QAD is a well-designed and written software package with logical data structures and fairly complete ERP functionality. A typical installation meets 95% the business requirements for a plant or warehouse. Problem: The missing 5% is different from company to company and, while small, may be essential. So, instead of bloating QAD by anticipating and adding all these missing pieces, QAD makes it easy to add functionality.
Custom reports, and screens to maintain supplemental data and reduce manual effort are easily developed.
Manual effort reduction examples: A function to copy a purchase order, instead of manually re-entering a nearly identical P/O with hundreds of lines; or a module to capture factory floor activity with scanning terminals, instead of filling out forms for subsequent manual data entry. Many custom reports also reduce manual effort by combining data from multiple screens into one; for example, a report which ties planned purchase part usage to end-items using the bill of material where-used logic.
Several technologies are in place to interface data to and from external systems in and outside of the company. These include API technologies which can be used to connect to other systems in-house and in the cloud, EDI, and data exports in CSV format for easy transfer to Excel.
How is the missing 5% satisfied? First of all, QAD is written in an easily learned 4/GL (fourth generation) programming language called Progress OpenEdge. This 4/GL is very efficient and is tightly coupled to the database, making it very easy to extract and link data. With a few hundred lines of logic/code it is possible to write most reports, interfaces, and maintenance screens. Compared to most other languages, it wins hands down in ease of use and simplicity. Secondly, a complete software infrastructure is included by QAD with subroutines for screen layouts, printer selection, etc. to streamline programming of custom menu functions with the same “look and feel”. Finally, best practices are followed to minimize impact when installing new upgrades around these custom functions, keeping it simple to install new software releases as they are received from QAD.
Unencrypted source code for most reports and a few maintenance functions is included with Mfg/Pro, providing many good programming examples for your IT staff. I usually recommend not buying additional unencrypted source code for maintenance functions to avoid the temptation of modifying these programs, making it extremely difficult to apply future upgrades.