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The Transaction Adapter is the middleware component of Disus' 3rd party integration and development strategy for Baan.

Transaction Adapter resides between the client and the server pieces of an enterprise system and uses individual Transactional Objects also developed by Disus, to create a framework within which 3rd party products can be quickly and inexpensively integrated with Baan. Disus Transaction Adapter is a robust, multi-threaded program used by dozens of companies across North America in high volume manufacturing and distribution environments.

The ability to easily and inexpensively integrate 3rd party technologies with enterprise networks is a powerful competitive advantage; opening the door to best-of-breed solutions and minimizing the effects of 'lock-in'. The challenge facing ERP developers is how best to offer meaningful integration capabilities that address the constantly changing requirements of various types and sizes of business.

To facilitate cost effective integration of 3rd party solutions, Disus first developed its Transaction Adapter, based on Baan DDC protocol, in 1998. The Transaction Adapter allows an application to send transaction data to a TCP socket, have the transaction arrive at the appropriate Baan Business Object, and return a status message to the originating application.

Transaction Adapter is easy for developers to use. Calls to business objects are embedded in the client-side code so that the developer is only exposed to the argument list. The client side code handles connection to the TCP port, sends the transaction, and returns the call result to the calling application, transparently.

Transparency is achieved using is a piece of Disus code running on the Baan server which listens for transactions on a specified TCP port and passes the transactions to the relevant Transactional Object.

Disus code is also installed on the client machine; for example, a third-party application server such as a web server, to which the client application can make calls and which understands how to talk to the Transaction Adapter for each specified kind of transaction. Consequently, developers working with Transaction Adapter need not know anything about the Baan messaging.

Transaction Adapter supports NT and Unix, or both, (in mixed client/server set-ups). The encapsulated nature of the client-side code permits the Transaction Adapter to support various communications layers; for example, OpenWorld, without affecting the client-side code.

Transactional Objects

Transactional Objects are program objects that supply the transactional data needed by the Transaction Adapter and they ensure accuracy and seamless integration. These Disus-developed objects input 3rd party transactional data into Baan just as if someone was manually entering the data in the appropriate Baan session. Disus designs Transactional Objects using actual Baan logic, ensuring that the necessary data verification, edit, and business logic are already in place.

Development of Transactional Objects involves bypassing the user interface session-screen-code and accessing the underlying business logic code. The underlying code can be customized to meet specified business requirements. Baan source code is a prerequisite to development; and as with standard Baan code, there can be upgrade issues if the root transaction is changed.

Transactional Objects are fast, reliable and very flexible. They can be designed to process almost any transaction or multiple transactions using the same data set. As with any new code, they need to be tested and thoroughly debugged. However, because they are based on standard Baan session code, the actual debugging task is quite small compared to the volume of code.

Baan Application Guidelines and Pricing

Transaction Adapter middleware is being used today by a wide variety of industries and Baan setups, including:

  • Internet browser-based supplier collaboration portal
  • Bar code technology implementation - with and without wireless
  • Internet browser-based customer fulfillment portal
  • Intranet browser-based project management, planning and tracking system
The Transaction Adapter is licensed by site to Baan users for US$10,000 a site. Licensing provides for unrestrictive use in terms of number of users and number of transactions.

Transactional Objects are being used today by a wide variety of industries and Baan setups, including:

  • Shop Floor - real time integration of Orders Complete/Operations Complete data
  • Warehouse Automation - real time integration of Receipts, Put-Aways, Inventory Transfers, Cycle Counts, Picks, Deliveries data
  • Accounts Payable Posting - automated input of 3rd party files to populate Baan tables
  • Supply Chain - e-commerce browser integration with suppliers of PO items such as Manufactured, Sub-contracted, Service, Purchase and Cost items data
  • Hours Accounting - real time integration of Time, Project and Machine-hours data
  • Freight Management - consolidation of multiple Shipping sessions into one session. Provision for identifying Total Shipping Costs for multiple shipment, complete orders
Transactional Objects are custom developed and licensed by Disus to Baan users for fees ranging from US$1,500 to $3,000 per object license, per site. Licensing is unrestrictive in terms of number of users and transactions.

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For more information about Disus-developed software components and integration strategy, please contact:

Tom Jurenka
416.368.7677 x 211
Discover the value of experience.

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