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RedPrairie Software Review

 

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RedPrairie's Software Technology

RedPrairie's Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) provides a platform for data integration, along with a powerful shared business process framework with a performance optimization tool set, event management and web user interface (UI) tools. These developer tools offer a level of flexibility and software adaptability for each customer's unique business requirements without compromising the supply chain software constructs or source code. The core WMS, TMS and WFM products have been re-architected to share a common SOA platform and developed using Java, JavaScript, C/C++ and industry standards such as XML and web services. The web UI and presentation layer is coded using Microsoft's .Net frameworks, which further provides integration and extension capabilities using industry standard third party tools.

RedPrairie software supports a mix of operating systems, including most common versions of UNIX, and Windows servers for its .NET framework application components (such as the web UI). The most common integration middleware is RedPrairie's proprietary EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) product called Integrator. Both Oracle and DB2 databases are supported.

The company has recently acquired Software as a Service (SaaS) products for their customers looking for a lower cost solution, or for a supply chain software acquisition without up front capital expenditures. Shippers Common Wealth is the cloud TMS and SmartTurn is the WMS solution.

System Integration Technology

RedPrairie's Integrator EAI framework has been designed to streamline data mapping, data transfer, event management and information sharing between systems. It provides an intelligent, configurable interface tool that handles variable or fixed data formats. Integrator is an integral part of RedPrairie's SOA platform and is extensively used in RedPrairie implementations. In addition to standard data transfers, it enables customers to personalize workflows to address the specific data exchange nuances of their work processes and substantially reduces the cost and time associated with cross-application integration.

The combination of RedPrairie's SOA architecture and Integrator middleware tools provide a shared platform for collecting, managing, communicating, and acting on information and events that flow from every part of the supply chain ecosystem.

Software Customization Capabilities

RedPrairie estimates that they meet 85% to 90% of their client's requirements with their base software systems. The other 10% to 15% requirements can be addressed with the soft coding features built into their SOA platform that include:

  • Business Process – using a process modeler for building and customizing business processes, along with a process monitor for dynamically tracking activities and processes across RedPrairie's offerings and external systems.
  • Services Repository – provides easy access to RedPrairie services and provides a registration for other enterprise services. The Services Repository is leveraged by the business process modeler.
  • System Integration – uses web services to integrate RedPrairie's solutions with legacy systems and rest of the supply chain ecosystem.
  • Reporting – captures audit-level detail at a process and activity level, including user-defined properties and events. Enables performance reporting, to monitor and optimize operations, as well as simple analytics.

Built into the supply chain software are endpoints for customizing tailored add on applications; providing another option for when the base product and SOA solution doesn't meet all of a customer's unique needs. Software source code is not provided so any modifications to the core code means that RedPrairie will need to be engaged.

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