Time to Move ahead with PeopleSoft Elastic Search


Oracle’ support for PeopleSoft Secure Enterprise Search (SES) was moved to sustaining support in April 2018 which means no new patches will be released as it reaches the end of its practical life (EOL). No need to worry considering a superior alternative in PeopleSoft Elastic Search (ES) was made generally available for adoption in October 2016.

The basic premise of this article is to highlight the difference between SES and ES and to suggest why it is wise to migrate to ES.

Clients can continue using SES after April 2018, but no new integration support with new Oracle product releases or third- party products going to new-versions will be provided.

AboutElastic Search

Elasticsearch is an open source distributed, RESTful, document-oriented, search and analytics engine. When a user runs a search based on a set of known attributes, the search returns “hits” in the form of search documents or search results. Data in the Elasticsearch is called as JSON Document.

The user then analyzes the content of the search result to determine relevancy and uses the associated URL to navigate to the desired application page.

PeopleSoft adopted it and assimilated in an existing PeopleSoft Search framework due to its seamless attributes like near real time search, clustering, index, Shards and replicas etc.

Below diagram depicts the PeopleSoft Search architecture integrated with Elastic Search.

Elastic Search - PeopleSoft

Difference between SES/ES

Here is differences between Elasticsearch and SES in tabular form as found in the PeopleBooks.

Elasticsearch functionality SES functionality
High availability The recommended approach to high availability is by deploying an Elasticsearch cluster with at least 3 nodes on machines that are not on the same physical server and by following the configuration guidelines. The recommended approach to high availability is to deploy SES with Oracle Maximum Availability Principle. This involved creating a WebLogic cluster to run SES mid-tier and creating Oracle DB RAC for deploying SES DB. RAC requires an additional license.
Fail-over mechanism Elasticsearch search engine is distributed by nature, that is, it knows how to manage multiple nodes. A cluster can contain one or more nodes and one of the nodes act as a master node. Elasticsearch automatically distributes the indexed data to the nodes based on its constructs of primary shards and replica shards, so indexed data is available even when a node fails. SES uses an active-active configuration across two SES servers. Each server contains a freestanding, but symmetrically configured setup of SES running its own set of crawls. A pair of load balancing routers (active-passive) are located in front of these two servers. The load balancing routers are used for load balancing and failover.
Phonetic Elasticsearch supports phonetic search using a plug-in that is installed when you install Elasticsearch in a PeopleSoft implementation. SES supports phonetic search using OTEXT queries, that is, for custom search pages you need to code OTEXT queries independently.
Wild card search Elasticsearch supports using a wild card as a leading character in a search text. For example, *racle. SES does not support using wild card as a leading character in a search text.
Attachment processing In Elasticsearch, PeopleSoft Search Framework downloads any attachment specified in a search definition, and pushes the encoded attachment data in the form of JSON document to the Elasticsearch search engine. Elasticsearch uses the Mapper attachment plug-in to extract the attachment contents and indexes the attachment data. This avoids multiple log-in attempts during crawling. SES downloads attachments during crawling. If the attachment is located at a different site, such as an sftp location, then SES must login for each and every attachment found before it can crawl it.

Elastic search is simple to implement, and has a very simple architecture compared to SES. SES performance degrades with large volumes of data whereas Elasticsearch is scalable horizontally meaning can accommodate future growth of data.

Transition for SES to Elasticsearch

There are 3 ways in which Elasticsearch can be implemented

Fresh Install of Elasticsearch and PeopleSoft Search Framework: For those customers who have not yet deployed Oracle SES

Migrate from SES to Elasticsearch without live Cutover: For those customers who have already deployed SES—an option to install Elastic on a separate instance and then transition over

Migrate from SES to Elasticsearch with live Cutover: For those customers who have already deployed SES—an option to keep PeopleSoft applications up and running during the move

ERPA’s expertise

ERPA has a team of skilled experts with vast experience in transitioning from SES to Elasticsearch to deliver fully functional search capability successfully with no challenges, and in timely fashion.

Click here to talk to our PeopleSoft expert and setup a complimentary assessment.