J.D. Edwards Bolsters Connections

J.D. Edwards & Co. provided more details this week on its plan to adapt its back-office software to hosted, Web-enabled environments by embedding approximately 300 of its applications with EAI (enterprise application integration) and external, business-to-business XML integration software.

Those links will constitute the eXtended Process Integration (XPI) engine of OneWorld Xe.

The Denver-based vendor will also offer integration with Siebel Systems Inc.'s eConsumer Goods module via J.D. Edwards offerings for consumer industries; Extensity Inc.'s time, travel, and expense management software; and Ariba inc.'s Buyer offeringsAdditionally, the company will offer support for Microsoft Corp.'s Commerce Server and IBM Corp.'s WebSphere Commerce Suite, preintegrated with OneWorld Xe. J.D. Edwards is also planning to offer a knowledge management solution early next year.

However, the ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor will not be throwing out its client/server offerings, said Ed McVaney, founder, president, and CEO of J.D. Edwards. "We're supporting three different versions: the client/server version, the Java version [which some people would call 'Web-enabled'], and the HTML version," McVaney said. About 95 percent of J.D. Edwards' customer base will be moving to the Web, he said. "In most situations, client/server's just a pain in the patootie."

The XPI adapters, which bring together the capabilities of Active Software Inc. (acquired by WebMethods Inc.) and the XML-based b-to-b interoperability from Netfish Technologies Inc., will be rolled out over the coming year, McVaney said.

This is a long-term, far-reaching decision by J.D. Edwards, said David Dobrin, a partner at Cambridge, Mass.-based Surgency, a research and consulting firm. Dobrin acknowledged that he advised the vendor to take some of these actions. "They're saying, ultimately, that they'd like to sell business process software ... that [they want] to do more at the process level than the information level," he said.

This vision will take years to be completely realized, but in the meantime, J.D. Edwards will be able to offer Active Software middleware to help users with mixed, best-of-breed environments, Dobrin said. "The issue is that you have J.D. Edwards manufacturing in five divisions and in corporate you have SAP general ledger and you have PeopleSoft payroll," he said. "You can go to J.D. Edwards ... and get software that will help you do a much better [job] of connecting those."

Adapt and survive

J.D. Edwards expands integration.

Applications: Baan, BroadVision, Calico, Dynamo, InterWorld, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel, VantiveDatabase: Informix, SQL Server, Oracle, SybaseSystems: MQSeries, CICS, IMSSources: International Data Corp. and J.D. Edwards

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More about Active SoftwareAribaBaanBroadvisionextensityIBM AustraliaInformixInterWorldMicrosoftNetfish TechnologiesOneWorldOraclePeopleSoftSAP AustraliaSiebel SystemsSurgencyWebMethods Australia

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