ERP Software Integration
One reason an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) integration is needed is that many large national and mega international corporates run the very large ERP software systems at the head office or for large divisions, but they don’t necessarily run it everywhere.
There are large multi-national companies which uses large ERP software systems in their main offices, but the dozens of smaller divisions don’t run large ERP software, they use SYSPRO.
Larger ERP software systems such as SAP is so complex and expensive it makes no business sense for a smaller organization to use it.
SYSPRO provides all the functionality they need (for distribution and manufacturing) at a much lower cost and far less complexity.
SYSPRO was ahead of the game and solved the problem long ago. SYSPRO introduced its e.net integration software and a feature called Document Flow Manager (DFM). SYSPRO e.net solutions (the proper name of the product) is a set of components that enables access to SYSPRO business logic and data without using the SYSPRO client interface; it was one of the first applications to take advantage of Microsoft .NET Framework for interoperability and application integration.
The Document Flow Manager (DFM) module consists of a group of services which:
- Polls a data location (i.e. folder) looking for files, or for incoming email looking for particular attachments.
- Compares documents against specified ‘contracts’ for a match.
- Places the matched documents in a message queue.
- Processes the message queue and applies an appropriate SYSPRO business object to process the document and return a result.
The contracts can be configured to specify file types that must be located and which SYSPRO e.net business objects must operate on the files.
Question: Do the incoming documents need to be in XML format?
Answer: Incoming documents do not need to be in XML format. A contract can specify pre-processing using XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), an XML-based language used for the transformation of documents into XML documents.
The same process can be applied in reverse to ongoing documents.
You will need .Net Framework and a few other bits of Microsoft software (such as MS Message Queue), but they are essentially “free features” available in Windows.
While setting up the XSLT transform and configuring the contracts requires skill, it is more important for suppliers or customers to agree on using electronic document processing and come together for a standard for the documents.
It was a decade ago that vendors began the discussion about inter-company transaction processing using integration software.
A decade later, the functionality is available.
Are you considering a more cost-effective ERP software for parts of your organization but worrying how to link to the head office system?
Have you been told you need a costly specialized software which allows you to transact and operate electronically with partners or larger divisions?
Have you considered SYSPRO?
I would be interested to hear your comments about why you would prefer the more cumbersome software vs. enterprise software that is so diverse.