ERP System of the future: Database, Business Logic and Interface

    October 12, 2005

We will base our prognosis on our Microsoft Business Solutions ERP consulting practice: Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, MS CRM.

Also we’ve analyzed Oracle products: Oracle Financials, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and IBM Lotus Notes Domino. The trends could be seen in both: so-called functional consulting, dealing with overall system implementation and user training and customization – customization tools, open vs. proprietary technologies, etc. Our ideas are addressed to large corporate business IT departments, because in our opinion these professionals are under the highest pressure to foresee the future and make proper selection decision today.

No more new ERPs. The best time to launch a software development company with the aim to create new ERP was 1980s. In those days we saw the dominance of Hardware & OS (UNIX, Solaris, DOS, Mac OS). Each platform was selfish and usually non-compatible with the others (somebody may point out to EDI interfaces – yes, this was probably the only way of making different platforms talk to each other)

Existing ERP transformation. Consider Project Green from Microsoft for example. The plan is to introduce standard business suites: Microsoft Financials, Microsoft Logistics, Microsoft Manufacturing, Microsoft Human Resources, etc. Currently Microsoft owns several ERPs: Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, Solomon. If it succeeds in integrating the best pieces of each application under one recognizable and intuitive interface – the goal would be reached. Microsoft already got substantial success moving all its ERPs on one DB platform – Microsoft SQL Server

Java vs. Windows. We don’t think that you have to worry about OS platform anymore. XML is an excellent mediator and it will make it possible to allow each platform to concentrate in its business niche.

Database & Business Logic should stay. Yes – why would we need to reinvent double entry – the fundamentals of General Ledger accounting, invented by Luca Pacioli in 16th century? Well – the dilemma of large business is in its uniqueness. In our opinion it will be resolved by simplification of the ERP customization.

Interface. This is where you should expect the fight. Forbes Magazine predicts that future employees in your accounting & AR departments will come from nowadays computer gamers and for gamers intuitiveness of the interface is everything. We agree – the nicest features of user friendly ERP interface could be easily outsourced to offshore software development companies in India, China, Philippines, Russia

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (, he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.