The problem of integrating ERP applications is as old as ERP itself. Not long after ERP suites first debuted in the early 1990s--touted, ironically, as panaceas for corporate integration woes--companies have struggled to improve the level of integration between their ERP packages and other applications such as legacy systems and e-commerce sites.



"The issue goes back as far as I know," laments David Connelly, president and CEO of the Open Applications Group (OAG), a nonprofit consortium focused on e-business and application integration.

To deal with the problem, developers have several options for integrating their legacy, e-commerce, CRM and other applications with ERP suites from vendors such as SAP AG, PeopleSoft, Oracle and J.D. Edwards. Each integration approach, naturally, comes with its own challenges, and each has limitations.

Developers can use off-the-shelf data-sharing products such as middleware, EAI tools and ERP connectors. Alternatively, they might opt to develop their own homegrown connector components. Or they can turn to the application programming interfaces (APIs) shipped with the ERP systems themselves. But, as you might expect, each method is not suitable for all integration projects.

"It depends on what you're integrating," says Eric Anderson, president of the Portland, Oregon, based ERP-Link Corp., a consultancy that specializes in ERP and e-business issues. "Are you trying to integrate at the transaction level, document level or data level? How close to real-time do you need the integration to be? What you're trying to accomplish and what you're integrating will determine the method you'd use."

Michael Triosi, president of Front End Solutions, a company that offers ERP integration services, uses a 65 percent rule of thumb. If the off-the-shelf integration tools only address 60 to 65 percent of the business processes you need, he says, then customization is a better alternative in terms of functionality and overall return on investment.

"You're probably better off working with a set of custom components," Triosi says. If you need to customize the ERP connector to the native application right off the bat, then most likely you're changing the native application too much. "You're really ending up with a customized solution anyway. And you're going to be dealing with too many different products at that point. You might as well develop a custom application and not mess up a Seybold or PeopleSoft enterprise too much." This is important. he says, because the applications will need to be upgraded and patched over time. "Every time you get into doing that, then there is a lot of cost associated with changing your interface."

ERP APIs

-1-

1  2  3  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More