Here is a look at some of the technology Datex used to develop an adaptable, state-of-the-art user friendly warehouse management system.
Datex’s state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System, FootPrint WMS, is built on top of the Microsoft .NET Framework. The .NET Framework was chosen for its superior memory management, security, interoperability and advanced User Interface controls.
With its exceptional interoperability, Microsoft .NET provides the means to access functionality implemented in both newer and older programs which execute outside the .NET environment. The Microsoft .NET platform simplifies application deployment and facilitates easier application updates.
Here are some of the other features Microsoft .NET provides to Datex FootPrint WMS:
- Language interoperability
- Common security model for all applications
- Dockable windows: ability to undock a window and place it on a second monitor
- Each new screen brought up opens up as a tab, allowing for easy browsing when there are multiple windows open
- Every field in a data-grid is searchable
- Ability to drag column headers to a work space to filter data based on the header
- Consolidated data: user can view all of the tasks associated with an order
- User preferences can be saved when grids or views are rearranged
- Fields shown on grid using column selector tool can be customized
- System has the ability to show and hide columns
One of the most essential aspects of the performance management process in supply chain solutions is reporting, the means by which information and data is presented. Reporting is critical to decision making as it serves to provide the information needed to support efficient decision making in warehousing, distribution, manufacturing and other aspects of the supply chain. Datex selected Microsoft SQL Reporting Services (SSRS), a server based report generation system to create a variety of interactive and printed reports via a web interface for its warehouse management system, Datex FootPrint WMS. Microsoft SQL Reporting Services enables users to create reports that draw content from a variety of data sources. Reports can be published in a variety of formats and then managed using security provisions and subscriptions.
In order to simplify reporting, Datex performed extensive work on the Microsoft SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) model in order to enable the set up and seamless flow of data. Datex has already completed the complex, time consuming work of creating the table joins. This eliminates the need for programmers or developers to create customized reports, a substantial savings for many companies.
Microsoft SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) provides the ability to report on data and to visualize it in numerous graphical and interactive ways. While Datex clients may elect to use either Crystal Reports or Microsoft SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) to create new reports, Datex clients have embraced SSRS reporting and found it a successful innovation and useful tool. Datex also includes a wide array of standardized reports for easy use and modification.
Here are some of the features Microsoft SQL Reporting Services (SSRS)
provides to Datex FootPrint WMS:
- Provides web-enabled reporting functionality
- Enables non-technical users to create customized reports using simple “drag and drop”
- Provides graphical and interactive data displays such as the ability to create maps, charts, graphs and other diagrams
- Provides web based Report Manager admin tool that can maintain report executions and delivery
- Reports can be shared and made available via an optional web portal and set up as subscriptions
In developing its warehouse management system, Datex wanted to create a software solution that could readily be altered without costly programming or development fees to meet the needs of changing businesses. The WMS software solution Datex developed using Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is flexible and scalable, ideal for growing, dynamic businesses.
Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) can be used to develop software solutions that execute an ordered business process. A “workflow” is a sequence of operations broken down into a series of distinct steps. Within the workflow, each step of the operation is modeled as an activity. The activities are created and assembled into workflows using Workflow Designer, the design interface that runs within Visual Studio. The workflow engine schedules and executes each workflow, complete with accompanying business logic and manages the flow of execution between the activities. Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation provides an API as well as the workflow engine and rehostable workflow designer to implement long running business processes within the .NET application, Datex FootPrint WMS.
This form of business process automation is highly effective in reducing cost while still allowing the system flexibility needed for business operations. The use of business process modeling and workflows enables both small and large enterprises to create highly complex processes that can be changed readily while still providing distinct competitive advantages and creating savings.
Using Workflow Designer, Datex can model business processes including specific business logic that may need to change periodically. Datex FootPrint WMS also utilizes advanced business logic, requiring workflow execution to vary based upon differing circumstances. The automated processes are highly accurate and efficient and are built to be specific to each client’s specifications.
Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation has the ability to save workflow’s data to a persistent medium like SQL Server and unloads the workflow from memory, then reload it after it receives a message or after a specific period of time. Removing idle workflows from memory allows the workflow engine to greatly increase the number of active workflows that the system can handle, increasing system scalability.
Here are some of the other features Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)
provides to Datex FootPrint WMS:
- Your IT staff or third party resource can be trained to use Workflow Designer to make changes to business processes
- Companies can customize business processes readily using logic and decision making
- New clients can be onboarded swiftly giving your business a competitive advantage
- System can be scaled without huge expense, allowing companies to grow either overnight or over time
- Business processes are based upon client specifications
- Workflow changes carry through to latest upgrade
- Workflow creates automated business processes that are accurate and easier to alter
Datex FootPrint WMS relies on Microsoft SQL Server, the most secure of any of the major database platforms. Highly reliable data management system, Microsoft SQL Server provides near zero downtime and includes support for digital media formats for pictures, audio, video and multimedia data. In addition, relational databases, Reporting Services, Analysis Services and Integration Services are supported. PowerPivot for Excel, SharePoint, Master Data Services and Report Builder are included. These features are critical to the development and advancement of the Datex Executive Dashboard, an essential business intelligence tool used by Datex clients.
Here are some of the features Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 or 2012
provides to Datex FootPrint WMS:
- Trusted, cost-effective, scalable database platform
- New features for business intelligence, Reporting Services
- Highly secure database platform
- Central management and monitoring of database applications and SQL Server instances from a single management interface
- Improved deployment of data applications
- Dashboards in SQL Server Utility to provide insight into resource utilization and other critical information