At the Epicor Insights 2014 user conference, Epicor announced its support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 in its new Epicor ERP version 10 release. Epicor’s latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) version is fully optimized for SQL Server 2014’s data engine, analysis, and reporting services. Previously Epicor ERP versions had a dual SQL Server and Progress OpenEdge database strategy, which was burdensome to maintain.
According to Epicor, the aim of sole SQL Server database support going forward is to help drive twice the performance and four times the scalability of previous Epicor ERP releases, along with improved ease of use, and reduced IT cost and complexity. Existing Vantage, Vista, and Epicor 9 ERP customers on Progress databases will be offered reasonable incentives to inexpensively migrate to Epicor 10. In addition, organizations will be able to achieve significant cost advantages due to the fact that Epicor ERP can now be run exclusively on an end-to-end Microsoft technology stack, which should enable Epicor to source IT support from a wide pool of professionals skilled in Windows, SQL Server, and .NET technologies, as opposed to proprietary and less mainstream technologies.
Epicor recognizes that many ERP customers are evolving their operations to rely more on cloud capabilities, both for cost savings and to keep IT staff focused on strategic projects. SQL Server simplifies backup operations by looking at retention periods and transaction workloads to ascertain when the best time would be to perform the backups, and then does so—without manual intervention. As a result, Epicor ERP users will enjoy less manual effort, less cost, and improved reliability in back-up operations. In addition, with SQL Server 2014, Epicor users can easily and automatically back up their data to the cloud using a Windows Azure storage container.
Epicor ERP version 10 also introduces new enhancements to its underlying ICE Business Architecture, now in the 3.0 release. Epicor ERP has more than 1,300 business services, which are connected by the Epicor ICE Framework. Each service functions as a reusable component covering every major business aspect managed by ERP (e.g., bills of material, invoicing, material, orders). Each service is customizable and use rules engines instead of fixed code to control fundamental needs such as rounding, currency, legal numbering, and book structure.
The aforementioned ERP services are managed by the Epicor ICE Framework to coordinate their interactions in accordance with business processes defined by ERP users. This enables organizations to map Epicor ERP to specific business rules and processes, without changing source code. Moreover, businesses can share and request information with customers, suppliers, and partners easily, and make functionality accessible to a wide range of devices.
New features include support for multiple data sources, and the means to publish dashboards to mobile devices and Microsoft SharePoint sites. Additional features include a brand new graphical business process management (BPM) workflow designer and new consumer-grade enterprise search capabilities, while the Epicor Business Activity Query (BAQ) tool is now optimized for SQL Server for greater speed. Epicor BAQ complements the new Epicor Social Enterprise (ESE) module which enables organizations to collaborate and manage unstructured data and "transient" business processes via social networking.