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Do you want your own fully programmable ERP? - Part 1
We are in a transition phase in the Managerial Administration models of any company or Government, because three factors are summing for that:
1. The new powerful business Information Technologies and its more and more smaller costs, like ERP, CRM, BI, etc.,
2. The creativity of the new MBA to generate value and its corresponding engineering - for example, Feedback Control System - in the administrative and managerial fields,
3. Several different layers in the companies in what refers to its managerial and administrative automation levels.
This created not very orthodox solutions, and one of them is the installation of a Front-End System above the Transational System already existent in your company that - by any reason - cannot be substituted by a "pure" ERP System.
Inside the existent tools and for reasons that will be exposed, we choiced the IBM Lotus Notes software for that purpose, briefly Notes as it's widely known.
The Notes has the following programmable structures that can be used to change and to use in a Front-End System of any online managerial or accounting System that already exists in your company, like ACCPAC/SBT, Macola and others 150 companies:
- It can be integrated into the Internet, to enlarge the area of the DAS/DDC functions at the regional, national or world levels.
- He has the so called Replication, that allows the Head office of a company in New York to change an only field in its local database, and automatically and in Real-Time that same field assumes the same value in the local database of a Branch in Chicago or Tokyo. And vice-versa. That means to have a national database - or regional or world - and not only local. This Replication can be programmed, a field or a group of fields can be Replicated or not, in agreement with the goals of the company.
- Theoretically that would create problems - for example, simultaneously an operator in New York change the content of the local field "m" and an operator in Chicago change the content of its same local field "m" - but Lotus Notes will solved this problem in a transparent way to both users with the use of the Replication, and the conflict doesn't exist.
- Therefore, concisely we are speaking about an only online national database and in Real-Time.
- He has an own Intranet e-mail System and/or through the Internet. This e-mail System differs from the traditional ones because he could be integrated automatically with the Notes database. For example, he can be programmed to send an e-mail to other operator, if - a condition - the field "m" of the database reach the value of "x". Or any input/output field of any mathematical model.
- It allows to create sophisticated electronic Forms, to be used by its Workflow. The whole operational flow of a company - besides at the national or world levels - can be executed through this electronic Forms - freely created and scheduled - which can also be integrated in the e-mail System.
- The whole management approvals flow can be programmed through the Notes Workflow.
- Its Agents automatically can detect operational conditions in order to generate the corresponding actions. By corresponding actions understand any administrative or managerial functions in Real-Time, DAS or DDC or both.
- He has its own methods to acquire data and/or information from the Back-End Transational System using any ODBC System and also it's possible to use several Add-Ons softwares for that purpose. Evidently if Notes will be used as a Font-End System above the Transational System of the company, he obligatorily should have means to acquire/send data from/to the Transational System, in Real-Time or not.
- He has its Script Language, for general programming of its commands, its functions, etc.
- He has a hierarchical Password System for controlled accesses to its Views, Forms, Agents, etc.
- Through its Views can transform the original data of the Transational System into high level information.
- Its Views are totally programmable - its columns are similar to the used un the spreadsheets - and they can be scheduled to have relationships with any other Views.
- Its Views are very similar to the Visual Basic Views - as a matter of fact already exists Add-Ons for the interconnection between Notes and Visual Basic.
- Its Views allows you to integrate in a column any mathematical functions or logical combinations as AND, OR, equality, larger than, smaller than, etc., and several other functions.
However is possible to use any System with the same capabilities of the Notes - specially with ODBC, Replication, Views and integrated e-mail - as a fully programmable ERP System.
In this first article we mentioned some capabilities to be used in a Front-End and in the next we will explain how to do your ERP Front-End.
About the Author:
J.C.Melo is a 73-years old IT professional with 54 years of experience in computer & technology entrepreneurship. He was the owner of the first minicomputer factory in South America and Consultant for the U.S. Government in several contracts. Now is the CEO of http://mba-open-university.net