Economics of change: Vendors blend EAI, ERP, and RFID with open source ease
Apatar recently set up an open source database integration partnership with MySQL AB; a RichWeb architecture is at the center of Compiere's new open source ERP; and a new RFID simulation tool from Pramari tests scenarios before buying.
Apatar sets up open source partnership with MySQL AB
According to Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group , corporate developers spend approximately 65 percent of their effort building bridges between applications. Apatar is said to be the first company to release open source tools that enable nontechnical staff and customers to access the application data they need to do their jobs more effectively. Apatar enables its users to easily link information between databases (e.g., MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle); files (e.g., Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, CSV/TXT files); applications (e.g., Salesforce.com, SugarCRM); and the top Web 2.0 destinations (e.g., Flickr, Amazon S3, RSS feeds).
Apatar also recently entered the MySQL Enterprise Connection Alliance (MECA) partner program for open-source database developer MySQL AB .
According to Nicolas Pujol, MySQL AB’s senior director of worldwide alliances and channels, “Apatar shares our belief that database access and management solutions should be easily affordable and available to all types of business users, not just high-end programmers.”
According to Renat Khasanshyn, founder and CEO, Apatar, "The truth is that in today’s enterprises, most data integration projects never get built. Even though the companies might use MySQL or another open source database, the return-on-investment on the small projects is simply too low to justify bringing in expensive middleware. Apatar entered this market as an open source vendor bringing the ease of drag-and-drop data integration to companies that previously found proprietary data integration, ETL, and EAI software tools expensive and difficult to implement.”
• Web architecture at center of Compiere open source ERP
Compiere 3.0 represents a milestone in the vendor's quest to change the economics of business software and further facilitate deployment of ERP. It also marks the introduction of Compiere Professional Edition, a premium offering targeted at larger organizations that require more advanced services and commercial licensing from Compiere.
Compiere Professional Edition leverages the latest generation of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) technology to deliver usability, responsiveness, and personalization through a Web browser. Built using standards-based service-oriented architecture (SOA) and open source Google Web Toolkit technologies, the Compiere Web architecture features secure access from any Internet-enabled computer without installing and configuring client software on user desktops. (A Flash-based demonstration of Compiere’s Web architecture is available
Expanded returns management functionality, new financial reporting templates, and improved stability round out the innovations available across all three Compiere 3.0 editions: Compiere Community Edition, Compiere Standard Edition and Compiere Professional Edition. Advancements include:
• Returns management: Feature-rich, ready-to-deploy functionality to implement return materials authorization (RMA) and return to vendor (RTV) processes.
• Financial report templates: An expanded set of financial report templates including a new Trial Balance template and refined Sales Reporting templates.
“We continue to see strong interest for Compiere, not just as a cost-effective open source ERP solution, but as a business tool that drives growth and profitability,” says Robert Kunz, president of KnowledgeBlue , a Compiere partner company. “We appreciate that Compiere continues to invest in open source technologies while ensuring it addresses the expanding opportunity with mid-market organizations. Many of our customers will quickly embrace the new Web capabilities, which enable secure, full-function productivity from the office, customer sites, and anywhere with an Internet-enabled computer.”
• Pramari RFID simulation tool tests scenarios before buying
Pramari added a new design component to its Rifidi open source development suite for simulating and testing RFID deployments. Rifidi Designer allows users to model and analyze RFID configuration performance, testing assumptions and conducting‘what if’ scenarios before implementation.
Development of the business processes within Rifidi Designer was aided by the University of Arkansas RFID lab.
“With Rifidi Designer, you can build up a factory or distribution center process and know what it looks like rather than setting it up in the real world,” says Prasith Govin, CTO, Pramari. “This cuts costs and enables companies to get started faster. Rifidi Designer is a visualization tool for revealing challenges that all companies faces in implementing RFID. It helps them design applications and configurations before any investment in equipment.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.