Applications Software Packages

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Transcript Applications Software Packages

Applications Software Packages
You are more likely to contact Application Software
Packages than write software.
In this lecture we will be looking at the components,
objectives of 2 major packages
• SAP (R/3)
• Oracle Financials
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Applications Software Packages
However, before we do that, you need to be aware of the
rapid increase in the number, and use, of mobile devices
The integration or convergence of Internet technologies such
– Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
– Extensible Markup Language (XML)
– Web application servers
– Wireless Application protocol (WAP)
has made it practical to extend Enterprise Resource
Planning information to mobile users with a wide range of
physical platforms
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This in turn has opened up the way for people to use
advanced systems (such as SAP) - this ‘leverage’ increases
the existing IT infrastructures and increases its value by
allowing access to more timely information through ‘new’ ebusiness channels
An e-business channel is a path to an end user. The
channels include WAP, B2B, Internet, Palm VIIs
This does raise a problem - how familiar are these ‘extended
users’ of SAP software ?
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There are 2 major forms for connectivity models
• connected
• intermittently connected
They are self defining.
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So what is SAP ?
Systems, Applications, Products
in Information Processing
SAP Attributes - Integration, (which means connection of
- Flexibility
- Real time
- On line
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Applications Software Packages
SAP is one of the ‘re-engineering’ packages mentioned in a
previous lecture
SAP had considerable success with their software
as many users and developers found, the increasing
awareness and use of the Internet, e-commerce, B2B and
other devices led SAP to re-engineer SAP
There was also a shift in emphasis - market share became
more dominant than cost efficiency.
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Applications Software Packages
Front-office sales automation and Customer Relationship
Management emerged - and very rapidly
SAP commenced restructuring - to serve specific industries
with deeper domain expertise in sales, consulting services
and product development
and to fully embrace or utilise the Internet
Why ? - because the market place had altered.
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Applications Software Packages
There is now an infrastructure system which can / will handle
– the recording of transactions
– extending this to the physical handling of goods
– valuation of transactions
– financial settlement among the Companies involved and
the customers
– customer information
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Applications Software Packages
What ‘information’ is likely to be required ?
– The last time customers attended a seminar or company
– The complete record of each customers order history
– Details of locations of each customers offices - where
they are, how many staff, goods handled, …
– Organisation chart of each of the customers and their
satellite offices
– Product information
– Mission statement
– Customer deductions, promotions, marketing programs
and of course keep this up to date
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Applications Software Packages
Remember that this is ‘Solution Software’
It is not a specific solution for each customer - it is the
availability of software which each customer can interact with
via a variety of Web interfaces and browsers
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Applications Software Packages
In the following overheads, there will be a brief outline of
some of the features/uses of SAP and this will be introduced
by a commercial approach to
– ‘commodity production’ which means availability and low
– and custom creation - (perfect fit and customer loyalty)
Many industries accept ‘custom orders’ only.
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Applications Software Packages
SAP R/3 has potential to design applications with
– variable bills of materials (BOM)
– flexible manufacturing processes
This permits the design of a variety of product offerings
– Configure to order
– Build to order
– Engineer to order
order types.
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Applications Software Packages
A model contains 3 major elements
– Classification
– Bills of material
– Rules
Classification is the most important underlying data
– all rules refer to classification data
– efficient rule design and the ability to maintain rules
depends on good classification system design
– changes to the classification system will have a
major effect on change management
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Applications Software Packages
Class typing : AN R/3 class type must be assigned to each
Class Hierarchy : Many class are required to describe the
range of materials or objects which are being modelled for a
new Sales order Creation (SCE).
An example of this is a finished product such as a motor
vehicle which requires many parts, products, materials to
build a complete model which works for both sales and
manufacturing (a ‘used-in’ ….). A product could be an
electrical or electronic component such as the engine
management system
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Applications Software Packages
Bills of Materials define the master data structure for the
parts which manufacturing will use to build a product
Variant BOM structures will allow for a bill of material to
be created for each customer-requested configuration (as
in special features or accessories to a vehicle).
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Rule design
The foundation of Rules are the Bill of Material and
Good design of BOMs and Classifications enable efficient
These assist in determining a correct BOM for the product
Constraints are declarative dependency rules
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Applications Software Packages
Configuration technology is used in computing, cat
manufacturing, telecommunications as well as loans,
medical equipment, engines, electronics
Personal finance, home improvement projects, company
benefits packages are also the subject of applications
Reasons for implementing this technology ?
Increase in sales
Better assistance in product options
Increased customer satisfaction
Lower returns of ‘unacceptable’ products
Reduction in cost of sales
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Applications Software Packages
The previous overheads were based on the use of SAP as
an example of what could be achieved in a dynamic
assembly line
SAP was the product responsible for
all item, product and assembled details
calculations of time and costs
classification and modeling of the finished product
variable modelling
a wide range of ‘personal’ aspects
maintaining the module data bases
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Oracle Financials
• Now we are going to ‘pull apart’ the Application Package
from Oracle.
• And see what its components are, and also
• See how they communicate and
• What they communicate about
• Another possible title is ‘The Anatomy of Oracle Financials’
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Oracle Financials
The correct title for this package is ‘Oracle Financial
Analyser 11i’
It is licensed and its licence fee is approximately $A2200
per named user
There is another package required - Express Server
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Oracle Financials
The minimum Operating Systems on which this package will
run are
– Windows NT4.0 with service pack 3, 4 or 5
– Solaris 2.6 or 2.7
Windows NT Server Hardware Configuration
– Dual Processor Pentium Pro
– 256Mb memory
– 512 Mb paging file (2X physical memory)
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Oracle Financials
Sun Solaris hardware:
– Dual UltraSparc 200MHz
– 1 Gb memory
– 256 swap space
Windows Clients : Windows 95, 98, 2000 or NT4.0
Pentium 133
32Mb RAM
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Oracle Financials
Web Products:
Web Browsers :- Netscape Communicator 4.61 and 4.7.x
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 with JVM 5
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 with JVM 5
Web Servers :- Oracle Application Server, for
NT and Unix
Oracle WebDB 2.2
Apache 1.3.9
Netscape Enterprise Server 4.1
Microsoft IIS 3.0 and 4.0
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Oracle Financials
There are 2 modules in the financials :
Oracle Financial Analyser (OFA)
Oracle Sales Analyser (OSA)
They are prebuilt business intelligence applications which
use the Oracle Express Server as their multi-dimensional On
Line Application Processor (OLAP).
The previous version of this software was 6.3, which was
released in November, 1999
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Oracle Financials
OLAP servers store data in multidimensional arrays
(sometimes called cubes) and these arrays copy the
baselines by which managers analyse data.
If we look at statistical measures, such as revenue, costs,
and units sold, an OLAP multidimensional array will organise
this data by business properties such as :
– time period
– product
– customer
– location
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Oracle Financials
There is a new type of DBMS called a main memory database
This holds the entire database in the computer’s main
memory - the advantage being exceptionally high query
request response (there is one in Windows 2000 - (IMDB))
One of the requirements of Decision Support Systems is that
of On Line Analytical Processing (OLAP)
Relational databases are used in many commercial
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Oracle Financials
There is therefore a need to have the Relational Databases
capable of holding large amounts of data.
This has a negative impact on processing time - and of
course DSS applications required much data
The ‘solution’ is to have tools to import, integrate, and
populate the data warehouse with operational data
Most of the relational data-loading tools perform load
operations in batch mode - but this requires that the source
and target database must be locked
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Oracle Financials
A technique known ROLAP provides advanced decision
support capabilities which are scalable to a complete
enterprise - and is a logical choice for those companies
which have RDBMS for their operational data.
This is where we see the ‘dimensions’ appear
Multidimensional online analytical processing (MOLAP)
extends OLAP functionality to multidimensional database
management systems (MDBMs) (more processes)
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Oracle Financials
An MDBMS uses special techniques to store data in matrix
form n-dimensional arrays.
Many of the techniques used are derived from engineering
fields such as Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided
Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and geographic information
MDBMS users ‘see’ data (or a better term is ‘visualise’) as a 3
dimensional cube - known as a data cube.
The location of each data value in the cube is a function of
the x, y and z axes in a 3 dimensional space
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Oracle Financials
It is possible to increase the number of dimensions and this
is known as a hypercube.
The data cubes are created be extracting data from the
operational databases -or from the data warehouse
They are static - they are not subject to change and must be
created before they can be used
As an example a cube for sales could have (for instance)
product, locations and time dimensions - and only data
associated with these dimensions can be queried
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Oracle Financials
The data cube creations process is critical and requires indepth, skilled frond end design work
Data cubes are generally held in memory - in a ‘cube cache’
This diagram is a 3-dimensional cube :
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Oracle Financials
The use of recurring aggregations indicated that the data
processing language needed to have s new operator (or
command) which could carry out all of the possible
aggregations in a table which had been extracted for
This table shows the rows relating to red Holdens or red
Toyotas sold between 1998 and 2000
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Oracle Financials
The table also contains many other rows relating to sales of
other cars and other colours
This is a segment of SQL code (which you should be able to
understand) and which includes the ‘with cube’ operator
select make, year, Colour, sum(sales)
from Sales
where (make = ‘Holden’ or make = ‘Toyota’)
and colour = ‘red’
and year between 1999 and 2000
group by Make, Year, Colour
with cube;
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Oracle Financials
The 3 dimensions are Make, Year and Colour
The query extracts all the constructed aggregates, and the
aggregation is represented by the value ‘ALL’ which is
present in all the domains and corresponds to all the
possible values present in the domain.
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Oracle Financials
The data cube of the previous tale would look like this :
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Oracle Financials
The spatial diagram would look like this :2000
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Oracle Financials
So now that you have some idea of the terms
Multidimensional DataBase Management System
we will now move on to the Oracle Financials
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Oracle Financials
This diagram shows the Express Suite Product relationships
Client Web Excel
Financial Analyser
Client Web
Client Web Excel Tools(VB)
Sales Analyser
Custom Application
Oracle Express Server
Oracle General
Legacy (Old)
Flat Files
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Oracle Financials
The net results of all that is :
The Express Server develops and organises data relevant to
the ‘cube’ - multidimensioning (time, value, product)
and the Oracle Financial applications are then utilised to
further analyse the data collected by the Express Server
The Express Server can be thought of as the ‘database’
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Oracle Financials
• Let’s look at OFA - Oracle Financials Analyser
It is an application which is directed at
– financial reporting
– analysis
– planning
It has been designed in a distributed architecture mode
which permits users the autonomy to to create and
manipulate their own scenarios of data - but not the
ability to modify the base data
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Oracle Financials
The Architecture
There are different workstation ‘types’ which allow for the
tailoring of features and capabilities by individual users
These ‘types’ also manage the flow and control of structures
and data in the application
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Oracle Financials
There is ONE Super Administrator (software component)
which has control of the application
Sub-Administrators can be created
These Administrators
– create and distribute common structures (financial
account values for example)
– load and calculate data
– create users
– control access
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Oracle Financials
With each Administrator workstation there is a Shared
Database and a Task Processor
The shared database is the central data repository
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Oracle Financials
The Task Processor
This controls the processing, submission and distribution of
data and structures in the system
The Task Processor can be run by its associated
Administrator Workstations as a background task
or it can be run from a dedicated workstation
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Oracle Financials
Express Server allows
– single-write
– multi-read access to an individual database
The Task Processor sequentially controls the submission
and processing of information to the shared database
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Oracle Financials
Each Administrator can have one or more subordinate
– Budget - Users have full access to their own section of
data and can work in connected or disconnected mode
– ‘What if’ analyses can be run on this section of
data without affecting other users accessing the
shared database
– Analyst - Users access the shared database and can
create their own documents - reports, graphs (or charts)
and worksheets and save these in their own personal
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Oracle Financials
– Analyst (cont’d)
Authorisation can be granted to make ad hoc changes to
data in the shared database (do you think this is
• sound
• secure
• a good feature
• dangerous
– Another feature is that the Analyst workstation can create
and view personal documents from Windows or a Web
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Oracle Financials
External Web
Users can access the shared database directly but don’t
have a personal database
They cannot create and save their own documents
Such as user is a ‘casual’ - probably only needing to view
and manipulate existing documents or enter and calculate
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Oracle Financials
This is an add-in (remember Solver ?) which can be used to
query and report directly against the shared database.
There is an Excel Data Collection toolkit which is useful for
infrequent users. VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is
included in this toolkit
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Oracle Financials
Users control a sub-set of the application.
Sub-Administrators can have a sub-ordinate Budget, Web,
Excel, and Administrator workstations
That’s probably all very interesting but Oracle Financial
Applications need to be built - much the same as you will, or
have, ‘built’ the Excel assignment
The next few overheads look at ‘the building regulations’.
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Oracle Financials
The developer must create and populate the various
These components are
– Express database objects such as
• dimensions
• multidimensional arrays (aka Financial Data items)
• hierarchies
• models
Most of these can be built from a Windows client using menu
There is some Express Stored procedure Language
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Oracle Financials
The main components of an OFA application are
– Dimensions - which provide the index to the
multidimensional data
– Hierarchies - which allow aggregation of data to higher
levels of summarisation - and also provide drill down
– Financial Data Items - these store the different scenarios
such as Actual, Plan, Forecast (and versions of these
such as Plan1,…
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Oracle Financials
– Models - these are sets of equations which are used to
perform interrelated calculations (which are normally
between members of the Line Item dimension
[ Express stores the model logic separately from data.
This allows the same model to be run against different
Financial Data Items
or - different models to be run against the same data.
Pessimistic and Optimistic (worst and best case) models
can be run for instance.
– Data Entry - Windows client, Web client, Excel all support
data entry. Data can be entered into multiple FDIs
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Oracle Financials
– Solves - are models, hierarchies which define how an FDI
is to be calculated (as with your Excel assignment using
the Solver Options and Constraints)
– Copy Data Profiles - allow copying of data from one FDI
to another. This can be useful as an update technique replacing ‘old’ data with ‘newer’ data for the next cycle
And finally, Oracle Financial Analyser is able to be
integrated with the Oracle General Ledger
We don’t have time to go into this, but it is a reminder that
the ‘new generation’ software is very extensive and can
be integrated
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