QAD is a popular manufacturing ERP especially internationally throughout Asia. We have a lot of customers that rely on QAD for accurate financial data to run their businesses. Therefore keeping QAD and CloudDISPATCH in sync is often one of the first integrations our customers consider.
Below is a list of general use cases for integration with ERP systems like QAD. This information contains the general workflow and best practices we have discovered while working with our customers.
General ERP & EAM Use Cases:
- Spares / Inventory Management
- Asset Management
- Master Data Management
- Allocation of Labor & Spares Costs from Shop Floor Activities
- Production Orders and Status
Supported Versions Details:
We support all versions. QAD has released various technology stacks over the last 20-30 years. The methods for integration are highly dependent on whether you are using the older MFG/PRO or QAD Enterprise Applications, the newer cloud apps starting with QAD On Demand, which was later named QAD Cloud ERP, or the more modern QAD Adaptive ERP built on the QAD Enterprise Platform.
Integration Methods and Best Practices:
When it comes to QAD, L2L CloudDISPATCH integration API endpoints and use cases are well known and documented. Depending on your specific version of QAD and your business's spare parts reservations, ordering, receiving, and issuing procedures you will likely need to customize the integration to match your business needs. This is normal and average for this industry. QAD's long history and various technology stacks create an environment where each QAD integration may have unique elements to allow for the customer's QAD customizations for industry and company-specific policies, requirements, and regulations. Based on this you should plan on customizing and tailoring our best practices to fit your needs and the preferred integration method for your version.
QAD Connectivity Options
You have several options for integration with QAD. These can be broken down into 3 main categories: Modern, Middleware, and Legacy (See below).
In our experience, most of our QAD customers are still in the upgrade cycle and therefore have either a middleware solution or an existing legacy solution in place for QAD integrations. We also have 3 reference implementations for QAD as part of our L2L Integration server.
Modern QAD Integration Technology
The later more modern cloud versions of QAD have the best and likely the easiest integration methods to choose from:
- QAD Cloud EDI
Simplify communication with customers and suppliers up and down the value chain, getting complete visibility and tracking of all communication transactions.
- QAD EDI eCommerce
Manage EDI integration through a standard neutral interface to bring transactions in and out of QAD Enterprise Applications.
- QAD Boomi AtomSphere
Build, deploy and manage process and data integrations to QAD Enterprise Applications, regardless of your company’s size, locations, or application portfolio.
Connect applications and automate critical tasks such as data synchronization, eliminating the burden of maintaining custom interfaces and manual data entry.
Depending on your established QAD integration standards, you might develop this integration using an existing middleware solution. We have customers that have successfully completed this using some of the following middleware solutions:
Older versions of QAD have various challenges with integrations due to a lack of established APIs. We've had customers do a variety of workarounds by accessing the Progress database directly via ODBC. This is a workable solution if master data is one way syncing to CloudDISPATCH. Performing an inbound sync directly to the Progress database requires a deeper understanding of how QAD interacts with the database to avoid causing data problems.
In other cases, customers have resorted to file export/import methods as a manual or scripted workaround. This file export/import method is surprisingly fast and low effort. Definitely worth taking a look if needed.
It's also possible to use a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution to drive the user interface to automate the data input through the UI and scrap data from the system. This last option is the most extreme, and our hats are off to that intrepid IT wizard that worked around an extremely old version of the software to get his company data flowing. If you fit into this category, contact support and we can share what we know.
L2L Integration Server
We provide 3 different reference implementations for QAD integrations as part of the L2L Integration Server. The L2L Integration Server is an on-premise java application with a number of pre-built ERP integrations, including QAD and QAD EAM. The L2L Integration Server runs behind your corporate firewall on a Linux or Windows host. It performs bi-directional synchronization between your L2L CloudDISPATCH Instance and your QAD deployment using files for processing by QAD integration tools or automation. You may need to write the company-specific handling of this data for your specific QAD integration method, use cases, policies, and procedures. We provide the L2L Integration Server with the java source code so you can easily extend and expand the functionality as you need. For more information regarding the L2L Integration Server, please contact support.
L2L API Code Examples
You might be asking yourself, I'm technical, can't I just do this myself? YES! Based on how easy it is to use our API, a lot of customers jump right in and write custom QAD integrations using the tools, programming languages, and platforms they are most comfortable with. If this is you, we've created a number of API code examples in all of the most popular programming languages. Check out our Github repository at:
- Spares API Integration Workflow
- Integration Options and Best Practices
- L2L Integration Overview and Architecture Diagrams