In today's business environment, applications such as Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and similar systems have become a necessary, if not vital part of enterprise technology. As a company grows, so does the need to implement more and more of these types of systems. This results in information silos, whereby data across all systems is disconnected or redundant and communication is hampered between departments.
The ability to transcend these information silos and create a seamless environment whereby all related business systems collaborate and share information is a growing challenge in today's business environment. Through Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), business systems are collaborating either directly or via an integration layer, and information is becoming less siloed and more centralized.
ETQ Integration Technology
ETQ offers a comprehensive set of integration technologies built on top of the ETQ Reliance Application Programming Interface (API) that dramatically reduces the effort associated with integration. ETQ provides multiple options to integrate successfully by leveraging standard technologies like SQL, Web Services and Java®. For customers, ETQ Reliance APIs means proven integration with any enterprise application or system, including SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and other third-party solutions. Integration projects typically fall into one of the following three categories. For each category, ETQ Reliance has the right technology to deliver a cost-effective solution quickly.
The following Integration Technologies are available with ETQ:
- SAP Integration
- Synchronize User Information
- Lookup Master Data
- Connection Profiles
- Automatically Pull and Push Data
With the ETQ Integration APIs you can:
- Reduce the time and cost of dual-entry by looking up part, product, supplier, and customer information directly from your existing production systems.
- Eliminate the quality gap by automatically converting defects identified by your production systems into workflow based Nonconforming Material events in ETQ.
- Prevent poor data quality by selecting from existing data in external systems, such as product, supplier, customer, etc.
- Shorten your inventory cycles by automatically releasing products put on hold in your production systems when the appropriate investigation and release phases have been completed in ETQ.
- Minimize risk in product releases by scanning systems for open Quality issues prior to release, and automatically preventing product releases if issues are found.
ETQ is a certified SAP partner, and has developed several integration scenarios specifically for SAP implementations.
These integration scenarios enable ETQ Reliance to compliment an organizations existing SAP solution, and provide additional integration tools to ETQ's already robust and proven integration options.
ETQ is a Certified SAP Partner, with proven integration to:
- SAP Master Data: Synchronize production data, suppliers and customers with ETQ to lookup from any ETQ process
- SAP HCM: Automatically lookup employee and organizational data from SAP to populate ETQ's injury/ illness management and and employee training processes
- SAP Complaints Processing: Automatically initiates complaint handling and investigation processes in ETQ, and provide regular status updates to SAP
- SAP Manufacturing Execution: Automatically create nonconforming reports in ETQ from SAP quality notifications and control product release from ETQ's disposition process
Synchronize User Information
Update ETQ Reliance User Profiles with the latest user information stored in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)-compliant directories such as Microsoft Active Directory.
- Authenticate users who log in to ETQ Reliance against the user name and password stored in the directory
- Maintain a single source for user information to avoid conflicts and discrepancies
- Automate the transfer of new user information to ETQ Reliance from any field
- Automatically create and disable users in ETQ Reliance based on changes in the directory
- Supports any LDAP-compliant directory
- Supports single or multiple Active Directory domains
- Connect to directory using simple or password-protected URL
- Encrypted connections using Secure LDAP LDAP integration is included with the purchase of ETQ Reliance and can be enabled as part of the installation process or any time afterwards.
Lookup Master Data
Look up data from an external business system. User selects data using a drop-down field on the ETQ form and related information is automatically copied into the appropriate fields.
Common examples of Lookups include:
- Select a Lot in a Nonconforming Material (NCM) Report to populate information about the Lot's manufacturing date, inspection status or supplier.
- Select a Customer ID in a Corrective Action Report (CAR) to retrieve the customer's address and contact information.
- Select an Employee ID in a Safety Incident Report to look up the employee's contact and work information.
- Use a single source of master data (e.g., product, supplier, customer information) instead of maintaining in multiple systems.
- Avoid retyping information over and over again.
- Optionally, display the most current information whenever the ETQ form is opened (auto-refresh).
- SQL Query entered directly in the ETQ Web-based Designer.
- ETQ database must have access to the database where the lookup data is stored.
- Lookup data table must have a unique integer key (ID).
- Very large data sets can optionally be displayed to the user in a searchable dialog.
ETQ Reliance Web-based Connection Profiles provide an optional mechanism to periodically import master data from external systems into ETQ Reliance tables so the data can be easily looked up using standard Lookup functionality. The cost of implementing lookups to external systems can be included in the cost of the initial implementation services if the master data being looked up is in a database table that is both accessible and correctly formatted for ETQ Reliance. Additional services may be required to create or populate the database table appropriately.
Automatically Pull and Push Data
Transfer data between ETQ and other business systems on a pre-defined frequency or based on a pre-defined event to streamline processes that span multiple systems
Common example of pulling and pushing data include:
- Load Customer Complaint Management in ETQ Reliance from escalated customer service records in an external Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
- Create Nonconforming Material (NCM) Reports in ETQ Reliance from defect reports in an external ERP or manufacturing control system.
- Push the lot disposition decision in ETQ Reliance (e.g., Hold, Scrap, Release) back to the external system so that it can take the appropriate action immediately and automatically.
- Synchronize employee organizational information stored in ETQ Reliance for Training and Security purposes with an External Human resources system.
- Lookup an employee's training status in ETQ Reliance to make sure employee's are qualified to perform specific tasks in external systems.
- Accelerate the delivery of information to and from other business systems.
- Reduce the number of failure points in processes that start or end in a different business system.
- Reduce cycle types by speeding up the flow of information (e.g., release inventory on hold; updates to customer complaint).
- Ensure the accuracy of the data is being transferred between the business systems.
- Web Services: Exchange data and trigger events using standard SOAP messages. ETQ's Web Services API can be programmed to comply with any Web Service infrastructure or middleware broker. This is the recommended choice for integrations that are complex, require a mix of data and commands, or must be executed in real-time.
- Connection Profile: An integration interface entirely configurable in ETQ's Web-based Designer. Supports scheduled creation of ETQ records using data from external systems stored in database or flat-file format. This is the recommended choice for the one-way transfer of data from external system to ETQ.
- Java API using JDBC: Use ETQ's Java API to read and write to JDBC-compliant databases, usually intermediary "staging tables" between ETQ and the external system. Ideal for integrations that require bi-directional exchange of data, but where Web Services are not available.
- Direct Java API: Create a direct link to an external system's Java API so that data and commands can be exchanged in real-time without any intermediary data repository or technology. This is the tightest level of integration, but results in very tightly coupled systems. It is only recommended for very time-sensitive integrations when Web Services are not available or not sufficient to meet the requirements.
- SAP Connector: An implementation of ETQ's Web Services and Direct Java API for SAP installations. Ready-to use integration code to accelerate the implementation of interfaces to SAP.