After months of waiting, JD Edwards World users can celebrate an important milestone in the transformation of their applications. This morning, World General Manager John Schiff officially unwrapped World A9.1, a new version of the enterprise application suite, to a packed room of customers. World A9.1 features about 1,300 enhancements in three major categories.

  • Reduced cost and complexity of integration. World A9.1 users will find it much easier to integrate their applications with other core business systems via a new body of Java APIs. The APIs are supported by both Oracle’s and IBM’s middleware platforms. In addition, World A9.1 features tighter integration with desktop productivity applications. For instance, the World address book features integration with email clients, while a file import/export facility makes transfers to and from Excel spreadsheets a snap.
  • Manufacturing and distribution enhancements. The new version features support for lean manufacturing that brings forward and builds upon the lean capabilities of World A8.1. It also offers more robust modules for service and warranty management as well as lot management.
  • Improved upgradeability through technology improvements. Customers will also find new tools that make it easier to upgrade to A9.1 than previous versions. These include a tool that examines current World deployments for customizations and advises customers on how to bring them forward or replace them with A9.1 functions. The new web-based documentation should make it easier to get users up to speed on A9.1.

During the kickoff session, World Senior Director of Strategy Denise Grills made it clear that the product roadmap does not end with A9.1. Oracle will deliver enhancements to A9.1 throughout this year and 2008. A new “A9.X” release is also planned for in the 2009 time frame. The World team is also planning to deliver packaged integrations of World A9.1 with other Oracle products. These include an integration with Siebel on Demand later this year as well as integrations with Oracle Transportation Management (formerly known as G-Log) and Demantra next year.

There’s a lot more that I could say about A9.1, but I have to run off to my next Collaborate session. Be looking for additional posts from the Andrews Consulting Group team on The JD Edwards Advisor in the coming weeks.