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MICROSOFT & FRIENDS LAY OUT DNS CONCEPT WITH ROADSHOW.

Microsoft Corp is launching a pan-US and European roadshow showing off enterprise resource planning (ERP) and process management software running atop the software bundle that is the basis of Redmond's 'Digital Nervous System' (DNS) concept (CI No 3,515). Microsoft will team up with Baan Company NV, Wonderware, Top Tier Software Inc and automation company Phoenix Contact to launch the initiative, called 'Linking Profit to Production.' The purpose of the event according to the players involved is to link the 'entire enterprise' - from the boss's office to the shop floor. Microsoft will provide the software infrastructure - NT, SQL Server and Distributed interNet Applications (DNA), its three tier client/server architecture (CI No 3,428). Phoenix Contact will supply Interbus, its fieldbus system which pushes real-time production line sensor and actuator data to PC-based field controllers. WonderWare's FactorySuite 2000 plant management software tool, will be demonstrated as part of the roadshow. The tool can be used to create specific factory floor application modules to be integrated as part of a broader ERP system. An ERP system that will supplied by Baan, using elements of its Dynamic Enterprise Modeling (DEM) object-based-technology (CI No 3,351). The Dutch- based vendor has also teamed up with TopTier to develop a front end for the enterprise system that uses an internet-based data browser. TopTier calls its software 'HyperRelational', claiming that the component-based application simplifies ERP for the inexperienced or occasional user. As the combined system is only for demonstration purposes, the companies have not given out a price and presumably users that wished to implement a DNS system could choose the packages they want to use on top of a Microsoft backbone. Lorenzo Pengo, the marketing manager concerned with putting together the European end of the roadshow, proffered a different take on the DNS system, claiming that the idea was to bring a desktop style 'drag 'n' drop' feel to enterprise systems, offering access to enterprise data in 'real time'. However, some of the partners working with Baan to introduce software tools that will run on NT express doubt about the practicality of the DNS concept. Thomas A. Curran, CEO of Component Software Inc the company that co-developed the BaanAutomation tool announced at BaanWorld last week (CI No 3,516), talking about DNS using the given Microsoft infrastructure, says its "hard to see it being done."
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 22, 1998
Words:391
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