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Web Based ERP Systems

With the proliferation of Internet, ERP systems like all the domains of Information Technology have known an important evolution.

This final thesis project is a study about the evolution of ERP systems, more precisely about their migration to the Web giving birth to a new generation of systems: the Web-Based or Web-enabled ERP systems. This migration to the Web is justified by the difficulty of making possible the communication between partner’s legacy systems and the organization’s ERP systems.

A historical evolution of these systems is presented in order to understand the reasons that lead vendors to adopt the Web Service Technology. Based on different studies, the main technologies such as Web services, Service-Oriented Architecture and Web Application server are also presented. From an interpretative research approach mySAP ERP has been chosen as a case study.

This study has been led into AIRBUS France Company within the framework of the SAP Customer Competence Center (SAPCCC) Web site project. The project is aimed at re-building the SAPCCC Web site. The new characteristic of the Web site is to make it accessible by all AIRBUS partners working with SAP applications. To make the Web site accessible by the partners from their own applications located on their own platforms the development has been done thanks to mySAP ERP which is an ERP using the Web service technology. Finally, this thesis presents a comparative study between traditional ERP systems and the new generation of Web-based ERP systems.

Background and Purpose:

Currently the main objective of any organization is to be competitive in its market. However staying in the race includes essentially two points: the customer satisfaction and the profit increase. For achieving these aims it is fundamental for the managers to be able to get the right information in short delay that means an efficient management of the information flow trough the business components of the company. Until the 90s implementing ERP systems appeared as the miraculous solution but soon it appeared that these systems didn’t offered enough capabilities.

Indeed from a general view, all this turns around an efficient communication in companies. But to be efficient a company needs to improve the circulation of internal information but also of external one. This external information is not easily reachable by companies that possessed an ERP system because for a long time ERP systems didn’t allow integration of the partners, customers and suppliers applications within the system. So another solution has to be found. How applications from other platforms can communicate with ERP systems?

So far, there was only one platform on which different applications from different platforms communicate efficiently without any ownership cost: Internet. Internet is an environment that runs on standard protocols-without any owner through which so different applications exchange data. These applications are essentially Web Services that belong to Web applications and can handle the communication between applications written in different languages and located in different platforms.

Thereby, Web services organized into a Service-Oriented Architecture represented the solution that will enable a “tri-party business relationships” between the organization, suppliers and the customers. The Service-Oriented architecture will help in improving interoperability between them. Combining the Web to ERP systems has given birth to a new generation of technology: the Web-based ERP systems.

The purpose of this study is to try to have a better understanding of these new ERP also called Web-enabled ERP systems and mainly to show that Web services improve considerably ERPs.

For this we will try to answer in this paper to these following questions:

• How Web Services are integrated into ERP?

• What additional values do Web Services bring to traditional ERP systems?

However in order to have a concrete vision on how these systems work we choose to study more deeply a specific ERP via mySAP ERP and its use in a project.
Author: Marie-Joseph GOMIS

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