Challenges with master data in Infor M3
Nowadays, more and more people are focusing heavily on the master data in Infor M3 and other ERP systems. In this article, we'll explain why this is happening and what you can expect in the future.
New functionality to increase productivity and profitability
ERP systems are constantly developing to accommodate today's market. In most cases, this development requires some master data configuration for the systems to work correctly.
Furthermore, the number of parameters in industry solutions is growing due to their increasing complexity. And this becomes even more apparent when you implement best-in-breed systems with additional requirements for internal integration.
Supply chain development
Different industries are at various stages of developing their supply chains. Although those at the forefront usually require more complex settings for various electronic business communications to work automatically.
For example, settings such as identities of respective parties, addresses, articles, packaging, deliveries, and units, etc. Must be or adjusted and described so that both sellers and buyers can automate their ordering procedures.
As a rule, this requires the maintenance of various conversion tables to translate one set of parameters into what the counterpart expects.
As a result of these developments, businesses now communicate by publishing or subscribing to information instead of exchanging messages. Therefore, there will be greater demands for standardization, which again entails strict standards for data quality.
Traditionally, we’ve usually managed the databases in our business systems with direct update methods, such as ODBC, SQL or similar. In some cases, the software itself included different mass update functions at the table and field level. For those who remember, Infor M3 and Movex had the old faithful servant CRS800 for mass updates.
However, if you consider the scenario of multi-tenant Infor M3 in the cloud, these update methods are not permitted or are heavily regulated. This is because the supplier (the cloud service provider) cannot risk different tenants (subscribing companies) disrupting each other's databases, causing locks, or impacting performance.
You could argue that this is positive since direct updates of the database may also be unsuitable for your company operations. However, the fact remains: many companies have an increased maintenance workload when old “shortcuts” like CRS800 are closed.
Furthermore, there is a different approach between On-prem and Cloud projects when it comes to updating your data.
With a traditional On-prem project, you could rely on migrations that, in principle, were ready-made to run between different releases of the database. But with a Cloud project, this gets more difficult as the database changes continuously.
On the one hand, it’s more challenging for the supplier to maintain migration programs. But on the other, it’s harder for the implementation team as new complications may arise in between the migrations due to database changes.
Even in the implementation projects, maintaining data within cloud-based operations can be more challenging.
Infor M3 and master data
So, how does Infor M3 support the increased focus on master data?
For a long time now, Infor has accelerated the development of the APIs that allow you to safely update the system with the controls of the original Infor M3 programs. It’s developed a more flexible foundation to manage lists, sorting, filtering, and so on, plus the ability for you to create APIs for reading information.
In our opinion, M3 has the primary preconditions in place to maintain master data efficiently and securely. At Vince, we see it as our duty to use the existing and upcoming Infor M3 technology in our applications so that you can effectively maintain all your different types of data in Infor M3.