SolarERP is GoldHat’s concept for an ERP that is simple to understand and easy to use. Sure ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is by very nature “big”. There is no getting around that, because it’s an integrate of multiple applications that work together to run most or all of a business. And the fact is businesses need a lot of applications to get things done. Including the ability to make custom application suited to their specific business. Yet that should not stop businesses from all sizes from considering the ERP approach, in place of singular applications.

In a day where there is an app for everything, the big question is “do your apps work together”. And sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes no. Definitely API’s and cross-integrations of apps can help bridge data and functionality together. But is it seamless? Hardly. And can we all afford the costs of big ERP’s like SAP? Would they even scale to a smaller size entity? Not likely.

Our goal with SolarERP is an app that gives businesses global control over their application data. The focus being keep your data internal and secure. Give yourself the insights that come from being able to look at data across divisions of your business. Don’t allow these gaps that come up when your ecommerce software never speaks directly to accounting software. Or your contact manager can’t receive notes from social media. We want to create something like a matrix of information about a business, all interconnected and ever-growing. What is a business today? In part it’s a collection of it’s information, data and more data, and metadata about data. If everything you do and are is digital, why not harness the optimal benefit from using technology? Which would seem to be automation of processes, decision-making, even artificial intelligence.

The leading enterprises of tomorrow won’t just have killer apps, or market disruptive strategies, they will be leaders in data management. The notable difference between similar companies in a market will be how efficiently they handle their data and the processes that rely on it. This will affect everything consumers receive in value from the company. The very basis of the companies purpose and existence will hinge on it effectively collecting, storing, analyzing data.

Consumers expectations of what companies will do in terms of data management will increase as well. Recently I had the experience of filling out a paper form at a 4-star hotel in Prague. And I was a weary traveler that day and it bothered me to have to print using a pen all the information the hotel already received from Literally nothing new was added, they simply used my time and energy to do something they could certainly have achieved with a check-in process that better organized data. It doesn’t have to be really big changes, it’s often the details that matter. Simplifying processes, making transactions faster and easier for customers, it’s all about utilizing data effectively and planning ahead.

SolarERP is probably 2-3 years away from a beta launch at this point as we work on some of the foundation technologies we need to make it work. Here is a small glimpse of what we’ve started to build so far:

  • XML/Interface editor that allows editing XML directly or switching to a traditional application interface (web form). All web form data is saved as XML, so you can switch back and forth from XML-to-Interface and vica versa. This allows semi-technical people to quickly edit XML configuration files, or records, while still having access to an interface where it helps such as uploading images
  • XML document storage system with traditional database indexing. We’ve opted to go nosql, or nodb for the most part. But in one area where it helps, indexing/search, we’ll use a database. What’s nice is all files in XML can be version-controlled with GIT, meaning SolarERP can run anywhere that the GIT repository can be closed. The optional database indexing adds a MySQL database but we don’t need to worry about it’s status the way we do today with most systems. That’s because anything going into the database is from parsing the XML documents. The database can therefore be regenerated and updated at any time, alleviate the problems that can happen when a database is corrupted or out of date.