Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An examination of the utility of in intergrating ERP with external systems
Author: Youssef, Mohammed Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3004
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software systems have been gaining increasing prominence in recent times and are now regarded as one of the most important components of the corporate IT infrastructure. Indeed, in organisations where they are installed, ERP systems usually form the centre of this infrastructure. Being at the centre of a wider system consisting of several software components, ERPs usually need to be integrated with the other enterprise software solutions around them. This research examined the role that Microsoft . NET technology can play in such an integration process. This examination mainly took place through a real-life case study which involved the implementation of an integration project. The purpose of the project was to integrate an ERP system installed in a manufacturing company with an e-commerce website that was being developed to enable the company to sell its products online. The project required the two systems to be integrated so that prices on the website would be sourced directly from the ERP system and that any orders placed on the website would be sent directly into the ERP. Through the above case study, Microsoft . NET's potential role in facilitating the integration of ERP systems with external applications was analysed, resulting in a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of NET for ERP-based integration projects including conclusions on the suitability of the technology for this purpose as well as its advantages and shortcomings. In terms of research questions, the purpose of this research was to answer the following: 1) Is the Microsoft . NET platform a suitable technology to use in integrating small to mid-sized ERP systems with external third party applications and systems within an SME context? 2) How does Microsoft. NET compare with other technologies for this purpose? The conclusion that was reached was that Microsoft NET can, in fact, significantly facilitate ERP integration projects and that the technology provides several features that make it of particular use for this purpose: " Unrivalled support for Web Services and XML. "A very extensive class library providing a huge number of ready-made components. " An industry-leading development tool in Visual Studio. NET. " Inherent security features that reduce the burden on developers to secure applications. " Support for most programming languages as well as support for the use of several different languages within the same project. Furthermore, a comparison of NET with J2EE as an enabler of ERP integration with external applications reached the conclusion that NET would, in the majority of cases, constitute the better option within an SME context for the following reasons: " Faster development of projects in most cases, thereby putting less strain on the generally fewer resources available to smaller companies. " Closer integration of NET with Windows operating systems and software, with Windows being generally more popular amongst smaller companies. However, it was also concluded that in the case of ERP integration projects for larger organisations, J2EE would usually be the more suitable choice since it was found to be more suited than NET to the heterogeneous IT infrastructures generally found in such organisations. As well as evaluating NET as an enabler of ERP integration, a further contribution to knowledge that this research presented was a novel architecture that can be used to facilitate the integration of ERP systems with external applications and potentially also the integration of all of a company's systems through their ERP. This novel architecture involved using a dedicated Web Services server that would expose the functionality and data of the ERP and would constitute a central integration hub.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available