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In today's cutting-edge business world, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software plays a critical role. By bringing a company's many different functions together into one large integrated system, it creates an abundance of opportunities for growth and increased productivity. ERP systems connect to real time data and transaction data in a variety of ways. These systems are typically configured by systems integrators, who bring unique knowledge on process, equipment, and vendor solutions.
Direct integration: ERP systems have connectivity as part of their product offering. This requires the vendors to offer specific support for the plant floor equipment that their customers operate. ERP vendors must be expert in their own products, and connectivity to other vendor products, including competitors.
Database integration: ERP systems connect to plant floor data sources through staging tables in a database. Plant floor systems deposit the necessary information into the database. The ERP system reads the information in the table.
Enterprise appliance transaction modules (EATM): These devices communicate directly with plant floor equipment and with the ERP system via methods supported by the ERP system. EATM can employ a staging table, Web Services, or system specific program interfaces (APIs).
Custom integration solutions: Many system integrators offer custom solutions. These systems tend to have the highest level of initial integration cost, and can have a higher long term maintenance and reliability costs.