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Infor Lawson Technology Review

 

An Independent Supply Chain Software Review

Development Technology

Lawson M3 was initially developed for the IBM AS/400 using the RPG programing language, and the newer versions are based on open standards developed using Java technologies and IBM middleware including WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere ESB, WebSphere MQ and DB2 Query Manager.

The M3 architectural components are a Document Archive Foundation based on IBM DB2 Content Manager, System Foundation based on Java technologies and IBM middleware and Business Process Management. Client-side interfaces are built on Microsoft’s .NET Technologies. SOA components include User Workplace based on Java Technologies and Business Engine based on Java Technologies that addresses processes, collaboration and web services. Infor has announced plans to incorporate their ION, an SOA suite, into M3 and to add their Microsoft SharePoint based user Workspace as an option for M3 customers.

Primary technology stack:

  • Operating Systems: IBM i, IBM AIX and IBM LUNIX
  • Database: IBM DB2

Integration Technology

The M3 System foundation and Business Process Management architecture is based on IBM middleware providing SOA functionality for process integration and data exchange with other systems. Once M3 is adapted to Infor’s SOA solution (ION), customers will have additional integration options. Customers will also have two options for user interfaces: the Lawson Workplace solution and eventually the Infor Workspace user interface. Out of the box interfaces cover industry standards such as EDI and ability to collaborate on sales forecasts.

Lawson M3 Business Process Manager Integration Components

  • Process Flow Integrator is a process and application integration framework for modeling, orchestrating, optimizing, executing and managing processes.
  • Enterprise Collaborator is a flexible design and configuration tool with standard, pre-configured message formats.
  • Web Services are platform-independent services based on XML which expose business functionality for direct application-to-application integration.

Information Builders sells a product called iWay Software which provides M3 adaptors for additional interface options with other vendor applications, e-Business connections, transaction processors products, messaging systems, databases and file transfer products.

Customization Technologies

Business processes, data exchange and user interfaces are largely customized using Lawson’s built in SOA and supporting tools. M3 also has user definable setup parameters for basic options. Any base code modifications or custom add on modules generally use the System Foundations to simplify the custom code. Customers that develop their own modifications need to have deep knowledge of Java Technologies and IBM middleware.

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