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As a Customer What would do to keep your ERP Implementation intact
Proactively define Business Process-- Take the Project Ownership
50%
Handover everything to System Integrator from drawing BP till implementation of ERP
0%
Hire more inhouse skilled & capable IT Resource to work directly with SI
50%
Rely on SI Architects/Consultants
0%
Total votes: 2

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  #1  
Old 28th January 2004, 17:55
DonBecker's Avatar
DonBecker DonBecker is offline
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Baan: Baan IV (first release) - DB: Not sure - OS: Unix / Win2000
Question about my Baan installation..

Hi,

I'm very new to Baan. I work at a small company (about 30 people).

We don't have an IT person on staff, and I will be possibly moving into the role, so I'm trying to get as much information on Baan as possible.

I have talked to Baan and they say that we are running Baan IV, first release. Our Baan is on a Unix server, and we run Windows 2000 (some XP) on our desktops. We access Baan through a text-terminal emulator - Smarterm by Persoft. Our Baan menus say Triton 3.1, but I have confirmed we have version IV.

From this board, I know about the windows interface (bw.exe & bwprint.exe). However, I don't have the disks for anything, and they aren't on the server.

Also, we canceled our maintenance in 1999. Therefore Baan won't give me copies of bw.exe. Since my company is so small, I have got a less than positive response from Baan's staff.

I have read a bit about Baan, but don't understand what we have currently to feel comfortable administering it. I've used this board and some books I have to fix problems before, but don't think I can keep it up forever.

What I'm getting at is, would it be possible to dump all the Baan tables (yes, 1800+) to something I could import into SQL?

This wouldn't happen until I developed a database in SQL that duplicates Baan, but at this point we're not using all the features, I'd say about only 50% of the modules available.

Also, I am quite adept at VB6, can anyone point me in the correct direction of how to connect? Mind you, it's on a different server, and I have no idea what the database format of Baan is.

We have SQL server 2000, and I'm using VB6 Enterprise, DAO and ADO respectively.

Thanks for any help,

-Don Becker
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  #2  
Old 28th January 2004, 22:20
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Baan: All - DB: Oracle / MS SQL / DB2 - OS: All
Hi Don,

Sounds like a bad situation you're in..

You could dump out all of the Baan tables, with whatever delimiter that you'd like. look in tools->database maintenance->create sequential dump of tables.
And import those in to SQL..

But am i reading correctly that you would then stop using Baan? That's going to be a big undertaking to re-write an app in VB..

Dave
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2004, 22:31
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Baan: Baan IV (first release) - DB: Not sure - OS: Unix / Win2000
Hi Dave, thanks for your input.

I will check out the exporting to delimited files, that will help alot.

I think the problem really stems from Baan not being setup to the way my company works.

Making reports with what little we know is next to impossible.

I agree it would be quite a task to write an ERP front-end in VB, but I don't think I have many options.

Everyday I come into work and wonder if this will be the day that our database stops working. Last November, the sales department wasn't able to put orders into production because the dictionary wasn't updated for 2004, and I BARELY figured out how to fix it.

Since we have no one here managing the system, no one controls access. I have common users using logins with superuser privledges doing simple things like printing reports.

I would like to avoid having to abandon the Baan system, but I think they're might be too many negatives here.

1. Maintenence agreement - my company is too small to even get my phone call returned about renewing the agreement, and I'm not sure we could afford it.

2. I need the maintenance to get the windows based access to Baan, which is pretty stupid since Baan knows we paid for it, and we just lost the disks.

3. Since we're reduced to text-terminal emulation interfaces, I've started writing very long procedures for doing everything in Baan, and I haven't finished yet.

4. Documentation - we don't really have any. Every database I've designed before has had it's architecture clearly defined. I am lost when it comes to making a query in Baan, even after I found the SQL utility.

Again, I hate to scrap it, but I don't see a practical way to save it.

Thanks again for your input.
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  #4  
Old 28th January 2004, 23:17
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EdHubbard EdHubbard is offline
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Baan: 4c4 MCR - DB: MS SQL Server 2000 - OS: Windows 2003 Server
As has been stated I agree that to write your own ERP system in VB is quite some work. Why not instead invest the time in getting to know your Baan system better?

I would have thought Baan would be delighted to talk to you about a maintenance agreement - they are getting no new revenue from anywhere else at the moment! As for cost, well I would guess you would be talking about quite a lot more than $10k per year for your system - but maybe a 1 year agreement would be enough to get you back on track with patches, Baan version, client version etc..?

In the UK, a year ago Baan were doing free site audits (SupportEye etc.) for which they "expected" some consultancy work afterwards - could be worth you investigating.

At the end of the day, I think you would also need to get a reasonable amount of training - you cannot totally outsource control of the system successfully.

Your example regarding the company calendar is one that catches us out every year or two - but when you know how to fix it is easy! Some of these things are just not obvious are they!

As for architecture - there are loads of Baan documents available but most of them are accessible from the Baan support system so back to my point above about a support contract.

Hope this helps.

.. a proper Baan system is not cheap but also don't underestimate the effort involved in your VB alternative.

good luck
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  #5  
Old 28th January 2004, 23:29
grzegorz grzegorz is offline
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Baan: BaaN IV c4, Baan5c, ERP LN (at last) - DB: Tbase, Oracle - OS: SCO, SUSE, AIX. W2K3
Regarding windows client. I started google, put "bw.exe baan" and i found a link here : http://cobalt.et.tudelft.nl/~antoon/sysop/programs/

If you have purchased BaaN and you lost your discs, then in my opinion it is not illegal when you download it from there.
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Best regards
Grzegorz .
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  #6  
Old 28th January 2004, 23:43
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DonBecker DonBecker is offline
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Baan: Baan IV (first release) - DB: Not sure - OS: Unix / Win2000
Thank you all for your responses, much appreciated!

I just got off the phone with a Baan rep, who is looking into the cost of maintenance.

I would love to be able to support Baan properly, just not sure about how to get the education I need.

The Baan rep. is also going to pass my contact info along to a local third party who will be dropping by to give us a quick checkup perhaps.

I definately agree that writing my own front end would be a chore, but I am wary of becoming 'locked in' to Baan if we can fix and upgrade things ourselves.

Thanks again!
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  #7  
Old 29th January 2004, 09:24
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Markus Schmitz Markus Schmitz is offline
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Baan: Ivc4 - DB: Oracle8i/9i/10g - OS: HP-Ux11i
Just my humble opinion:

If your companies requirements are a bit mor complictaed, then what you can do in excel spreadsheets, then writing your own ERP is not an option.


Just consider your own salaray and how long you need to do it. baan support is always cheaper than this.

I think you have three options:

a) Buy the support at least for a year. Get Training. Upgrade to a current service pack to get a stable version, install the windows client and start living.

b) Find a company apart from Baan, which can help you running your system on a daily base and maybe can also sell you the actuall support for upgrades. At least in Europe, companies for this are available.

c) Find a smaller and more suitable system for your needs. Baan is for most 30-User companies completely oversized. If you do not have either proper outside support or an internal IT department, then running Baan on unix is not possible.


Another guess of mine: If you are running Baan on unix and you do not know, which database you are using, then most likely you are using the baan build in tbase, which is propriatary and can not be directly accessed with ordinary means (ODBC/OLE/...)

Regards

Markus
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  #8  
Old 29th January 2004, 15:24
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Baan: Baan IV (first release) - DB: Not sure - OS: Unix / Win2000
Markus,

Thanks for your reply.

Connectivity is an issue. Not being able to integrate with MS Office is a concern.

Also, not being able to add functionality is really a big problem.

I'm currently getting my MCDBA certification with MS SQL2000 and .net. If we need to add or make changes to the database, I would like to be able to do that.

I don't see my company being able to afford to keep up Baan. The third-party that sold this to us should be ashamed. We're not even using 50% of the functionality.

At this point I feel like even if we could afford to get updated, we're still tied into a proprietary system.

I could be wrong on that one, so if I am please correct me.

Thanks again to everyone that responded.
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  #9  
Old 29th January 2004, 16:31
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Markus Schmitz Markus Schmitz is offline
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Baan: Ivc4 - DB: Oracle8i/9i/10g - OS: HP-Ux11i
The fact, taht you use only 50% is not so uncommon actually. Baan is a big product, and most companies only use a fraction of it. For example the functionality in transportation, process, project etc are mostly not used.

Anyway, the company, which sold you baan, should be ashamed, because, they sold you a system, which you will not be able to maintain.


Now to the "lock in" and being proprietary.:

First of all Baan is highly customizable and functionality can be added easily. Actually Baan for a big part is a development environment in itself, with compilers, report generators, version management, help system etc. All this you get for free and you have it allready, but you need the training to use it.

Baan also runs on all major databases including SQL Server and oracle, therefore you can access your data directly, but you need to change your database.

Finally yes, Baan is proprietary, but so is Microsoft, just more people are using it. But Baan is an ERP system and offers a lot to start with.

As i said, maybe the best for you, is to start looking for another ERP system. If you were in europe, I would recommend to check out Navision. The Product is very MS minded and that's one of the reasons, why actually MS bought them.

Regards

Markus
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