Over the last several weeks, Oracle has quietly posted two significant software offerings for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne users on its web sites. The first offering, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools 8.97, is one of the most substantial upgrades to EnterpriseOne Tools in years. The second, the Financial Management and Compliance Console, provides role-based financial analytics via a dashboard-style interface. Both offerings are now available for download by licensed EnterpriseOne users.

If you have not looked at EnterpriseOne Tools 8.97, you really owe it to yourself to do so. If you are a system administrator or CNC, we bet that you’ll love the new Server Manager. Put simply, Server Manager takes the many disparate tools and interfaces used to manage EnterpriseOne servers and consolidates them to a single tool with a consistent, intuitive interface. While we have not run user tests on Server Manager, our hunch is that the tool will significantly reduce the time that sysadmins spend on tasks such as server installation, patch management, package builds, and configuration management.

If you’re a developer, check out EnterpriseOne Business Services, a gateway in EnterpriseOne Tools 8.97 that provides native web services capabilities. The new gateway allows developers to develop, publish, consume, and administer web services from Tools 8.97. By the way, sources within Oracle are telling us that the vendor will continue to support the webMethods gateway in EnterpriseOne, but will not enhance it. Over time, Oracle will likely rewrite the 70 or so web services that run on the webMethods gateway so that they can run on EnterpriseOne Business Services. Clearly, the new gateway is the path forward for EnterpriseOne developers.

As for users, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools 8.97 provides numerous enhancements to their browser interfaces. For instance, users now have greater control over left-hand navigation bars, as they can hide and shrink them. They can also resize menus, launch applications within browser tabs, and do multi-row selects (a long-requested enhancement). In addition, Oracle improved interface rendering speeds and reduced the number of key and mouse clicks on many screens.

Speaking of users, the new JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Financial Management and Compliance Console could get the financial types in your company salivating. (Please excuse the long name, but Oracle begged us to write it in full at least once.) Using the dashboard interface, bean counters can set threshold values for a number of financial measures (credit limits, liquidity ratios, profitability levels, etc) and be alerted if those values are violated. Users can drill down through the dashboard to analyze data at the transaction level and act upon alerts. The Financial Management and Compliance Console is supported on EnterpriseOne 8.11 SP1 and 8.12.

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools 8.97 is immediately available in the Update Center section of the PeopleSoft/JD Edwards Customer Connection web site. Just access the JD EnterpriseOne Tools pages first, then click on the “Implementing New 8.97 Functionality” guide. You can download the Financial Management and Compliance Console from Customer Connection or from Oracle’s E-Delivery web site. Be sure to review all technical requirements and release notes for both packages before installing them.