Baan IVc includes Internet features that the company had planned to hold until the release of Baan V, now in beta testing and due in the first quarter of next year. The company included the Net tools in the IVc release due to customer demand and because of the growing significance of the Web, a company spokesman said.
"The Internet has appeared to have grown at a rate no one had anticipated," said Baan director of product marketing Ian Williams.
The final tweak of Baan IV has brought a number of Web-based connectivity tools that enable the supply and demand chain to work as a unit, such as an HTML "push" engine that enables users to distribute key supply chain transaction reports (e.g., stock levels and shipment status) via the Internet.
In another move to boost Internet connectivity, the Netherlands-based software company has added support for Microsoft's Commerce Server to the Baan Electronic Shopper, which provides a customizable template for creating a Web selling site. Orders placed through the Electronic Shopper are converted into sales orders. This is the first software element available from Baan that can be downloaded by customers from the Baan Web site, according to the company.
The Baan Data Navigator, a drag-and-drop tool for accessing ad hoc database information within an intranet or across the Internet using a Java-based browser, is part of a codevelopment pack between Baan and California-based Top Tier Software. The package links any two data elements and searches the database for all occurrences that meet the criteria.
Along with enhanced Internet capabilities, Baan also strengthened some of its financial systems in Baan IVc to meet the needs of its multinational as well as single-site customers. Multi-currency reporting support, cost control systems, and other finance software packages are provided by Baan subsidiary Hyperion to give the IVc release a financial system backbone.
Hyperion OLAP provides multidimensional analysis and reporting. Hyperion Enterprise gives the IVc user multisource consolidation along with reporting and analysis. And the Hyperion Pillar gives the user budgeting and planning capabilities.
With this financial support in IVc, Williams said the company can meet the Euro-currency mandate as European currency standards come into play.
"The EU hasn't finalized the standards yet. But this addresses what we know today," he said.