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RedPrairie Supply Chain Software Review


RedPrairie Software Technology Review

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

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

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

System Integration Platform

The RedPrairie Integrator EAI platform has been designed to simplify and streamline data mapping, data exchange, 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 software implementations. In addition to standard data transfers, it enables customers to personalize business processes to address the specific data exchange nuances of their workflow or work processes and substantially reduces the cost and time associated with cross-application system integration.

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

Software Customization Capabilities

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

  • Business Process—using a workflow or process modeler for designing, building and customizing business processes, along with a process monitor for dynamically tracking activities and processes across RedPrairie's offerings and external applications.
  • Services Repository—this tool permits easy access to RedPrairie services and provides a registration for other enterprise services. The Services Repository is used by the business process modeler.
  • System Integration—uses web services to integrate RedPrairie's supply chain software with legacy systems and the rest of the supply chain ecosystem.
  • Reporting & Analytics—captures audit-level detail at process and activity levels, including user-defined properties and events. Supports performance reporting, to monitor and optimize operations, as well as simple queries, reports and analytics.

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

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