As we build solutions for our customers, we take into account the many emerging technologies associated with ERP solutions, and it is no easy task deciding what to pursue. Two areas that have come up recently as we are developing our next generation user experience are HTML5 and in-memory databases.
The user interface (UI) and more importantly the user experience (UX) of an application is essential to the effectiveness of users and therefore manufacturers. The UI is like the clothing of the application: it must be fit for purpose, give a particular message style and constantly change to stay in fashion.
The Latest In Web and Mobile UI: HTML5
In QAD’s experience, UI technologies change every three to five years. QAD’s application UIs have evolved from character (i.e., Telnet), to GUI, to early browser, to .NET and now to modern browser and mobile. QAD has adapted to each trend and exploited the latest usability capabilities as they have come into fashion.
Given the changing nature of UIs, we understand how to adapt quickly to new UIs with minimal development. In our latest UX technology initiative called Channel Islands, we have incorporated the latest web and mobile UI technology referred to as HTML5, providing the most compelling UX to date.
The Channel Islands based UX is data driven allowing QAD to adapt to industry changes without major rework to underlying ERP capabilities. The approach protects our customers’ investment for the future.
In-memory Databases And Enterprise Software
As mentioned earlier, QAD is committed to protecting customers from overhyped technologies. In-memory databases is a clear recent example of such hype.
Given all the hype, it is easy to overlook the business purpose of offering an in-memory database or a database running on a solid state drive (SSD) – that is to deliver real-time transactional data or related analytics as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Once you think in terms of business purpose you find that there are many technology approaches. Examples include storage solutions like SSD, technologies for handling large data volumes like Logstash and cache technologies that optimize schema structure − all of which QAD has implemented. In fact, QAD DSCP (Demand and Supply Chain Planning) uses our own proprietary in-memory database technology. Our approach is to choose technologies that best address a particular business and/or technology objective, measured by real world results and cost effectiveness for our customers.
Recently QAD has implemented a number of technologies to offer real-time transactional analytics as part of our Channel Islands initiative. A careful balance between in-memory data cache, optimized data structures and an advanced analytics engine come together to address the true insight and decision-making goals of our customers.