BEA Systems has unveiled SmartConnect 3.0 software, which easesenterprise resource planning (ERP) integration by making it easierto plug ERP applications into a service-oriented architecture(SOA). SOA extends ERP deployments by allowing, for example,invoices and statements to be shared across the Internet andcompany-wide intranets, or making it easier for companies tointegrate financial systems with those of merged or newly acquiredcompanies. The architecture consists of chunks of software(services) with standards-based interfaces that can communicatewith each other and be reused in a variety of composite apps andbusiness processes.

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SmartConnect lets companies do away with adapters–proprietarycode supplied by ERP vendors–to integrate ERP apps. Instead it“exposes” ERP business logic as a shared service for use by otherbusiness applications and processes. “With traditional adapters,connectivity is an isolated component, making it difficult to shareacross implementations. SmartConnect turns connectivity into ashared service [under SOA] with all the benefits of reuse and lowercost of ownership,” said Quinton Wall, senior product marketingmanager at BEA.

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Adapter-based integration approaches suffer from a number ofproblems, such as lack of performance and quality and inability toperform data format customization. “SmartConnect provides nativetransports to unlock information buried in packaged apps withoutthe associated issues of previous adapter-based strategies,” Wallsays.

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SmartConnect 3.0 is available for use with ERP systems from SAPand Siebel, and will be available for Oracle and PeopleSoft inmid-January. Pricing information is available from BEA.

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