123smlcrop   Design Overview


ERP123
is a comprehensive, integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business management software application that supports and automates the business processes in manufacturing, distribution and service-based environments.

ERP123 is composed of an extensive library of over 250 applications. Each of these libraries can be considered an individual module within ERP123. Each module represents a discreet business process within a business. The quantity of modules within ERP123 is a reflection of the widely varied number of methods it provides. For example, there are three different sales order entry modules that are standard within the system.  Each one of these provides specific functionality for a different business type.  What this means is that there is a choice of modules that can be deployed to meet different situational needs.  In this way, the modules chosen for a given implementation can be based on the specific needs of each customer.

Application Tools

Built with the industry-leading Sybase application toolkit “PowerBuilder” for use on Windows-based platforms , ERP123is rooted in a mature, reliable foundation that is widely supported internationally. PowerBuilder is recognized as the de facto standard for client/server development.  It is licensed to over 1million seats worldwide and is relied upon for mission-critical applications throughout the business and software industries.  With the most recent releases of PowerBuilder, Sybase has extended its Web-based capabilities and continues to extend its leadership in the field.  Sybase databases are commonly known as the fastest databases in the market.

For more information, please visit http://www.sybase.com/

Database Platform

ERP123 comes complete with the Sybase SQL Anywhere database engine because PowerBuilder applications and Sybase databases are sisters in the Sybase family of products. Under this combination ERP123 provides the industry’s fastest performance.  The low cost and low administrative requirement of Sybase SQL Anywhere best serve most small and mid-sized ERP 123 customers. It is being utilized in environments with as many as 100 concurrent users running on current server technology.  For larger organizations you can upgrade to the industry standard Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise if it becomes necessary.  These databases are within the core competencies of the IntegrateIT technical support team.

Server Requirements

Ask us about running ERP123 in the cloud if this is your preference.  We recommend Rackspace.com as provider of cloud computing who understands the needs of cloud-based ERP systems.

We recommend Microsoft Windows 2008 or higher as the operating system for any server where ERP123 will reside.  LINUX environments are also supported as long as the server operation system where ERP123 resides runs under Windows. Ask us  about your specific network platform.  Some configuration may be required.  Typical server installation time is 4-8 hours.

Specifications for the ERP123 server will depend on the number of users and devices it must support. To get the best performance from ERP123 in any case, we recommend servers with the following characteristics:

  • Multiple CPU capability for expandability
  • Redundant drive support via RAID controllers (hot-swappable is preferable)
  • Redundant power supplies (fail-safe)
  • Additional RAM capacity

In addition a server should always have the following additional equipment

  • An adequate back-up system (for restoring data in emergencies)
  • UPS (uninterrupted power supply) with intelligent shutdown capability in case of power failures

Obtaining reliable equipment is absolutely crucial for any ERP server. Your data is the “gold” in your business system – make sure you protect it accordingly.

The real issue with servers is what they will be used for and the need for expandability to support business growth. You should ensure that you have an adequate assessment of your growth before you decide what server you should buy. And also bear in mind that the life expectancy you want to get out of the server. Typically servers should be upgraded every five years in order to maintain a reasonably current technology levels.

In environments where data volume is high it may be necessary to split the application into two servers to improve performance. These are typically labeled as follows:

  • Applications server
  • Database server

You may also choose to host other programs (such as an email program like Microsoft Exchange) on your application server. We do not recommend you run any other major applications on the server where the ERP123 resides. This is because errors or problems with other programs can cause the server operating system stop responding to the needs of the database. This is normally not an issue in smaller installation.  For small installations, you can simply run the ERP123applications and the Sybase engine on the same server. Keeping ERP123 working at peak performance is a function of keeping the server environment as healthy as possible.

Workstation Requirements

We recommend that each client workstation using ERP123 should be running Windows 7 or greater and Microsoft Outlook 2010 or greater.  ERP123 has very low workstation overhead and should run on any decent computer.   Higher levels of computing power may be users for users who process large amounts of data.  An example of this would be the MRP module which uses an amount of memory that is related to the size of your product structure files.  On the other end of the scale, shop floor workstations require very little power as they are processing simple focused transactions.

Call us if you have questions about your existing hardware.

Integration Options

The various application modules of ERP123 can meet the requirements for most operations in typical manufacturing, distribution and logistics-based environments, without resorting to third-party programs. However, where special needs exist, ERP123 can be easily integrated with other ODBC-enabled programs and data sources such as:

  • EDI
  • CAD programs
  •  Freight management systems (such as FedEx or UPS)
  • Material optimization (nesting)
  • Payroll and banking

ERP123 was designed with integration in mind and is highly suitable for hybrid environments where data uploading and downloading is a necessity to achieve full integration.   ERP123 can usually interface seamlessly with any legacy system.  Ask us about your system.

System Configurability

ERP123 contains a wide variety of configuration “flags” that are used to tailor the software to the needs of each client who uses it. These flags are specifically used to:

  • Activate and deactivate system processes
  • Define user security for each process
  • Define the system behavior that will govern the process
  • Provide support for global application features such as email and PDF creation

Flags also reduce the installation and system configuration processes that are a normal precursor to the implementation process. Flags facilitate:

  • Fast, easy configuration; test systems can be running in 4-8 hours
  • No “version lock”; one set of code to support and update.  All systems configurations are stored at the database level
  • The vast majority of functional requirements can be met without writing new code

Flags are one of the many innovations of the ERP123 design architecture

Devices

In the same way that ERP123 can interact with other applications, it can also communicate with other digital data sources including handheld devices or scanners. ERP123 modules easily receive data from bar-code scanners and there is virtually no configuration required. This capability allows ERP123 to accept data from the shop floor to track tasks and times, shipping room operations such as picking, manifests and packing slips or transact inventory. Specific devices may require user interfaces to be written that suit the specific device.  Conversely, ERP123 can be run on any portable device that runs Windows and provides a reasonable screen resolution.

Design Objectives

The design objectives that IntegrateIT originally set for ERP123 were driven by years of experience in manufacturing management.

Configurability

Start with the same programming code for every installation and ensure the program reduces the costs of both implementation and support. This is done through the previously discussed “flags”.

Accessibility

Users should be able to access any data in the system easily without relying on programmers to develop search and reporting routines. ERP123’s“SuperQuery” wizards allow users to retrieve any data in the system from any module.

  • Explore, select, display, compare and export any data fields
  • “Click & drop” fields to create preferred views
  • All data is available in real time – “up-to-the-second”
  • Save views into public or private report libraries for recall later

Reporting

The implementation cost of most ERP systems can be broken down into the following three phases:

  • Installation and Configuration
  • Implementation and Training
  • Reporting

By making the core software friendlier and more accessible to users, ERP123 reduces or eliminates the need (and cost) of a separate Reporting phase.

  • No need for external reporting software or programming
  • Preferred data views can be defined during implementation
  • Revise and update views as needed, anytime

Virtually every report in ERP123 can be download to Microsoft Excel with the push of a button.  For many of our customers the system reports and download capabilities are more than they require.

For others there are never enough reports in any system.  For those we recommend learning to create using InfoMaker from the Sybase family of products.  This product is very similar to reporting tools such as Crystal Reports and allows you to construct virtually any report you desire.  You can also use it to modify and chain all of the default system forms in the ERP123 core report library.  InfoMaker can be purchased from Integrate or from a wide variety of sources that sell software.  At last check it sold for around $200 USD.

Personalization

ERP123 was built to adapt to the client Organizations should not be required to learn new terminology and processes to carry out familiar tasks. Users with different tasks should not be expected to navigate the whole system. ERP123 allows each user to work in “my own” environment. This is done through a combination of system editing and security that is controlled through the system administration functions.  Specifically:

  • All fields, processes and reports can be configured with user’s own terms, labels, units of measurement
  • Each user’s desktop can be set to open with any combination of ERP123 modules displayed together to suit tasks required
  • Extensive Security at both the column and field level, by user or group of users
  • Ability to set up customized menus and screen layouts
  • Ability to set drill-in capabilities for each user

Performance

Today’s business environments demand real-time decision support data.  ERP123 excels in providing continuous access to decision-support information for every user based on real-time data updates.

  • No “batch” processing to delay updating
  • Run MRP in 10 minutes without interrupting other users
  • Minimize network traffic; support business growth and Internet access