Custom Development for ERP
All Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are general-purpose solutions and a specific organization’s unique needs are sometimes not met in full – despite the rich variety of configuration options.
With Agresso, the typical headaches associated with custom development are avoided:
- modifications to standard product data model and screens
- ad-hoc coding that is difficult to maintain
- very high costs to migrate
- in-flexibility in the face of future changes
For most ERP products, tailoring the general-purpose product to the specific needs of a customer requires very high cost and high risk and reduced flexibility in the future. Not so with Agresso!
Agresso Customization Tools (ACT)
Agresso uses a very different method to meet the individual needs of our customers. We augment the capabilities of our ERP solution by adding ACT Customizations. ACT (Agresso Customization Tools) which are our unique approach to bridging the gap between an organization's ideal business requirements and the out-of the-box solution.
The key feature of ACT customizations is that they do not modify the source code; instead custom software is written outside of the core Agresso code, because Agresso was designed with customization in mind. Custom ACT code is invoked and executed instead of or in addition to the standard application logic through the use of “hooks” in the core code that anticipate the need for customer-specific logic.
Because the core solution (code and data structures) is not changed by customization, upgrading of Agresso customizations to new product versions is simpler. With many other large ERP systems custom work involves changing core product code and data structures, which either “freezes” customers onto a specific version of the product or requires major re-write work to upgrade customizations.
This is not the case with ACT customizations, which only have to change if the underlying business functionality changes. With small ACT customizations upgrade can be as easy as recompiling and retesting. And because ACT customizations are independent of the core product, they are easily managed: they can be added, removed, activated, or deactivated with a few mouse clicks within the Agresso Management Console.
Agresso is a Platform as well as an ERP Product
Agresso was architected to allow the addition of customer-specific business logic and functionality, including major new data-structures and screens, all without modifying any part of the core product. New functionality is can easily be integrated into the Agresso screens and menu structures.
This added functionality inherits the full Agresso framework and is perfectly integrated into a seamless look and feel. New data tables can also be easily added to the standard Agresso data model using a simple GUI tool, so all of the rich Agresso reporting tools can expose custom data as well as core data. Further, because these ACT extensions are independent of the core product, future releases of the product do not over-write any of your custom development.
UNIT4’s North America development team is comprised of seasoned developers. The team includes Senior Analysts and Designers, Developers, Quality Control Analysts, and Technical Writers, with backgrounds in computer science and software engineering as well as business.
A Perfect Fit
With the ACT toolkit, there is no good reason why Agresso enterprise resource planning system users should have to be satisfied with a less than 100% fit with their business model and needs.
We also leverage the experience and efforts of our corporate Research & Development (R&D) team in Europe. This is the group that develops the Agresso ERP systems as well as the Agresso framework. UNIT4’s corporate R&D team comprises a large group of software professionals who define architecture and application functionality.
Getting into the ACT
If you have capable .NET developers then you can opt to create ACT customizations yourself. All it requires is a license for ACT, which includes developer training, certification, and support.