While JD Edwards customers have lots of business issues on their minds nowadays, there are several problems that our team at Andrews Consulting Group hears about more often than others. Among those problems, here are two that rank up there with the best (or worst) of them:

  • Containing shipping expenditures at a time when transportation costs are skyrocketing and corporate executives are demanding expense reductions
  • Implementing IT systems to support corporate governance, risk management, and regulatory compliance that don’t cost a million and eat up precious staff resources

Fortunately, some software vendors are working on solutions to these dilemmas that are tailored to JD Edwards customers. Two of those vendors — Ategrity Limited and Varsity Logistics — have crafted products that focus on JD Edwards World users. Ategrity offers TRACE for JD Edwards World™, a tool that integrates with World’s Database Audit Manager (DBAM) to deliver advanced auditing of system and data changes. Varsity Logistics provides ShipSoft™ for YourWorld, a shipping automation and control solution that is priced for small-to-midsized businesses.


Over the last several months, Oracle has provided significant evidence that it will continue to enhance JD Edwards World well after it rolls out the first release of its Fusion Applications. This is an encouraging sign that the software giant is living up to its Applications Unlimited pledge to invest in JD Edwards software rather than orchestrate a forced march to new products.

The latest evidence of Oracle’s commitment to World surfaced at the COLLABORATE 08 user conference last month. Here is a summary of what we learned from the sessions we attended and the executives we interviewed at the event.


When we began the JD Edwards Advisor more than a year ago, we thought of it as a platform where the founding companies (Andrews Consulting Group and GSI) could offer insights and guidance to the JD Edwards community. While we still think of it that way, we know there are many other firms out there that have great information to share with World and EnterpriseOne users. With that in mind, we’ve decided to give them a place where they can share that information…in our Research and White Papers section.

I am pleased to announce that one company with a wealth of JD Edwards experience is already occupying this new place on our site. That company is WTS, a leading provider of hosting, disaster recovery, and other managed services to JD Edwards customers. WTS has been kind enough to provide two excellent papers to you, our readers. One paper covers disaster recovery planning in a JD Edwards environment, while the other discusses considerations for having JD Edwards EnterpriseOne hosted by a service provider. I would encourage you to cruise over to our new page for white papers from other companies so that you can download these papers.

By the way, if your company has written any papers for the JD Edwards community that you would like to share with us, please send me an email with your proposal and copies of your papers. I’ll be happy to give them my immediate consideration.

Since my pile of papers entitled “interesting bits of news you should write about” is growing to an ominous height, it’s time for me to whack it down to size. Here’s a rundown on the most newsworthy stories in my stack.

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If you did not make it to COLLABORATE 08 this year, you can still do a “virtual sit in” on many of the sessions held during the annual user conference. That is because Quest has posted the slides for many of the presentations on its web site. You can browse the sessions by subject and download to your heart’s content. However, don’t wait too long to do this. My sources at Quest say that the slides will only be posted until May 15.


Now that IBM has announced a new line of Power Systems and a new version of the i5/OS operating system, JD Edwards customers are asking, “Should I run my applications on this stuff?” To help you answer that question, here are some important things you need to know before you give Big Blue a call.

The Basics

First off, here are the essential facts about what IBM has done. This month, the company completely replaced its System i and System p servers with new line of Power Systems. All of the systems run on the latest POWER6 processors. Each model in the Power Systems line comes in IBM i, AIX, and Linux Editions. These editions are configured to meet the unique requirements of each operating system and the customer bases that use them. Here’s an IBM diagram that shows how the computer giant unified the System i and System p lines.


Late last week, many of us from Andrews Consulting Group came stumbling back to our offices under heavy loads of information from the COLLABORATE user conference. Now that I’ve sorted through my pile of data, I’m ready to share insights from the annual IT gala.

Let’s begin with an event that is a natural starting point for any COLLABORATE review. That is the keynote speech by Lenley Hensarling (Group VP and General Manager for JD Edwards) and John Schiff (VP and General Manager for JD Edwards World) that sets the stage for the rest of the JD Edwards presentations at the conference.


In a few short days, the JD Edwards faithful will descend on Denver to engage in the annual ritual known as COLLABORATE. In the spirit of the event, many of us from Andrews Consulting Group will be there to give presentations, answer questions, hand out gifts, and award prizes to a few lucky people. Before I tell you about the gifts and prizes, here’s the lowdown on the “serious stuff” that we’re doing.

  • Booths. Our JD Edwards consulting team will be at Booth 922. We’ll be answering any and all questions about upgrading, expanding, migrating, and tuning your JD Edwards environment. We’ll also be offering demos of RapidReconciler, a solution that can make easy work out of balancing your general ledger against perpetual inventory.
    Next door in Booth 923, our RapidDecision team will be demonstrating and discussing a comprehensive business intelligence (BI) solution for both World and EnterpriseOne that can be up and running in as little as five days. If you have any questions about your BI strategy, the RapidDecision team can provide you with the answers.


Yesterday, IBM announced that it is replacing its System i and System p product lines with a single, unified family of POWER6 processor-based servers. The new server line — known as Power Systems — will deliver improved price/performance, greater energy efficiency, greater flexibility, and a simplified pricing structure to System i and System p customers. The unification of the System i and p will have a significant impact on the choices of thousands of JD Edwards customers who rely on these servers.

While IBM has not yet announced all of the models that will make up the new Power Systems lineup, it made a good start on the project yesterday. Here’s a quick overview of what Big Blue unveiled.


Last year, I posted an article about a tool I’ve created that that makes it easier for JD Edwards users to balance their general ledger (GL) against perpetual inventory. Since then, I’ve received a flood of suggestions for enhancements to make this tool (known here at Andrews Consulting Group as RapidReconciler) even more effective. I’m happy to announce that we’re shipping a new release of RapidReconciler in April that includes many of these suggestions. In fact, we’re going to unveil the new release at COLLABORATE 08 in Denver.

I’ll say more about what we’re doing at Collaborate in a minute. But first, let me give you a sneak preview of the enhancements we’re going to demonstrate there.


ibm-built-on-power-logo.jpgTwo weeks ago, IBM’s senior executives came to New York to brief investment analysts on how Big Blue’s business is doing. While much of what was said matters little to the JD Edwards community, one executive’s brief utterance definitely caught my ear. At the end of his presentation, Bill Zeitler, Senior Vice President of the Systems and Technology Group, stated, “We’ve got the high end of the POWER6 family coming in the beginning of April.” This means that in two weeks, JD Edwards customers will have new servers to consider as platforms for their applications.

As many of you know, IBM’s POWER processors run the company’s System i and System p servers. The System i is the only server that runs JD Edwards World. The System i and System p also host a substantial number of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne installations.


Over the last several weeks, Microsoft has made two surprising announcements that could have a significant impact on JD Edwards professionals. Because of these announcements, it won’t be long before many of us are considering new options for integrating JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World with our Microsoft applications.

Microsoft’s first announcement hit the wires in late February when the company declared that it is dramatically expanding the ability of its products to interoperate and share data with other software. The vendor is posting around 30,000 pages of documentation on its MSDN web site that describes the APIs and protocols used to access its high-volume products. These products include Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2007. Developers can use these APIs without license or royalty fees as long as the applications that use them are for non-commercial use.


In 2006, Andrews Consulting Group released a white paper entitled The Transformation of JD Edwards Applications that you can download from our white papers section. This year, we are revisiting the subject of how Oracle is transforming our applications with a new series of articles. We welcome your comments and questions as the series evolves.

As I explained in the previous article in this series, Oracle wants to make it easy for users of its Applications Unlimited (AU) products — including JD Edwards — to invoke “best of breed” functions from other Oracle applications. Oracle is repackaging these functions as composite business processes that other applications can access via service-oriented architectures (SOAs). The technologies that make all of this possible are contained in Oracle’s Application Integration Architecture (AIA).

Over the next one to two years, Oracle plans to implement AIA fully within almost all of its applications. This could make it possible for the then-current JD Edwards releases to invoke functions from other AU applications, Fusion Applications, and software that Oracle has acquired from Agile, Demantra, G-Log, and other vendors.


I have half a dozen news items sitting on my desk that are too small for an article, but too interesting to ignore. That happens a lot around here at the JD Edwards Advisor. So here’s what I’m going to do. Every once in awhile, I’ll group the best items into a single column. In keeping with my promise, here are this month’s tips, traps, and tangents.

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When IBM announced i5/OS V6R1 late last month, it also unveiled a complete repackaging of its application development tools for the System i. That could have a significant impact on JD Edwards sites, as many World and EnterpriseOne shops use System i development tools. To learn more about the repackaging, check out IBM’s new web site on the subject. Then, read an analysis of the repackaging from Joe Pluta, a System i development tools expert.


While the JD Edwards Advisor is (in our humble opinion) the best darn site on the blogosphere for EnterpriseOne and World users, it isn’t the only place to go. There are dozens of great blogs to visit. In fact, I’m going to show you two of them right now. While one covers just about anything that has to do with Oracle, the other focuses like Bill Clinton’s proverbial laser on a single hot topic. Without further ado, here they are.

Oracle Infogram. If you’re looking for a “blog hub” that can connect you to new sites and new ideas, check out this site. Oracle Infogram grabs anything interesting that its editorial team finds from blogs, Oracle Metalink notes, and corporate announcements. The Infogram team has peppered the site with links to all kinds of interesting resources. The group also tosses in some interesting commentary along the way.


i5os-v6r1-logo.jpgLast Tuesday, IBM unveiled a new version of i5/OS, the operating system at the heart of its System i. The version — i5/OS V6R1 — contains enhancements that could help JD Edwards customers who run their applications on Big Blue’s venerable midrange server. Among the dozens of new features in V6R1, the following ones are standouts for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World users.


In 2006, Andrews Consulting Group released a white paper entitled The Transformation of JD Edwards Applications that you can download from our white papers section. This year, we are revisiting the subject of how Oracle is transforming our applications with a new series of articles. We welcome your comments and questions as the series evolves.

As I explained in our first article in this series, Oracle has set an ambitious goal for itself. That goal is to make it easy for all of its Applications Unlimited (AU) offerings—including JD Edwards—to invoke functions from the rest of Oracle’s vast application portfolio. This would make each AU product significantly more complete than it is today.

If Oracle realizes its vision, it could make life dramatically different for JD Edwards customers. A company might, for instance, integrate functions from Oracle’s Agile, Demantra, G-Log, and Siebel products under the covers of EnterpriseOne or World. Indeed, it might even integrate some of the latest Fusion Applications in the same way. In some cases, these integrations would require the deployment of selected components of the integrated applications. In other cases, the customer would invoke the functions from an Oracle-hosted site. Either way, the resulting integrations would be virtually seamless, with data flowing almost effortlessly between the new functions and the underlying JD Edwards applications.

How could Oracle make it so easy for JD Edwards and other AU customers to close the functionality gaps in their existing applications? The answer lies in two strategic initiatives that the software giant has been pursuing for more than two years. The first initiative is to repackage much of the “best of breed” functionality in its applications as composite business processes. These processes will integrate with AU applications and each other via a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The second initiative is to create an “integration platform” that governs how composite business processes are created and defines how they interoperate with AU applications over SOAs.


As 2007 winds down, we thought it would be fun to share our best guesses as to what the new year might bring for the JD Edwards community. Hopefully, some of you will share your own predictions in the comments section.

First, a general observation: Oracle and JD Edwards are both currently riding high. After a long period where new sales were rare and installed customers were under attack, the market for everything out of Denver took a turn upward in 2007. Those currently using JD Edwards are no longer under pressure to justify staying on the platform. Sales to new customers have become a routine event, especially within emerging world markets and in the industries where JD Edwards has always been strong.


For the past week, those of us who attended Oracle’s OpenWorld conference have been comparing notes from the educational sessions, executive interviews, and hallway conversations we attended. If there is one thing that we’ve learned from the exercise, it’s that Oracle is making big moves on multiple fronts, and that those moves will have sweeping implications for JD Edwards users. The only problem is that it will take an entire series of articles (or even several series) to explain what’s happening inside the software giant.

To give you a sense of what I mean, check out this partial list of article ideas that we’ve scrawled on our whiteboards. When you’re done looking them over, let us know which ones interest you the most so that we can prioritize this information-dense mess.

Last week, I mentioned that the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne team is hosting several special events next Tuesday at Oracle’s OpenWorld user conference. Not to be outdone, the JD Edwards World team has lined up its own programs for next Tuesday as well. There will be in-depth sessions on upgrading to World A9.1, user group meetings, and even a handful of focus groups.

To learn more about these special Tuesday sessions, check out the PDF file that the JD Edwards World team was so kind as to share with me. As you will note from the document, you will need to send an email or fill out a registration form to get into some of the events. I would encourage you to do it now before all the available seats (or drink tickets at the evening Networking Hour) are taken!

john_wookey-small.jpgOver the last week, the Internet has been burning up with the news that John Wookey, Oracle’s senior vice president in charge of all applications, is leaving the company. While Oracle is making no official statements about the departure, sources close to the company are saying that Wookey has stepped down from his post and will leave the company early next year after a transitional period. That leaves us with a number of questions about what Wookey’s departure could mean for Oracle’s Fusion Application strategy and its other application products.

What We Know

According to various sources, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison released an internal memo early last week in which he announced an executive reorganization. The memo announced Wookey’s departure and said that Thomas Kurian, senior VP for the Fusion Middleware group, is now in charge of Fusion Applications as well. Kurian will report to Chuck Rozwat, Oracle’s executive VP, who is now in charge of all Oracle products. The memo also noted that Ed Abbo, the executive in charge of all Applications Unlimited products (including JD Edwards), will now report to Rozwat instead of Wookey.


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