Friday, March 30, 2007
Is the future ERP distributed?
The evolution of software architectures has gone through batch processing systems to client-server systems and ultimately towards peer-to-peer type of distributed structures. We have seen applications in internet telephone, file sharing and internet TV - why not in enterprise resource planning? Companies are spending a lot of money to integration projects and applying techniques such as EAI (enterprise application integration) and different type of communication frameworks. There is an obvious need to get the logistics information flow: sales orders from suppliers to factory, purhcase orders automatically to suppliers ERP systems. Wouldn't it be easier just to plug one ERP to another just like you do in Skype? - departments with each other, factories within the company, agents and suppliers. This could be the future ERP. No more one company system - a huge database-based transaction machine - but a set of several software talking with each other between organisations just plug-and-play.
Typing the keywords "ERP" and "P2P" on a search engine does not bring too many hits, but there is one company actually working on this. Samooha from India is an open source software company (Samooha is a Sanskrit word, which means"association, corporation, community or a collection"). I think they have brought some very interesting new insights on this traditional business. The software is published under LGPL lisence and can be downloaded from Samooha web page as well as SourceForge.net. Good luck Samooha!