A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me, “We are upgrading to EnterpriseOne from World and have some programs that run on our AS/400 to extract data. Is there a way for us to call these programs from EnterpriseOne?” Upon hearing this question, I just smiled and thought, “Sure you can do that.” In fact, it is easier than most people would think. Just use the business function in EnterpriseOne called Execute External Program. This function lets developers call a program external to EnterpriseOne from within the EnterpriseOne architecture.

Sound difficult? It’s not, and here’s a step-by-step way to do it. I encourage you to try it.

  1. After creating a project in the Object Management Workbench OMW, add a new Universal Batch Engine UBE.
  2. When the Report Design screen opens, cancel the Report Design wizard. This should leave you with an empty screen.
  3. Create a new section and assign it a name in the Section Properties. By the way, it doesn’t matter what kind of section you create; I usually choose Group or Columnar.
  4. Once the section is created, go into the Do Section Event Rule and add the call to the business function here. You will have to pass some parameters to the function, but other than that you’re set to go. Just save your report and create a batch version.

Now that you know how to call an external program from within EnterpriseOne, I need to offer a word of caution. Though this function is simple and easy, you should not use it at great length. In particular, never use this function to call a program that will directly update a table (file) within EnterpriseOne. Remember…any time that you use this function, you are directing processing away from EnterpriseOne. Depending on what the program you’re calling does, you could be directing processing back to EnterpriseOne, and the calls back and forth will create more overhead. Though you may not notice problems from an occasional call, your systems will take a performance hit if you use this function as the rule rather than the exception.

If you have any questions about this tip, or if you need further advice about how to integrate your JD Edwards applications with other systems, feel free to leave me a comment in the box below. You can also email me at jkloss@andrewscg.com.