|Headquarters||Pleasanton, California, United States|
|David Duffield, Ken Morris|
|Owner||Acquired in 2005 by Oracle|
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).
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. George J. Still, Jr. from Norwest Venture Partners joined the Board of Directors.
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.
The original architecture for the PeopleSoft suite of products built on a client-server (two-tier) approach with a dedicated client. With the release of version 8, the entire suite was rewritten as an n-tier web-centric design called PeopleSoft Internet Architecture (PIA). The new format allowed all of a company's business functions to be accessed and run from within a web browser.
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.
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.
In 2003, PeopleSoft performed a friendly merger with smaller rival JD Edwards. 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.
This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (April 2009)
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 2-5x the amount they had paid in the case of a takeover.
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.
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.
Despite being widespread and commonly applied, PeopleSoft systems are not perfect in terms of security. As a matter of fact, these applications are used in Fortune 500 companies and government organizations, and almost 50% of them are vulnerable and can be hacked via the internet.
The risk factor lies in existing vulnerabilities of Oracle PeopleSoft systems that could be enabling data breaches at businesses, government organizations, and universities. This aspect lacks concern and puts companies using PeopleSoft applications under threat of attacks.
According to the research on public-facing Oracle PeopleSoft applications and their vulnerabilities, the systems available online are susceptible to the TokenChpoken attack. The main tactic used to perform such type of attack is bruteforcing that takes about a day to gain access to the system. When the key to Token is identified, it makes easy to login under any account and net all the data from the system. Although such issue arose back in 2015, the risk level doesn't decrease nowadays.
News reports show that PeopleSoft breaches actually happen. Since 2010, several cases have been highlighted. For example, 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.
All organizations that use PeopleSoft (including companies specialized in charity, food, manufacturing, retail, transport, etc.) stay vulnerable to TokenChpoken and other interventions if do not pay due attention to security.
Application Engine is PeopleSoft's proprietary batch-processing facility.