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ERP reporting tools' advantages and disadvantages

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ERP reporting tools?

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Ahh. Are you drinking the ERP vendor bathwater, or do you want to leverage your current BI investment? Either way, the advantage of enterprise resource planning (ERP) reporting tools is that they are typically tightly coupled with the ERP data structures. Thus, development time is less than if you wanted to apply an off-the-shelf reporting tool against the ERP data and its associated table structures. With an off-the-shelf tool, someone will need to build the schema so that the front-end reporting tool knows how to navigate the underlying database structure, a complex task given that established ERP systems often involve thousands of tables. The trade-off of using an ERP vendor's reporting tool is that reporting against non-ERP data could be difficult. An off-the-shelf tool can report against data from a multitude of sources, whereas the ERP tool is typically limited to the ERP system's data. However, most reporting tools have specific "connectors" to the ERP tools -- an attempt at mitigating the extra development effort.

More on ERP tools

  • A guide to enterprise resource planning for IT managers
  • This was first published in October 2007

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