Oracle has released a new version of the PeopleSoft Enterprise development toolset. The software will focus on deployments with Oracle Fusion Middleware in particular and will build on the growing interest in SOA.

PeopleTools 8.48 enables users to develop and maintain PeopleSoft enterprise applications. For the first time, the tools could be used to deploy applications with Oracle's application server and other Oracle middleware such as Oracle's BPEL Process Manager and Oracle's SOA suite.

Oracle merged with PeopleSoft in 2005 and has pledged to unite Oracle and PeopleSoft technologies. But Oracle with PeopleTools 8.48 is emphasising SOA.

"The SOA angle is we've created a capability to natively expose web services, standards-based web services, that can be published directly to any UDDI- or WSDL-based registry, which in essence eliminates the need for an adapter-based approach to connectivity," said Jose Lazeres, senior director of product management at Oracle.

A service such as "create order," for example, can be exposed as a web service. It can be consumed by Fusion middleware or any other technology that supports Web services specifications such as WS-Addressing, WSRP (Web Services for Remote Portlets), WS-Profile, and WS-Security.

New Web services functionality is enabled through tools such as PeopleTools Service Designer and PeopleTools Integration Broker.

Also featured in Version 8.48 is PeopleSoft Change Impact Analyzer, an analysis workbench for gauging in advance the impact of patches and changes to applications.

Oracle also is embedding in PeopleTools 8.48 the Oracle XML Publisher technology for generating XML, Word, and PDF documents. Users can build reports, letters, invoices, and checks and fill out government forms through standard desktop tools such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

Version 8.48 has improved visual compare and merge functioning and increased platform support. Visual merge allows for examination of customisations; users are able to merge changes automatically as they upgrade.

The toolset also adds support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and for Linux on the IBM zSeries. Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 support is expanded.

PeopleTools 8.48 advances Oracle's Project Fusion application plan, which is intended to meld best-of-breed functionality from application suites Oracle has acquired and tailor them to SOA.