May 28, 2013
By Tom Passe
This inaugural post offers a brief introduction to the Landmark Java-based technology framework. Subsequent posts will offer deeper insight into several facets of this core Infor technology solution.
Landmark is a Java-based framework that offers a development environment to create business applications, and subsequently deploy the applications in a runtime environment. First and foremost for customers, the Landmark Java framework is used to deploy and run business applications. Since 2006, customers have deployed many Landmark-based business solutions including:
• Infor Talent Management: Global Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Goal Management, Compensation Management, Succession Management and Learning and Development
• Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management: Contract Management, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Order Management and Recall Management
• Infor Lawson Enterprise Financial Management: Student Activity Management, AP Invoice Automation (GA 2013), Cash and Treasury Management (GA 2013)
• Infor Process Automation (IPA) and Infor Process Integration
The runtime architecture offers facilities for deployment and operations. A robust deployment environment empowers customers to manage and maintain applications, and reduces the complexity of enterprise lifecycle management by allowing customers to ‘configure’ applications and security without impacting upgrades. This is a critical capability for the next generation of enterprise business solutions.
The following is a list of key features of the runtime architecture. Reference the diagram Infor Landmark Technology Runtime Architecture.
• Embedded Analytics: A natural extension to any business application is capturing information for analytical decision support. Landmark offers a built-in analytics approach to ensure timely information for business users. For enterprise needs Landmark offers integration with Infor Analytics.
• Spreadsheet Designer for MS Office Excel enables end users to interoperate with business application data using Microsoft Office Excel. This equates to Microsoft Add-Ins for Lawson applications.
• Query & Reporting Services enable users to easily access information using Report Anywhere- ensuring that virtually all application data can be securely viewed and reported on. A query reporting service based on Infor OLEDB Object Services enables adhoc queries using 3rd party tools such as Crystal Reports.
• Administration utilities and a built-in console provide all the tools needed for managing and maintaining applications. Full life-cycle application management tools are available to manage the movement of applications, data and configurations from one environment to the next, for example from test to QA to production.
• Security authentication and authorization is covered for all Landmark business applications, including Single Sign On (SSO) in a federated model with Lawson System Foundation using Infor Security Services. Role based security authorization protects access to data and reports. Users, Roles, and security rules can be configured using the Configuration Console.
• Configurations: Landmark offers dynamic real-time application and security configurability that allows customers to personalize, tailor and adapt business applications. All configurations, such as changes to menus, pages, lists, user fields, actions and security rules are stored separately from the base application— during an upgrade they are verified and applied on top of the new application— ensuring upgrade paths.
• Infor Process Automation Server (IPA) is delivered embedded in Landmark runtime and enables Landmark built applications to use powerful business process logic within the applications. For external system integration IPA enables access to a wide range of integration technologies, including participation with Infor ION. Although the process server is delivered as part of Landmark runtime, customers need to license IPA in order to use the Infor Process Designer, an intuitive rich graphical user interface for creating and maintaining business processes.
• User Interfaces: With the Infor User Experience platform, you can empower your users, get business insight on demand, and enable actions anytime, anywhere with the click of a button. Infor is making applications as intuitive, attractive, and fun to use as personal technology. Landmark enables an end user experience in Infor Ming.le, Web Browsers, a rich client and on mobile devices (Apple iOS.)
The Landmark Java framework also offers an environment used to build business applications. Landmark’s unique architecture enables rapid application development and subsequent deployments that maximize a customer’s ability to configure applications quickly and cost effectively to meet ever-changing business requirements. Infor uses this development environment (IDE) internally— but currently it is not available for use by customers.
Landmark applications are built on top of a fully-dynamic Object Oriented Java framework that makes use of advanced technology that enables:
• Dynamic application and security configurability using the Landmark Configuration Console.
• A built-in Java-based Plug-In Architecture (similar to Eclipse) that makes it easy to extend Landmark applications using Java.
• End-user configurable Web Services.
• Declarative/meta-data architecture.
The Landmark declarative/meta-data architecture referred to as the Landmark Pattern Language is a major breakthrough in reducing the complexity and thus improving the degrees of freedom of an application both in terms of its design and implementation. Although the primary reason for Landmark’s declarative/meta-data program model is to enable customer upgrade extensibility, it also makes it possible to rapidly construct powerful applications by eliminating arduous and time-consuming Java programming. Using this model to build applications enables business analysts to focus on business functionality and processes, rather than coding in Java.
This post is only a brief glimpse into the world of the Infor Landmark Java framework. Upcoming Lawson Tech Blog posts will offer insight and benefits of this distinctive application framework, including these interesting topics:
• Reporting: How to access application data using Report Anywhere and advanced query reporting using Infor OLEDB Object Services for 3rd party tools.
• Integration: A discussion on how and when to use configurable Web Services or the embedded process engine of Infor Process Automation.
• MS Office access and manipulation: Insight into using the Spreadsheet Designer for MS Office Excel to enable end users to interoperate with Landmark application data.
• Configuration Console for Applications and Security: When and how to take advantage of configurations for personalizing, tailoring and adapting business applications and security.
• Administration, management and monitoring capabilities: anecdotal information on using the administration console and utilities.
Have a topic for this blog? Post your comment below and stay tuned to the Lawson Tech Blog to learn more about the Infor Landmark Java framework.