Tech Industry

Oberon focuses on integration

Helping organizations blend packaged ERP applications with existing systems, the company debuts its latest integration software and tools.

Helping organizations blend packaged ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications with existing systems, Oberon Software today debuted its latest integration software and tools.

The company today ships Prospero Enterprise Edition 2.0, a new software development kit, and new Enterprise Building Blocks designed to open SAP and J.D. Edwards ERP packages for integration with other applications. Pricing for the Prospero package starts at $100,000 per building block, according to a company spokesperson.

Prospero enables the integration of ERP applications with legacy systems by allowing users to drag and drop connections and build interfaces between existing systems and applications. The package runs on Microsoft's Windows 95 and Windows NT.

"The real important thing is the usability of this new release," said Mike Gilpin, an analyst with Giga Information Group. Gilpin said not only does the release show connections between components visually, but it also adds tools for creating and manipulating these models that are easier to use.

Gilpin also said Prospero is significant because it's a product that encapsulates SAP's BAPI (business application program interfaces), the German company's twist on the standard API, which improves the usefulness of the package and helps organizations integrate complex business applications.

While some companies provide a point-to-point application integration system, Oberon executives pride their new package as providing a many-to-many platform for core ERP applications to be extended to a number of packaged applications that support a variety of business functions.

In addition to providing integration building blocks that interface with BAPIs, Prospero also works with other SAP interfaces, the company said.

In addition, Oberon also rolled out new building blocks to work with SAP technology, order management applications, J.D. Edwards Financials, and HR/payroll applications.

Customers of PeopleSoft and Baan applications should see similar building block interfaces from Oberon later this year, according to the company.

Oberon is a player in the growing application integration market, competing with companies like CrossWorlds Software, formerly CrossRoads Software.

Patrick Tyne, Oberon's director of product management, said his company takes the weight of integrating a new ERP system off the shoulders of the user and commercial implementation consultant. "We provide our solution to both the organization and the consultant."

In addition to the new Prospero roll out today, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company also released a new software development kit which enables developers to create custom interfaces for other ERP, line-of-business, and sales-force automation applications. Pricing depends on the configuration of the system.