Cell Phone–Based System Could Improve HIV/AIDS Drug Tracking

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  • 1. Address Book IntegrAtIon wIth Jd edwArds enterprIseone And Jd edwArdsrecords In the world F0101 MAster Address weB 2.0 Age By Regev Yativ, CEO and President, Magic Software Enterprises, Inc. and Glenn Johnson, Senior Vice President, Magic Software Enterprises, Inc. When reading or hearing a term like “Web 2.0”, the common tendency is to think that it must be a neW technical standard or protocol. in reality, the term Web 2.0 Was coined to describe a set of trends in the use of the internet that constitute a fundamental shift in the Way users interact via the Web. so rather than defining a specific protocol, it describes phenomenon such as internet-based social networking, blogs, wikis and folksononies (tagged content, such as the keywords associated with uploaded photos). as a result of proliferating contact information, address book integration is certainly at or near the top of the list of challenges for any it department supporting Jd edwards. unfortunately, the common nature of this requirement may make it seem simple. this simplicity may be deceptive and a good Jd edwards integration analyst will be careful to make a careful review of the business rules and requirements related to integration of Jd edwards and other systems, such as salesforce.com, lotus notes domino or event other systems such as sap erp. in the beginning, address book integration may seem deceptively simple. after all, you’re primarily accessing the f0101 address book master record. this is typically the most commonly accessed piece of data in the use of Jd edwards. in fact, according to user statistics gathered from multiple installations by a major corporation, this table accounts for about 17 percent of all data activity in Jd edwards systems. but the frequency of access and the centrality of the information within the Jd edwards data hierarchy is a mirage for anyone who thinks address book integration is simple. and the proliferation of Web 2.0 related contact data is adding to the complexity rather than simplifying it. Business reasons for Address Book Integration business users will typically require address book integration for a number of reasons. depending on the need, the Jd edwards integration analyst may identify a number of interface requirements for synchronization and bi-directional information exchange in either batch or real-time modes. these requirements will need to be executed according to the business rules of the company in a way that accommodates the need to facilitate multi-channel communications with adds, updates, and deletes as needed. the motivation for Jd edwards address book integration is typically driven by a need to reduce costs. this is often closely related to a need for reduced time to market. fundamentally, of course the need is related to more efficient business processes which can increase customer satisfaction, heighten employee morale and optimize efficiency in the supply chain. Quite often, the address book is associated with customer information. the hr department may track employees, the purchasing department may track vendors, and manufacturing may track contacts with maintenance vendors. to be sure customer data needs to be accessible to marketing, sales and customer service users and quite often to service personnel, manufacturing, finance, senior management, and logistics and warehouse personnel. these users may be seeing the contact information from within a number of different applications used by the enterprise. to be sure, each of these systems will almost always have proprietary database formats for the contact information. We may think of f0101 as a standard because it is so commonly used in Jd edwards it shops, but it is just as proprietary a format as any of the other myriad of data formats used to describe and hold address book information in other systems. address book integration often involves applications such as accounting/erp, crm, shipping/Warehouse, rma, loyalty systems, Warranty registration, customer service applications, Website applications, etc. so the sheer number of different applications and data formats for address book integration is in and of itself a cause for concern. 30
  • 2. web 2.0 and the explosion of contact data but now let’s consider the explosion of contact data that is assaulting enterprise it departments today. in the past, name address, phone and fax about covered the address book. today, contact information is proliferating as multi-channel communications strategies find themselves morphing almost daily to keep up with new and constantly changing Web 2.0 contact data. today’s customers may have icQ, skype, multiple email contacts, multiple domains (company website, blogs, etc.), cell phone, blackberry pins, various user names and password combinations on your enterprise systems, multiple addresses (bill, ship, 3rd party), agency relationships, social/business networking ids (such as linkedin, facebook, myspace), twitter addresses, and much more. furthermore, your website may be tracking customer behavior with a plethora of history data that constitutes an online profile related to the address book information (but not officially part of it). further complicating matters, it is not always clear which of these new standards are simply passing fads and which have serious business applications. it would be difficult to argue, for example, that tracking cell phone numbers is unimportant. fifteen years ago, however, it may have seemed unclear whether this was a valid business requirement. Maintaining Accurate and Up-to-date data clearly all of this diversity is a prescription for data type mismatches. because customer data formats differ between systems, there is no consistency in data types or field lengths. incomplete and out-of-date information often leads to the need for data append operations. these may be one time or routine operations designed to accomplish the appending of information to the address book records. common needs are title append, address append, phone append, and email append. sometimes only a single point of contact information has been harvested by a company’s interactions with the customer necessitating a reverse lookup procedure. these reverse lookup procedures include reverse phone lookup, reverse address lookup and reverse email lookup. for example, providing the email address johndoe@yahoo.com may return a phone number and postal address to help a company complete its contact database. interfaces to these lookup procedures may be Web services based or flat-file transmissions (such as ftp). furthermore, there are inconsistencies in data hierarchies. one system may be able to track and display a single cell phone number, while another may handle multiple cell phones. some systems may distinguish between day time and evening phone numbers while others may track the same numbers as home and work numbers. a big part of address book integration rules therefore centers around the disambiguation needs of the customer. sometimes there is no perfect answer. contact information may exist in a number of data relationships: one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, parent-child, networked, etc. furthermore, affiliations such as company affiliation, business unit affiliation, location affiliation and others may need to be considered. the inconsistencies, mismatches and duplications that run rampant within almost every business organization need to be rationalized by applying consistent business rules decisions in the midst of the business process. the goal of course is real- time or automated batch processing where these business rules are applied with the necessary data transformations taking place automatically in the background. one of the key business rules decisions that the Jd edwards integration analyst will want to consider are whether to use real time or batch procedures. you should also determine what error checking needs to be applied to the data. is there a need for data scrubbing or cleaning? Will there be data append, reverse lookups, de-dupes, disambiguation and association or networking rules that need to be applied? 31
  • 3. Using iBolt for Jd edwards as an Integration engine ibolt for Jd edwards provides a nice business process editor for modeling these business rules and decisions. by creating an overview of the business process, it becomes easier to drill-down and create the specific business process flows required. ibolt for Jd edwards is straightforward integration and soa enablement for both Jd edwards and enterpriseone. magic software’s ibolt business integration framework gives business analysts and Jd edwards administrators the ability to manage business processes using code-free visually oriented process design tools. for this reason, i like to say that ibolt is integration and process. it’s not just a data integration tool. it is a sophisticated business process management solution that utilizes triggers and can incorporate email and other aspects of human workflow into an overall business process as well. ibolt for Jd edwards is a fully functional version of the ibolt integration suite that allows you to design, deploy and monitor business processes that connect applications ,websites, web services and human workflow. Jd edwards interfaces are created within ibolt’s business processes, which are comprised of flows. in turn, these flows are built from an included library of dozens of components, methods and wizards. not all components or methods will be used in every Jd edwards related business process. Quite often, however, the components used will include the iseries connector, the Jd edwards connector, web services component, http component, and of course, the data mapper. address book integration will not normally involve the need to call Java, .net or rpg objects, but if it does, these capabilities are included as well – without programming. in addition, a code-free sdk and application platform called unipaas is included for use as needed in creating custom applications or applets. the use cases and applications for ibolt for Jd edwards extend far beyond address book integration and f0101 master address records. anytime you need to share information or trigger events between Jd edwards, third party applications, email or the Web, ibolt for Jd edwards should be considered as the tool of choice for building the needed business processes without resorting to fragile, time consuming and expensive code-based programming projects. as ibolt now includes magic software’s unipaas application platform for cross-platform rich internet business applications, Jd edwards users can now begin to explore the possibilities of straightforward and extensible rich internet applications development as well. unique in the industry, unipaas provides a single development and deployment platform for both client-side and server side rich internet experiences delivered extensibly over the internet. rather than posing a threat to business, trends like Web 2.0 can now be welcomed by Jd edwards users as simply the latest challenge. next steps for further information about ibolt for Jd edwards, you may contact magic software enterprises at (949) 250-1718 or info@magicsoftware.com. regular webinars and events for Jd edwards users are posted at www.magicsoftware.com. 32