IN addition to functions covered by technical modules such as userâ€™s management, License management, installation (as discussed in earlier papers), ERP technical module provides several other important functionalities. Some of these functionalities, as given below, will be very briefly discussed in this paper:
Audit management: Large organizations depend on ERP system for financial reporting which involves dealing with statutory and regulatory authorities. ERP, thus, has become an integral part of corporate governance and compliance framework. In this context, audit management functionality plays an important role to authenticate if data integrity is being maintained by the system and sensitive transactions are traceable to their origin at a latter date.
First step of audit management is to decide for which transaction type/ tables, the audit trail should be activated. This should be done on a trade off basis as enabling too many transaction type will effect the overall performance of the system. These activated tables normally contain sensitive financial data requiring restriction of access to audit data. This is done by defining a security level per table/ company (database) combination. Audit data is normally kept in a set of sequential files. Depending upon security level, the user can or can not access some or all of these files.
For each transaction, with activated audit trail, a transaction notification is generated by the auditing system, which contains following information:
Transaction ID number.
The commit time of transaction.
List of tables updated by the transaction.
Table level command such as creating/ deleting tables, direct correction of data at database level by system administrator(for rectification of erroneous entry } are also logged by auditing system. When the audit data is written, information of original data is also maintained in audit files.
Device Management: One of the major task of ERP system is to generate output from raw data, such as reports, purchase orders, sales invoice. These outputs may be appended to a file or send to a printer. For the purpose of printing, an appropriate printer, compatible with operating system, must be available.
Device management of an ERP system supports various output types such as:
Logical printer where printers are organized under groups and print jobs are sent to a queue from a temporary file.
An append file in which system stores output of the process.
A terminal screen on which the output is viewed.
Under authorization management, this template can group devices and define an order of preferences for these devices. For example, a range of printers can be defined as well as given highest priority is given to the printer closest to the user. The template data is dumped for each individual user to the Device Preferences table. These templates can also be used to define a number of terminals from which the ERP users can start their sessions.
Text Management: Text management provides tools to write and maintain text in the system. Text management system provides text editor which is used to write on line help and queries. This facility helps in linking additional information to a record such appending special contractual terms to a purchase order. Text management facility helps in creating text related templates which are attached to users as a part of authorization. This authorization can be of following types:
Read: The user can only read text.
Use: The user can read as well as link the text to a particular record.
Update: The user is authorized to read, link, create, change and delete a text.
Job Management: This functionality is used to schedule a job involving large scale processing / printing at non-peak hours, which improves performance of the system. Some examples are year end processing or printing ledger account involving hundreds of pages. The jobs can be scheduled to activate process periodically, at a defined interval or repeatedly at a specified time. The jobs get activated even if the user is not logged in the system.