IFS drives ‘open’ into app suite, delivers new native API model

Enterprise applications company IFS has used its annual user conference to detail work carried out on its major application suite.

The company wants to put the ‘open’ in service management, enterprise resource management (ERP) and enterprise asset management (EAM).

The company says it has ‘evolved’ its technology foundation with 15,000+ native APIs to open paths to extensibility, integration and flexibility… because that what APIs do, obviously.

OpenAPI Initiative

Of some significance here, IFS has noted that it is a new member of the OpenAPI Initiative (OAI), a consortium of experts who champion standardization on how REST APIs are described.

According to OAI official statements, the group has an open governance structure under the Linux Foundation – and the OAI is focused on creating, evolving and promoting a vendor-neutral description format.

IFS insists that it is promoting open applications to allow freedom to develop and connect data sources to drive value in a way that is ‘meaningful’ to enterprises.

“By prioritising open applications, IFS is upping the ante in terms of innovation and customer-centricity while decisively turning away from platform coercion and lock-in,” noted the company, in a press statement.

IFS offers native OData-based RESTful APIs across its entire suite of ERP, EAM and service management products, to make connecting, extending or integrating into the IFS core quicker and easier.

OData-based RESTful APIs are defined on Stack Overflow as, “A special kind of REST where we can query data uniformly from a URL. REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer which is a resource-based architectural style. OData is a web based protocol that defines a set of best practices for building and consuming RESTful web services.”

The APIs at IFS have been engineered in tandem with IFS’s new ‘Aurena’ user experience brand, which is now available across the full breadth of IFS applications.

“With this approach, IFS is giving its customers 15,000 new ways to flex,” IFS CEO Darren Roos said. “It goes without saying that, as excited as we are about reaching this milestone, the driving force behind our deliveries is our unwavering commitment to offer choice and value to our customers. Providing ‘open’ solutions is a critical factor in making good on this promise. The quality, pace, and focus of our product development speaks to a business that is outperforming the legacy vendors in the enterprise software space.”

Aurena user experience

The IFS Aurena user experience offering has now been extended across the entire IFS Applications suite for Service Management, ERP and EAM. It uses the same set of APIs, which are now generally available and provides a browser-based user experience optimised for each role and user type, with a focus on employee engagement and productivity.

“IFS Aurena provides customers with a truly responsive design, allowing the entire suite to automatically adapt to different form factors as well as capabilities to design and build truly native applications targeted across iOS, Android and Windows, with support for offline scenarios and device-specific capabilities such as GPS and camera,” noted IFS chief product officer Christian Pedersen.

Among the more significant industry updates here is support for International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance initiatives in the cloud.

Customers who have ITAR obligations, such as those operating in or trading with the U.S. aerospace, defence or government sectors, can deploy and use IFS software to support their ITAR compliant business needs, in an independently validated environment hosted in the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud, fully managed by IFS.

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