Adopting OpenEdge 11
Developers and users of software face a never-ending stream of changes in technological and regulatory conditions. And, as the product manager of Exact Financials at Exact Software Herbert Stroeve states “Being able to satisfy numerous new requirements quickly is an important factor in sales.” For the Exact Financials development team it means consistently meeting the technical demands that arrive regularly in the form of changing regulations and IT policies amongst its large customer base. To be able to do that having the right application foundation and applying the latest
technologies is key.
The Exact Financials package will therefore be using OpenEdge 11 as the underlying development platform. Making sure their accounting application stays cutting-edge for their large customer base of Dutch and Belgian businesses, schools and healthcare institutes. By embracing Progress® OpenEdge® as a development platform, Exact finds that it can quickly build solutions to technical needs. For example when it comes to interoperability with platforms and applications, flexibility to make changes, high performance, becoming compliant with SEPA, data security and more. Each innovation that Exact is able to develop based on OpenEdge translates into business advantage.
Application Development Platform Requirements
Flexibility with the choice of database. While Exact Financials ships with the OpenEdge database (described as “rock solid” by Exact’s engineering leadership), Exact’s client may use other database platforms, such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. Exact needs to connect easily and reliably with these third party databases. Ease of integration with multiple systems. Most of Exact’s clients need to connect to Exact Financials with other enterprise systems, business specific invoicing systems, payroll, and Business Intelligence systems (such as Qlikview, Cognos and Business Objects).
Ease to Implement regularly changing regulations. Financial, tax and accounting rules are constantly evolving in the European Union (EU). Recent examples include the new Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), a payment-integration initiative of the European Union that simplifies bank transfers but adds security requirements to existing systems. Changes in the Value Added Tax (VAT) have created new standards compliance requirements as well.
Short deployment and compilation time. With its client data centers upgrading from 32 bit to 64 bit server infrastructure, Exact faces a challenge in being timely in the compilation of new code for these multiple instances.
Ease of moving to browser-based client. Exact Financials uses a 3-tier architecture, with the business logic separated from the client software. Today, an increasing number of customers want to use Financials using a browser-based client.
Progress OpenEdge Platform Benefits
Seamless database flexibility. OpenEdge enables Exact to connect its application to virtually any third party database, including Microsoft SQL Server. Database connectivity is never an issue affecting the sale of the Exact product.
“Best of Breed” through Web services, XML and universal file upload. OpenEdge 11 improves upon the platform’s already impressive application integration capability. New capabilities for Web services, XML and file upload with flexible importing—any field to any field—make it possible for Exact Financials to connect with a wide range of other applications. Ultimately, this enables Exact Financials to be part of a “Best of Breed” approach to system architecture. The Best of Breed approach is common with Exact Financials ’s clients, so the integration capability, though technical in nature, is a driver of business value for Exact Financials.
SHA 256 Hashing and XBRL. The introduction of SHA 256 bit hashing in OpenEdge 11 makes Exact Financials Enterprise compliant with new SEPA regulations for data security. As Exact clients migrate to SEPA, they can be confident that Exact Financials will make the move painless from a security perspective.
Agile deployment with 32 and 64 bit support. The need to compile multiple object libraries for both 32 and 64 bit servers can slow down deployment to the point where it affects IT operational agility. OpenEdge 11’s new unified 32/64 R Code makes it possible to compile both 32 and 64 bit libraries simultaneously from a single act of compilation. This kind
of agile deployment makes Exact a good technology partner and enables client IT departments to operate efficiently—a major business concern in today’s lean budget environment.
Ajax in the browser. To satisfy client demand for a browser-based client without compromising on performance, functionality or administrative load, OpenEdge 11 puts Ajax into the Exact Financials Enterprise browser client. This makes it possible for data serialization directly to the back end business logic. The result is a simple migration path off of the previous client/server architecture for clients that want to make this move.
As a Benelux market leader in accounting software for large and mid-sized businesses, schools and healthcare, Exact serves a customer base of over 100,000. The company’s Exact Financials package is based on Progress OpenEdge and contains modules for finance, logistics, asset accounting, project accounting, time sheets, budgeting and forecast,
and billing. Exact Software is listed on the NYSE Euronext. Exact is known for a high level of customer service and a deep professional services bench for customized solutions.