About Chris Malek
Chris Malek is a highly skilled Technical Consultant and President of Cedar Hills Group, Inc. With two decades of experience in PeopleSoft enterprise software projects and a former PeopleSoft employee, Chris stands out among technical consultants.
Chris possesses exceptional soft skills that differentiate him from others in his field. He prioritizes understanding business requirements before coding, actively engaging with functional experts and fearlessly asking questions. He effectively communicates and collaborates with all levels of management and end-users to extract business requirements and provide valuable solutions. Chris has successfully led numerous large and small projects, demonstrating his ability to gather requirements, develop project plans, and implement technical components.
Chris’s PeopleTools expertise is extensive and robust. He is an expert in PeopleCode and all aspects of PeopleTools application development. Notably, he authored an open-source book on integrating with PeopleSoft systems, showcasing his proficiency in this area. Chris has significant experience in developing customizations, including complex workflow and self-service applications. He is well-versed in component interfaces, application packages, web services, application messaging, workflow, online development, fluid development, and application engine. Moreover, his expertise extends to upgrades and new installations, ensuring minimal implications for future changes.
By leveraging Chris Malek’s rich experience, technical proficiency, and strong soft skills, your organization will benefit from tailored solutions that drive business success while minimizing upgrade complexities.
Below is a listing of some recent projects I have worked on.
California Virtual Campus
California Virtual Campus is an initiative by the State of California Community Colleges to help students complete their education at any community college in the state. The goal of this project facilitates a matriculated student at one Community College to enroll in an online class at a different Community College in the state without having to go through the application process at the second school. This involves creating student data, matriculating, enrolling and recording payment information. This enables students to find online class offerings across the state and enroll in those courses to complete their degree with minimal friction. Without this process, the students would be required to go through a lengthy application and admission process.
This is a complex project involving the integration of every community college SIS system in the state which varies greatly between each school in software and implementation practices. The implementation is ongoing and involves many solutions providers including Quottly and N2N Services.
The colleges implement the CVC integration in two major phases:
- Course catalog and schedule synchronization to a central website.
- Cross enrollment which involves creating and enrolling students in schools in real time from the “CVC exchange”.
Chris Malek designed and implemented all the PeopleSoft web services that are deployed to Community Colleges that use the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions SIS system. These web services allow vendor systems to extract key catalog and schedule information out of PeopleSoft in real time. For the cross enrollment functionality, the web services will fully admit a student to the university. This includes demographic, academic, and financial data. The web services use our standard best practices to ensure there are minimal upgrade and patching implications for the clients.
The PeopleSoft code is currently deployed at the following schools for at least one phase and eventually will be deployed to every community college in the state that uses PeopleSoft.
Coursedog PeopleSoft Integration
Coursedog provides Higher Education clients with innovative SAAS products for Course Catalog, Scheduling and Academic Planning. Their product must integrate data back to each school’s SIS system. Chris Malek worked with the Coursedog team and the N2N Services Illuminate Platform to design and implement the PeopleSoft integration layer. This PeopleSoft code is delivered to client production systems to enable the integration. Chris Malek designed a solution that was highly configurable and allows the same PeopleSoft project to be deployed to every customer but allows each customer to control what can be updated or retrieved with configuration. The web services use our standard best practices ensuring there are minimal upgrade and patching implications for the clients.
The PeopleSoft code designed and created by Chris Malek is currently running at the following schools:
- The City University of New York
- Stanford University
- University of California at Santa Cruz
- Illinois Central College
- College of Lake County
- Florida State College at Jacksonville
- The University of Arizona
- UC Santa Cruz
- University of Minnesota
Coursedog continues to market and sell their products to other schools so more will be added to the list.
Financial Aid Forms Framework
Cedar Hills Group, Inc. was contracted to analyze, recommend and implement a streamlined solution to a paper-based Financial Aid (FA) business process for National University. The FA department was using a combination of paper-based forms and an outdated electronic system. Prior to this project, the legacy system was only collecting data for a very small percentage of the forms that could be required for a student to receive financial aid.
Chris Malek led the project, working closely with directors, subject-matter experts, and front-line advisors. After several prototypes, iterations and design meetings, a solution was designed and implemented to drastically increase productivity and remove paper from the process.
- We created a “Financial Aid Forms Framework” within PeopleSoft that allows new forms to be created by a subject-matter expert with no help from technical staff. The functional experts can add, update, and remove forms with only a web browser.
- We replaced a cumbersome and unreliable third party system that was only a 10% solution to the business process and reduced licensing costs to the university significantly. The implemented solution was folded into the PeopleSoft database and ended up being a 95% solution to the paper-based process with no additional licensing costs and minimal upgrade concerns.
- The PeopleSoft bolt-on was designed to work exactly within the department’s current business process and policies, thus allowing for faster adoption of the project.
- The student facing pages allowed for a simple “dashboard” by aid year when students could quickly see their form submission history and quickly find the status of any needed forms for the open aid years.
This project was arguably one of the most successful projects Chris Malek has ever worked on when looking at the ROI for the client.
- The project was implemented over several phases. The first two phases of the project implemented 90% of the functionality and was rolled out in matter of months after the initial design phase.
- Those phases provided a drastic increase in turn around time for the Financial Aid Department. In the previous process, the paper forms could take weeks to get back. In the new electronic system, an Aid Counselor could request forms from a student and then receive the electronically submitted forms from an applicant in minutes. This process improvement resulted in significant cost savings and productivity gains as well as happier students.
- Additionally, no developer coding was required to create new forms. The form creation and maintenance was all handed off to the department owners. After the project went live, the department started to see over 20,000 forms submitted in an aid year and configured over 60 forms per aid year all without the help of the IT department and very few bug reports.
PeopleSoft Brightspace Integration
Chris Malek designed a configurable solution which automated the data syncs between systems. Chris technically lead the integration project and implemented a large portion of the code. He had to:
- Quickly learn about the Brightspace application concepts.
- Quickly learn about different API offerings by D2L which are called Valence and are REST web services.
- Create a design that merged the requirements from National University’s unique usage of PeopleSoft, Future State of Brightspace and business requirements. Additionally, we needed to account for future unknown functionality.
- Implement an oAuth client security scheme which PeopleSoft does not support out of the box.
- Implement a REST API client written in PeopleCode to interact with the Brightspace Valence APIs.
- Fully document the design for future team members.
The project was successful and continues to pay dividends in the flexibility of the design as different Colleges in the National University System transition to Brightspace.
PeopleSoft Salesforce Integration
Lingk provides clients with a cloud hosted ETL tool based on the Spark technology. Lingk and Cedar Hills Group, Inc. partnered to provide integration services between PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and Salesforce for a Wisconsin Technical College. Cedar Hills Group, Inc deployed configurable web services that allowed the Lingk integration platform to extract large amounts of data out of PeopleSoft and map it to the College’s Salesforce instance used for student success and support. The web services use our standard best practices ensuring there are minimal upgrade and patching implications for the clients. The project also required that PeopleSoft inbound student applications from Salesforce could be admitted as active students which required integration with search-match, matriculation, term-activate and other Campus Solution modules.
Chris Malek role in the project was:
- Provided subject-matter expertise in PeopleSoft integration patterns.
- Provided subject-matter expertise in PeopleSoft Campus Solutions business processes and data design.
- Design and implement a “generic” web service that can handle extracting any PeopleSoft data via a web service.
- Design and implement a technical interface to matriculate applicants starting in the College’s Salesforce application.
PeopleSoft OKTA Integration
- Automatically provision student SSO accounts in OKTA as students are matriculated into PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.
- Automatically de-provision student SSO accounts in OKTA as student’s leave the university.
- Automatically sync PeopleSoft Campus PII information into OKTA as it changes in PeopleSoft.
- Provide a configurable mechanism to populate OKTA attribute and group memberships with PeopleSoft Campus and HR data.
Chris Malek designed a configurable system which:
- Interacted with the OKTA REST APIs to provision, de-provision and other account maintenance tasks.
- Allowed for configurable PeopleSoft Queries to drive OKTA group memberships.
- Allowed for real-time syncing of PeopleSoft changes to flow to OKTA.
The implemented solution is a key backbone of the University’s SSO process and handles large amounts of production data.
Augusoft PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Web Services
Cedar Hills Group, Inc. was engaged to create an extensive PeopleSoft Campus Solutions integration with the Augusoft Lumens LMS. (Augusoft is now owned by Modern Campus). This PeopleSoft code is deployed to Augusoft clients who desire a real-time integration between Lumens and PeopleSoft. Chris Malek designed and implemented a solution that allows for real-time updates to and from PeopleSoft. The solution includes the delivery of over twenty-three different web services including:
- Gets and updates on course catalog
- Gets and updates on classes
- Gets and updates on person data
- Gets and updates on learner academic data
- Gets and updates on registrations
- Gets and updates on financial data
This solution is currently deployed to the following schools:
- Virginia Community College District
- Frederick Community College
- St. Petersburg College
- Sheridan College
The web services use our standard best practices to ensure there are minimal upgrade and patching implications for the clients. Two of the clients performed a CS 9.0 to CS 9.2 upgrade and there were zero changes required to the deployed code. The code continues to be marketed and sold to new clients.
Modern Campus Destiny One Integration
Cedar Hills Group, Inc. was engaged to create a bidirectional PeopleSoft Campus Solutions integration with the Modern Campus Destiny One product. This PeopleSoft code is deployed to Modern Campus clients who desire a real-time integration between Destiny One and PeopleSoft.
Chris Malek worked with internal Modern Campus product teams to design a solution that was highly configurable and allows the same PeopleSoft project to be deployed to every customer but allows each customer to control what can be updated or retrieved with configuration. The web services use our standard best practices ensuring there are minimal upgrade and patching implications for the clients.
The solution includes the delivery of many web services including:
- A generic data GET service that can handle pulling data from any PeopleSoft table including but not limited to:
- Course Catalog
- Person data
- Learner academic data
- Financial data
- Update and Create Services on:
- Term Activation
This solution is currently marketed to Modern Campus clients and several clients are in the implementation phase.
PeopleSoft Technical Skills
PeopleSoft Functional Skills
Business Process Knowledge
Programming Languages & General Technologies
Technologies Learning or Researching
- Serverless Functions
- Machine Learning