LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

Lawson Thoughts for the New Year

Some thoughts as we start 2004:

  • Whatever happened to "Lawson using Lawson"? When Lawson released version 8.0, they made a public pledge to always be the initial "client" using a new release. The "eating our own dog food" approach. Now with the release of 8.1 applications, Lawson has changed their tune, and is not upgrading themselves first.
  • It’s not all about the Portal. Sorry to break the news to Lawson, but your portal content is NOT the center of an enterprise’s universe. Lawson Portal is just another web user interface for Lawson applications. I have yet to see a client run their corporate intranet using Lawson’s Portal. How many of you have tried to offer Lawson content via another portal?
  • Environment 8.1, which focuses primarily on security, is a broad and perhaps overly ambitious project. The new "roles, rules, and resources" paradigm is vastly different from current laua security. In general, I love the principles (imagine not having to set up a new security class every time a particular user assumes a new responsibility!) What I’m concerned about is that this is a "Lawson proprietary" technology, and isn’t layered on a proven security framework. And being such a huge initiative, it will take a long time to get it right.
  • As I often say, Lawson is not a technology company. Lawson’s strategy over the past couple of years has been to develop "just enough" of a web technology layer to enable them to deploy compelling (i.e. "saleable") products. The problem is that the IOS layer, and the underlying environment on which they run, is starting to crumble under all that weight. I know Lawson wants to "rule every layer", but it’s time to let go. Lawson needs stick to their core competency, which is ERP applications–not technology.
  • Once Lawson adopts a real architecture, they can build upon its foundations to offer security, integration, and web services. I was really hoping that we’d see a web services offering from Lawson this year, but since I last wrote about it (, nary a word.
  • Lawson needs to adopt a technology/architecture and stick with it. We’ve moved through ActiveX, JavaScript, Java Beans, XML, and Portal. Want to place bets on a Lawson interface rooted in J2EE or NET?
  • Oh yeah, and Lawson needs to publish an annually-updated long-range statement of direction. Clients need to know not only where their Lawson applications are going, but what Lawson is planning for the environment and technology. How many of you invested in ActiveX and now have lots of "legacy" code to support? How about Javascript/HTML Report Designer? Or ReportSmith? And, now Crystal Enterprise?
  • And lastly, Lawson needs to stop leaving the AS/400-iSeries customers hanging. The promise of version 8.0 was dangled in front of them for years; now it’s "we’ll have to make a business case for deciding if 8.1 will be available for you".

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