SAP Business One Customization Project Management or Keeping Control and Securing the Future

Jun 25 08:29 2012 Andrew Karasev Print This Article

Business One is popular as small and midmarket ERP application with elements of MRP, CRM and Human Resources.  It is also popular as accounting solution for international subdivisions of multinational firm as it is translated to multiple foreign languages.

It is flexible to be customized in all senses of this term: user defined tables and fields without programming and interface modification or integration with programming in Microsoft Visual Studio.  If you are small business owner and need software development then it is often the case that you do not have IT department and have to do homework yourself.  If what we are talking about is close to your situation then this small publication is for you.  We understand your challenges and would like to make it in FAQ style for ‘easy reading’:

Q.  If we do not see required logic in the application is it absolutely necessary to do custom programming?A.  Besides core modules there are numerous add-ons available through ISV channel.  Chances are high that functionality gap is covered through add-on.  Also in SAP B1 world ‘customization’ is not the same as programming.  You may need user defined fields added to existing tables or new user defined tables for managerial reporting for example.  These objects automatically get simple interface for data entry and open to such popular tools as Crystal Reports

Q.  We think that modification is required and we heard that there is Software Development Kit where you can find code samples in C# or VB.  We know that software vendors like to advertise their products as ‘flexible’ and customizable.  But should we expect any ‘underwater rocks’?A.  Very good question.  When you have to cross the line and begin coding project there are several things to keep in mind.  First of all your custom module is unique and QA is something that might be a candidate for not being done.  Second point is future version upgrades.  When programming is done in Microsoft Visual Studio then you should expect that future B1 version will have new DLL libraries and the whole project should be recompiled.  The future update might be several years from now and you cannot be sure that relations with original programmer are the same as they are today.  This is why you should own or have access to source code.  If you don’t then your custom module will need reprogramming from scratches.  We would like to talk about test environment but let’s make it as separate paragraph

Q.  What is the best way to produce good quality without ‘quality assurance’?A.  Customizations are often ‘data driven’ meaning that it might be theoretically possible to test the code against sample company.   But it is more efficient to do debugging and testing against the copy of your production environment.  We recommend to setup testing company or even better testing server (need to get license for developer to connect).  Here you load company from backup and install MS Visual Studio.  You grant remote support to developers and they can do the job without the necessity to sit in your office

Please call us 1-866-304-3265,Guest Posting 1-269-605-4904,  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, Atlanta Georgia, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA and Canada nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed).  We are working on Brazilian ERP consulting market in Sao Paulo since 2004

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Andrew Karasev
Andrew Karasev

Andrew Karasev is SAP BO consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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