No REST for the ERP?

March 10, 2015

Computer systems used to have a roadmap, a list of feature updates that would happen over time.

 

Then came the internet, more specifically consumer behavior that broke this schedule. We want to have everything and right now!

This trend of consumerization carries well over to the business-to-business world too. We're expecting usability, transparency and speed the same as we're used to as consumers - and rightfully so. This change puts huge amount of stress for corporate systems and to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in particular. 
Traditionally ERP has been the beating heart of your business, the place where every step of the production process is controlled. And now suddenly all of this internal information should flow past firewalls to the web shops, mobile interfaces, partners, b2b customers… and the list goes on. 

Most prominent way to tap into this information is REST (Representational State Transfer) - this is a technical term to describe a service architecture. It is widely used in the internet because it's fast and effective, but we will not dive into technology now. REST allows you to share information between services over the internet - this will be our definition for the purpose of this blog. 

Adding RESTful interface to an existing system can be a tedious task. ERP systems have long life span and changes are slow and expensive. So it is fairly usual not to have REST support - especially in Supply Chain information systems. And even if your system supports rudimentary REST you will have a business need to throttle data; draw meaningful and restricted subsets that you can share without a worry that you'll expose your confidential business information.  

Rather than building this sharing capability from scratch, you can use it as a service. Youredi can act as your REST interface, bridging information from internal systems to the internet and vice versa. And it's worth noting that our offering is not just about technical connectivity, it is also about message transformations, business rules, production capabilities and scalability. In short, it's a business service, not a technical gimmick. 

During this spring, we'll be hosting multiple webinars that cover different aspects of Youredi service; how to connect your data with your customers. And how to implement your process online, in a RESTful environment. 

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