Discussion: Where to start with ERP integration?
Posted on 2013-06-05
We have a large ASP.NET webforms application that manages skill and abilities for staff. This is a standalone application built upon SQL Server 2012.
Recently prospective clients have asked if our software can 'integrate with Oracle/SAP/etc?'
Although we have strong ASP.NET skills, we have zero knowledge of ERP software and how integration even works. Therefore, I'd appreciate any guidance on the following questions...
We assume integration takes place via web methods or web services (or the new WCF)?
Are there any starting points on what type of integration is possible?
Do companies such as Oracle/SAP provide documentation on methods of accessing and working with data in their systems, e.g. what methods are available and how the data is formatted (XML etc)?
I see off-the-shelf software for sale that all state they 'integrate' with these systems. Aren't SAP deployments customised, and therefore are all slightly different? How can something integrate off-the-shelf?
How do companies like ours test integration without having a product licence? We contacted Oracle who basically said we'd have to buy a license at around $30k, which is never going to happen. So how do small companies afford to even start with integration?