid in a hostile corporate takeover attempt. In February 2004, Oracle decreased their bid to approximately $9.4 billion; this offer was also rejected by PeopleSoft's board of directors. Complicating Oracle's takeover attempt was PeopleSoft's poison pill, allowing their customers to potentially receive refunds of 2–5 times the amount they had paid in the case of a takeover.[13]

Later that month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block Oracle, on the grounds that the acquisition would break anti-trust laws. In September 2004, the suit was rejected by a U.S. Federal judge, who found that the Justice Department had not proven its anti-trust case. In October, the same decision was handed down by the European Commission. Though Oracle had reduced its offer to $7.7 billion in May, it again raised its bid in November to $9.4 billion.

In December 2004, Oracle announced that it had signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire PeopleSoft for approximately $10.3 billion. A month after the acquisition of PeopleSoft, Oracle cut over half of PeopleSoft's workforce, laying off 6,000 of PeopleSoft's 11,000 employees.[14]

Oracle moved to capitalize on the perceived strong brand loyalty within the JD Edwards user community by rebranding former JD Edwards products. Thus PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne became JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft World became JD Edwards World.

Oracle announced in 2005 that Fusion Applications would combine the best aspects of the PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Oracle Applications and merge them into a new product suite.

Oracle would later slow the release cadence for PeopleSoft applications, instead releasing "Feature Packs" to add functionality.[15][16]

PeopleSoft timeline

  • 1987: PeopleSoft, Inc. founded by David Duffield and Ken Morris in Walnut Creek, CA, USA.
  • 1988: PeopleSoft HRMS released.
  • 1991: Begins opening international offices.
  • 1994: Public distribution of Distribution and Financials modules.
  • 1995: Launch of Student Administration System.
  • 1995: Opened office in Mexico, first in Latin America.
  • 1996: Releases Manufacturing and PeopleSoft 6, their first ERP package.
  • 1997: PeopleSoft 7 is released within upgraded ERP modules.
  • 1998: PeopleSoft 7.5 is released with improved client/server technology. Acquired Intrepid Systems.
  • 1998: PeopleSoft Student Administration System was released.[17]
  • 1999: Craig Conway named new CEO; release products to enable Internet transactions.
  • 2000: Acquired Vantive Corporation.
  • 2000: Deliver PeopleSoft 8[18] with an in-house application service provider.
  • 2003: Acquired JD Edwards[11]
  • 2004: Dave Duffield returns as CEO, replacing Craig Conway.[19]
  • 2005: Acquired by Oracle Corporation.
  • 2006: PeopleSoft FSCM 9.0 is released. (September 2006)[20]
  • 2006: PeopleSoft HCM 9.0 is released. (December 2006)
  • 2009: PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 is released. (October 2009)
  • 2009: PeopleSoft FSCM 9.1 is released. (November 2009)
  • 2013: PeopleSoft 9.2 is released. (FSCM and HCM released simultaneously)[21]
  • 2015 PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 is released (December 2015) [22]


PeopleSoft applications, which address complex business requirements, have some known issues in terms of online security. PeopleSoft is used by Fortune 500 companies and government organizations, and almost 50% of them are vulnerable and can be hacked via the internet, as researchers state.[23]

The risk factor lies in existing vulnerabilities of Oracle PeopleSoft systems that could enable data breaches at businesses, government organizations, and universities.[24] Because of this, companies using PeopleSoft applications are under constant threat of cyber attacks.[25]

According to the research[26] on public-facing Oracle PeopleSoft applications and their vulnerabilities, systems available online are susceptible to the TokenChpoken attack. A TokenChpoken attack, which affects systems that use Single Sign-On (SSO), is possible because an authentication cookie (PS_TOKEN) used by PeopleSoft applications can be forged. When the PS_TOKEN is identified by a "brute force" TokenChpoken attack, it is possible to log in under a system account and gain access to all data from the compromised system.

Since 2010, several cases have been reported of PeopleSoft security breaches. In March 2013, Salem State University in Massachusetts alerted 25,000 students and employees that their Social Security Numbers might have been compromised in a database breach. Similarly, in February 2016, the University of Central Florida disclosed that over 63,000 student Social Security numbers had been compromised.[27]

All organizations that use PeopleSoft (including companies specialized in charity, food, manufacturing, retail, transport, etc.) stay vulnerable to TokenChpoken and other interventions if they do not pay due attention to security.[28]


  1. "PeopleSoft Campus Solutions" (PDF). Oracle. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  2. "PeopleSoft Inc.- Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on PeopleSoft Inc". Reference for Business. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  3. "George J. Still, Jr.; Partner Emeritus". Norwest Venture Partners. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Anderson, Lynn (2001). Understanding PeopleSoft8. Sybex. pp. 18–22. ISBN 0-7821-2930-7.
  5. Anderson, Lynn (2001). Understanding PeopleSoft8. Sybex. p. 58. ISBN 0-7821-2930-7.
  6. "Understanding PeopleSoft Integration Broker – Introduction (Part 1)". PeopleSoft Tutorial. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  7. "Peoplesoft Component".
  8. "Components of a PeopleSoft System". January 20, 2013.
  9. Kurtz, David (2012). PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA. Expert's voice in Oracle (2 ed.). Apress. p. 6. ISBN 9781430237075. Retrieved 21 June 2016. Application Engine is PeopleSoft's proprietary batch-processing facility.
  10. Haavisto, Matthew. "Time to Move to Elasticsearch with PeopleSoft". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  11. 1 2 Kane, Margaret (2 June 2003). "PeopleSoft to buy J.D. Edwards". CNET. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  12. Hines, Matt (15 December 2003). "PeopleSoft integrates J.D. Edwards software". CNET. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  13. "Oracle chokes on PeopleSoft's poison pill". The Register. 11 November 2003.
  14. "Oracle to PeopleSoft: The pink slip's in the mail". CNET. 14 January 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  15. "Oracle Announces Oracle's PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1 Feature Pack" (Press release). Oracle. 11 April 2011.
  16. "Oracle PeopleSoft Continuous Delivery Model" via YouTube.
  17. "HEUG.Online : History". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  18. Tomei, Derek. "PeopleSoft 8". PeopleSoftCareer. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  19. Rohde, Laura (1 October 2004). "Update: PeopleSoft's CEO Conway gets the boot. Board of directors replaces Conway with PeopleSoft founder and chairman Dave Duffield". InfoWorld.
  20. "Oracle Lifetime Support Policy" (PDF).
  21. "Oracle Releases Oracle's PeopleSoft 9.2" (Press release). Oracle. 18 March 2013.
  22. Borgione, Lawrence. "PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.2 has been released". Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  23. "TokenChpoken attack on Oracle PeopleSoft affecting nearly half of large enterprises and government organizations" (Press release). ERPScan. 29 June 2015.
  24. Greenberg, Adam (6 July 2015). "Oracle PeopleSoft attack could enable big data breaches". CS Media. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  25. Pauli, Darren (28 May 2015). "Password reset sites expose crackable PeopleSoft creds". The Register. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  26. "Oracle PeopleSoft applications are under attacks" (PDF).
  27. "Intrusion into UCF Network Involves Personal Data". University of Central Florida. May 19, 2016.
  28. Mimoso, Michael (29 May 2015). "PeopleSoft vulnerabilities elevate ERP security issues". Threatpost. Retrieved 4 October 2017.

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