BPM, SOA take coding out of .NET-based ERP customization

With common Web 2.0 interfaces, SOA, and BPM, Epicor ERP business users and managers can make changes to business processes. In the past, that kind of customization had to be hand coded, requiring IT involvement.

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The advent of service-oriented architecture and better interfaces has allowed easier customization of integrations, according ERP vendor Epicor Software Corp. That has in turn enabled better BPM.

Now, with common Web 2.0 interfaces, said John Hiraoka, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Epicor, business users and managers can make changes to business processes. In the past, that kind of customization had to be hand coded, requiring IT involvement.

BPM is "pervasive through the entire application," said Hiraoka. "Everything is tied to business process management." His company's new product is aimed at providing BPM customization for Epicor ERP systems used by its 20,000 customers in manufacturing, retail, finance and other industries, he said.

With the announcement of Epicor 9 this week, customization of business processes moves from developers to business users because Web service connectivity and a Web 2.0 interface allows users to define how business processes execute, Hiraoka said.

"What we're providing is flexibility for the customer to structure how the processes are going to be prioritized, the types of rules that are going to be managed as a process execution, notifications, and alerts that are tied into those business processes," he explained.

"Now, our customers can use the business process management layer to structure the systems to meet their specific needs," he said. "They are not getting into the code level. As business changes, as conditions change and they add plants, facilities, grow or even divest, they are able to go into the business rules and make changes without having to go in and get down into code."

The new SOA-based Epicor product includes features for customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), advanced planning and scheduling (APS), business process management (BPM), governance, risk and compliance (GRC), according to the product announcement. It also provides support for master data management (MDM).

The .NET ERP system allows users to work with enterprise information via the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, and Windows Mobile.

For more information
Forrester sees convergence of SOA and BPM
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