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#10474 - 18/12/14 08:46 AM New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc  
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CT Offline
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Hi all, I was going to ask this as part of Russ' Teachers Pension thread (here : http://www.hcmaces.com/forums/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php/topics/10455/1 ) but I suspect this will become too much of a thread hijack, so I am starting another specific thread for it.

Anyway, apparently there is this thing called Alpha now which apparently effectively superceeds the Classic, ClassicPlus, Nuvos etc from Apr 2015.

Intriguingly, in the White Paper on the subject it mentions something called Compendia. From what I can gather, it looks like a whole new file layout etc, very different from Penserver (form my very limited understanding of Penserver, that is).

Can anyone shed any light on this? Anyone done anything with testing the patch that delivers it? Is this the death of Penserver?

Please, if you can add anything to this thread I'd very much appreciate it!


CT
#10477 - 05/01/15 02:46 PM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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PJS Offline
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Happy New Year to you.
I passed your question about Compendia onto the Penserver Interface developers in our team here and they responded with the words "Run away!"

#10478 - 07/01/15 08:17 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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Happy New Year to yourself also

Believe me, running away is still my favoured option!

Having attended my first meeting on the subject yesterday, it is now apparent to me that Compendia is just a re-paint of Penserver, but with some changes to data structures at various points. It wasn't mentioned why, but I am surmising that the alpha rules are a significant driver for those.

I cordially invite anyone who disagrees with my summary above to make their feelings known here! Caveat: be prepared for some cross-examination of your statements


CT
#10485 - 09/01/15 08:26 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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OK, things I think I now know about the Oracle Penserver interface (I can see this being a regular feature on this thread):

1. The config needed is huge!
2. Definition of schemes seems to assume you have set them up initially using templates... uh-oh, we've been here before with PAE have we not ladies and gentlemen?
3. It can only create one file for a run, which basically equates to one pay point. If you have the need to define more than one pay point, you are in trouble.

Things I wish I knew: (likely to be an even more regular feature on this thread!):
1. In order for an element to be 'Penserver compliant', what input values would one need to define? I am told that there needs to be something like 'Claim Date' in some instances, but again the circumstances are not clear to me
2.In Penserver's eyes, what's the difference between a bonus and an allowance element?

If anyone can fill in any of the gaps or at least confirm my understanding in the first bit of this post, that would be wonderful and I will cheerfully remain in your debt!


CT
#10487 - 09/01/15 12:15 PM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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Told you! Something else I learned (from the Penserver doc at least)... According to the Penserver Standard Interface document, the significance of the 'Claim Date' input value is revealed as being pertinent to one of the config value structures: Short-Time Hours (Accumulated)

There are 2 options for 'Source': Balance and Element Entry Input value.

IF you choose to source this info from Element Entry Input Value, then the standard Penserver process expects to be able to reference an input value called 'Claim Date'. So any elements that want to be considered as being part of this must have an input values of 'Claim Date', and 'Adjusted Hours' Sadly, there is some contradiction within the document as to what UoM the Adjusted Hours input is meant to be - in one place it refers to 'Hour (HH:MI)' and in another place it seems to want the input to be in 'Hours Decimal', rounded to the nearest 0.25!

There is also a reference to 'Claim Date' elsewhere in the document, specifically in the Allowance History extract, wherein it seems to require that the effective date for Spread Bonuses (whatever they are!) is derived as being the Sunday of the week in which the Claim Date input value falls. So anything that's likely to be regarded as a Spread Bonus will also need a Claim Date input value. Similarly, the Bonus History extract seems to want it for all elements which are to be included in that.

All good fun eh!

Last edited by CT; 09/01/15 12:40 PM. Reason: Corrected some complete cobblers what I wrote previously

CT
#10506 - 15/01/15 08:36 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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Me again - another tiny piece of 'Penserver' jigsaw has come to light, courtesy of a fine upstanding (most of the time) gentleman whose name I cannot reveal at this time as he is not currently a user on here - not for the lack of trying, to be fair! Anyway, on the subject of the difference between an allowance and a bonus, he had this to say:

Originally Posted by International Man of Mystery
The basic difference between a Bonus and an Allowance in Penserver terms is that a Bonus is a non-recurring element entry (for example an Overtime claim) whereas an Allowance is a recurring element entry (for example Temporary Promotion Allowance).

A Bonus is reported with a claim date, whereas an Allowance has a start date and perhaps an end date. Also, the Bonus amount reported is the actual amount paid. The Allowance rate reported is the annualised rate based on the monthly payments and any pro-rata calculations for part-timers.


Slowly, the fog starts to clear...


CT
#10512 - 19/01/15 08:51 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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EwenM Offline
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EwenM  Offline
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Bath, UK.
Sadly, I'm here now... ;-)

#10513 - 19/01/15 08:58 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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EwenM Offline
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One thing to check is that you're looking at v5.2 of the Standard Interface Developers guide (see here: http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/media/94966/standard-interface-developers-guide-v5-2.pdf via EPN410). I made Oracle Support and Dev aware of this version last week and am currently awaiting their estimate of delivery times. Unfortunately the Oracle Penserver 2015 releases so far have been based on v5.0 of the spec and there are significant differences between the 2 versions.

#10514 - 19/01/15 09:09 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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Ah, Mr EwenM you have arrived - great to have you aboard!

To confirm, I do indeed have v5.2 of the Standard Interface Dev guide - for good measure I also appropriated v7.1 of the Full Interface Dev Guide (for all the good it'll do me). Interesting to note that even I managed to obtain the most up-to-date version before Oracle did... this does not bode well frown



CT
#10515 - 19/01/15 09:23 AM Re: New PCSPS regime for 2015 - Alpha, Compendia etc [Re: CT]  
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EwenM Offline
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My latest assessment for our Pensions 2015 project is that we will NOT have a fully functioning Oracle Penserver Interface in time for the Apr15 Penserver run. I hope to be proven wrong but past experience would suggest that is unlikely.

As you say CT, this is not bodacious!

Last edited by EwenM; 19/01/15 09:24 AM.
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