Unsure what he's asking for..

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,876
My brother emailed me asking for software help. Robust business software is not my forte so I thought I'd ask you guys instead. Here's his email:

Travis,
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I need your help. Our company President has tasked me to look for software that can track (company)'s small tools & equipment for our Equipment Yard & Shop. The software must include bar coding technology & labels which integrates with the software seamlessly. It also has to be database driven. The simpler it can be the better. Per our I.T. Department, this software must meet the following criteria so they can support it in-house…
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·++++++++ Server Software (the back end): Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server.
·++++++++ PC Software (the front end): Preferably something that runs in a web browser (like CRM). Our second choice is anything compatible with Windows 7 that doesn’t need special help (such as Terminal Server or Citrix) to work remotely.
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Lastly, if it can, he would like to see this database play nice with our current accounting software called JD Edwards AS/400 so we can cost tool & equipment rentals to our jobsites and/or individuals without having to transpose numbers redundantly into two systems.
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Any thoughts here?
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Respectfully,
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Chet
 

Langford

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
1,339
I don't know anything about that JD Edwards AS/400, but for an inventory system, he can probably just nabb an opensource library system, like Evergreen or something.
 

Demon10000

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
4,502
Sounds like he's looking for an asset management system. I've worked with Altiris before, and it's highly customizable, but probably more complex than he's looking for. If these are the only needs of the program, then he may be better off hiring an independant developer to create a web application for him.
 

PTNL

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
4,196
PM a mod on moving this thread to a better location. My suggestion is either the "Webmastering and Programming" section or the "Networking and Security" section. That being said...

The details shared by your brother are rather sparse, but it is a start. Here's some initial thoughts:

1 - It sounds like the main company is primarily a MS shop, but has some older (perhaps considered "legacy") equipment like the AS/400.
2 - Sharing data between SQL Server and AS/400 is not a big deal. There are faster software drivers for executing SQL commands, but both can fall back to ODBC if necessary. Some data conversions may be necessary.
3 - Consider the option of hiring a software consultant to setup data sync'ing between SQL Server and the AS/400. You'll need to evaluate closely whether you need have to-the-second information, or simply details sync'ed from the previous night. I highly doubt it is a simple one-to-one link, and you may need to have this sync job setup during off-hours depending on the hardware and current/concurrent load analysis.
4 - Finding an asset management application that meets the SQL Server criteria gives lots of options. We'll need more details on what kinds of data to gather. (Hint: This is where your brother needs to ask beyond the "just some simple equipment and customer/tech information". Have him get specifics on what is needed AND what is out of scope.)
5 - Don't give a hard requirement of "running from a web browser" to a potential vendor. Ease of use is more important than the medium. See what the possible solutions are, ask questions, and get a little hands-on time with the devices and system.
6 - Talk to the vendor about support options. If this is going to be a regularly used system with low tolerances to downtime of business flow, then get a support contract that complements your downtime tolerance.
 
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