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Enterprise software, also known as enterprise application software (EAS), is computer software used to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users. Such organizations would include businesses, schools, interest-based user groups, clubs, charities, or governments. Enterprise software is an integral part of a (computer based) Information System.
Services provided by enterprise software are typically business-oriented tools such as online shopping and online payment processing, interactive product catalogue, automated billing systems, security, enterprise content management, IT service management, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, project management, collaboration, human resource management, manufacturing, enterprise application integration, and enterprise forms automation.
As enterprises have similar departments and systems in common, enterprise software is often available as a suite of customizable programs. Generally, the complexity of these tools requires specialist capabilities and specific knowledge.
Enterprise software describes a collection of computer programs with common business applications, tools for modeling how the entire organization works, and development tools for building applications unique to the organization. The software is intended to solve an enterprise-wide problem, rather than a departmental problem. Enterprise level software aims to improve the enterprise's productivity and efficiency by providing business logic support functionality.
According to Martin Fowler, "Enterprise applications are about the display, manipulation, and storage of large amounts of often complex data and the support or automation of business processes with that data."
Although there is no single, widely accepted list of enterprise software characteristics, they generally include performance, scalability, and robustness. Furthermore, enterprise software typically has interfaces to other enterprise software (for example LDAP to directory services) and is centrally managed (a single admin page, for example).
Enterprise application software performs business functions such as order processing, procurement, production scheduling, customer information management, energy management, and accounting. It is typically hosted on servers and provides simultaneous services to a large number of users, typically over a computer network. This is in contrast to a single-user application that is executed on a user's personal computer and serves only one user at a time.
Enterprise software can be categorized by business function. Each type of enterprise application can be considered a "system" due to the integration with a firm's business processes. Categories of enterprise software may overlap due to this systemic interpretation. For example, IBM's Business Intelligence platform (Cognos), integrates with a predictive analytics platform (SPSS) and can obtain records from its database packages (Infosphere, DB2). Blurred lines between package functions make delimitation difficult, and in many ways larger software companies define these somewhat arbitrary categories. Nevertheless, certain industry standard product categories have emerged, and these are shown below :
- Accounting software
- Business intelligence
- Business process management
- Content management system (CMS)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Master data management (MDM)
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Enterprise asset management (EAM)
- Supply chain management (SCM)
- Business informatics
- Business software
- Enterprise architecture
- Enterprise forms automation
- Identity management
- Identity management system
- Information technology management
- Integrated business planning
- Management information system
- Operational risk management
- Retail software
- Strategic information system
- examples: 2500+ member Trainz user group, club like 1632 Book series collaborative web site.
- "Enterprise software" is a social, not technical, phenomenon
- Management Information Systems Glossary of Terms
- Martin Fowler, "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" (2002). Addison Wesley.
- What is Enterprise Software?
- Gartner Group: IT Glossary - enterprise application software
- "What is enterprise application? - A Word Definition From the Webopedia Computer Dictionary". Webopedia.com. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- "Integrate InfoSphere Warehouse data mining with IBM Cognos reporting, Part 1: Overview of InfoSphere Warehouse and Cognos integration architecture". Ibm.com. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2013-06-16.