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In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

In-House Hosting vs. Cloud Based Hosting

If you’ve recently decided to implement an ERP system like Epicor ERP at your company, you have a couple of options for where to deploy the system. You can either have it hosted on your in-house server or it can be hosted on a cloud server. Here is a look at each of these options.

 

In-House Servers

In-house servers are a more traditional route to providing the software your team needs to get its job done. The server is physically located at your place of business. Some of the reasons why this is still the best answer for many companies include:

  • You maintain complete control of the server. You are not reliant on the cloud for your security, but rather are able to find a custom solution to handle your security needs on your own
  • You can upgrade your system any time you’d like without paying additional hosting fees
  • All of your critical data remains in-house, with no access by third-parties

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to in-house hosting as well, including:

  • A large upfront investment in hardware and infrastructure
  • Space for your server room is required, as well as IT support
  • You have no guarantees regarding uptime or the time it takes to recover your data
  • You are responsible for backing up your data and you may be more likely to suffer data loss if there is a disaster in your area

 

Hosted Cloud Servers

Hosted cloud services allow you the opportunity to have access to the same software you would use with an in-house server, yet the software is accessible in the cloud. The benefits of host-based cloud services include:

  • The ability for your staff to access files even when they’re out of the office. Cloud-based services are available anywhere where there is an internet connection
  • You avoid the stress and expense of maintaining an in-house server, including the expense of having IT staff
  • Your host provides security, a disaster recovery plan, and an uptime guarantee
  • Hosted cloud services are scalable, meaning you pay for the services you need, when you need them, rather than shelling out money for services you don’t need simply because they were available in your big-box solution
  • You can initiate backup and restore processes from anywhere. Data on the cloud can be backed up in intervals as short as every fifteen minutes, which minimizes the potential for data loss
  • Your host will provide upgrades when they become available, ensuring that you’re using the newest technology available

The downside to hosted cloud servers includes:

  • The inability to access your files if your internet is down
  • You must pay a monthly hosting fee for the service
  • You may be limited on the amount of data and files you can store due to storage availability and cost

 

Which is Better?

Which solution is best for you depends greatly on the size of your business, the potential for growth, and the industry you’re in. If you have limited funds for investing in IT staff or infrastructure, or you don’t want the stress of maintaining your own server, a hosted cloud server may be the ideal solution for you. However, if you wish to be in control of your server, or if you deal with a lot of sensitive information — such as customer health records or financial data — and don’t feel comfortable with allowing a third-party to access that information, you may fare better with hosted services in-house.

 

Conclusion

EstesGroup is pleased to provide expert assistance in determining whether your business is best served by hosted cloud services or hosted services on your in-house server. Contact us today so we can begin exploring your options with you.

 

Download our Epicor ERP On-Premise (In-House) vs Cloud Hosted Calculator by filling out the form.

 

12 Days of ECHO, Sixth Day: My Admin Gave to Me a Fix for Microsoft IIS Log Sprawl!

12 Days of ECHO, Sixth Day: My Admin Gave to Me a Fix for Microsoft IIS Log Sprawl!

On the Sixth Day of ECHO, my admin gave to me, some tips about Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and log files!

 

Every Epicor E10 and Prophet 21 Middleware server uses Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to get their job done.  And by default, IIS creates a log file on the C: drive for every day it’s running.  Often, we can see how long a server has been running by counting IIS log files.  However, chances are great you don’t ever look at those log files!  Therefore, we recommend disabling the IIS logs in IIS Manager to save the I/O and disk space.  If you need the logs for auditing, we suggest putting them on another volume and marking them with NTFS compression for best performance.  After that, a weekly script to delete the oldest files will keep things neat and trim.  FORFILES /P C:\inetpub\logs /s /*.LOG /D – 30 “cmd /c del @FILE” is my go-to command. 

 

If you liked reading the “Sixth Day of ECHO” return to our main list to read all of the other “12 Days of ECHO” posts.

 

Do you have questions or need assistance with your Epicor system?  Please feel free to Contact Us and see if we can help get your bits and bytes in order.

12 Days of ECHO, First Day: Relating Epicor Extended Tables via SysRowID

12 Days of ECHO, First Day: Relating Epicor Extended Tables via SysRowID

On the first day of ECHO, my admin gave to me, some notes about my SysRowID! 

 

Relating Epicor Extended Tables via SysRowID 

 

As part of an ERP implementation, it’s not uncommon for companies to find the need to store information that does not easily fit into the ERP system’s existing database schema.  Fortunately, Epicor ERP offers a robust ability to extend an existing database table and add fields to store custom data, to better address the requirements of an implementing company, and The Estes Group’s Echo hosting platform completely supports these critical capabilities.  

 

On the technical side, adding UD fields to an existing table actually creates a new table in the Epicor database, a table that is structured to relate back to the original “parent table.”  While two tables exist at the database level, the data model at the application level presents the two tables as a single unified entity, which allows customers to interact with the standard and custom data through BPMs, BAQs and form customizations, as if they were working against a single table. 

 

While this capability is of great utility, there are times when an ERP administrator may have a need to compare child and parent tables, for administrative purposes.  As such, it is helpful to understand the architecture for relating standard Epicor tables to their UD children at the application and database level.  The following example intends to serve this purpose.  

 

Adding UD fields to the Epicor ERP application is done though the “User Defined Column Maintenance” form.  In the following example, I added a UD field to the standard Epicor ERP Part table: 

Once UD fields are added to one or more tables, the administrator needs to regenerate the data model from the Epicor Administration Console on the AppServer.  In the example, I regenerated the data model as follows:

Performing the above tasks adds a “Part_UD” table to the Epicor database:

It also synchronizes the application’s data model with the database:

In the following example, I went on to query the Part UD table.  Note the “ForeignSysRowID” field—as you can see, the key to a UD table is based on the SysRowID of its parent, since the records of a UD table exist in a 1-to-1 relationship with their parents:

As such, if you join the Part_UD table to its parent Part table where Erp.Part.SysRowID = Erp.Part_UD.ForeignSysRowID, you will receive results similar to the following:

Whether on premise or in a hosted solution such as ECHO by EstesGroup, Epicor’s database extension capabilities are of great use to implementation teams and end users.  For ERP admins, an understanding of the underlying structure can serve to assist in managing the database and the application, should the need arise.

 

If you liked reading the “First Day of ECHO” return to our main list to read all of the other “12 Days of ECHO” posts.

 

Do you need assistance managing your data, UD or otherwise?  Please feel free to Contact Us and see if we can help get your bits and bytes in order.

12 Days of ECHO: EstesGroup ERP Admin Tips and Tricks

12 Days of ECHO: EstesGroup ERP Admin Tips and Tricks

This Holiday Season, EstesGroup would like to give you “12 Days of ECHO” tips and tricks for those ERP System Admins out there.

 

We understand this time of year there is a lot going on for companies, such as: year end preparations, budgeting for the next year, personnel changes, and company shifts, etc. So that being the case, we wanted to bring a bit of humor and help to your holiday.

 

The 12 Days of ECHO:

  1. Epicor ERP SysRow-ID
  2. SQL Licensing
  3. Auto-Login Epicor ERP
  4. SQL 64K Clusters
  5. Too Much RAM for Your Epicor VM
  6. IIS Log Sprawl
  7. Epicor 10 Server Disk Space
  8. SQL Transaction Log Maintenance
  9. SSRS Stealing the Show (CPU)
  10. Epicor Performance Diagnostic Tool PDT for a Sanity Check
  11. Online Transaction Processing vs. Decision Support: How to Find & Avoid Deadlocks
  12. Ransomware 2020, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 

For any questions or for assistance this Holiday Season, please Contact Us or let us know below:

 

Getting Past the “CGCCode Mismatch” Error When Importing Dashboards in Epicor 10 ERP

Getting Past the “CGCCode Mismatch” Error When Importing Dashboards in Epicor 10 ERP

In work and in life, I find myself torn between two ambivalent instincts: the instinct for understanding and the instinct for action.  It is often of great utility to understand as much of a given situation as possible—to be able to relate its causes and effects.  I think back to my Six Sigma days, to years of enlightening multi-factor designed experiments.  While this kind of understanding is summoning in itself, sometimes you simply don’t have the time to design an experiment to be in the know.  Sometimes you need to go straight to action itself as knowledge. 

  

The life of the ERP administrator is often torn between such directions of learning.  The Epicor 10 ERP admins out in the user community that I’ve met over the years are some of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to navigating Epicor 10 ERP’s ins and outs, and I’ve learned much from their deep understanding of the application, from the end-user’s experience, all the way down to the application’s lowerlevel functionality.  But admins also understand that if something needs to happen by morning, it needs to happen, and have therefore developed an appreciable measure of pragmatism as to be able to triage situations and “git er done” as needed. 

  

One such circumstance occurs when importing dashboards, especially when the dashboard is coming from one company to another or from one version to another.  In my own practice, I have a bundle of old favorite dashboards that I have developed over the years, going back to my own time in the user community.  And over the years, I’ve doled these out to customers, to assist with issues that they are experiencing.  In so doing, I have, on occasion, encountered the strange “CGCCode mismatch” error upon import.  Here’s how it happens: 

 

I follow the normal protocol of importing a dashboard definition: 

But I receive this quarrelsome application error message in response: “There is CGCCode mismatch.  Dashboard export created with CGCCode=US.  Import cancelled.”

One could talk at length as to why this error occurs without coming to a specific answer.  While I don’t have a good explanation of the source of the issue, I do know how to get rid of the error, as to allow the dashboard to be imported. 

 

Opening the dashboard definition in Notepad, I search for the “CGCCode” tag: 

I locate the nearly “PropertyValue” node and discover that the value is “US”, as was specified in the above message: 

I delete this value and save the definition: 

Thereafter upon subsequent import, the dashboard will load successfully.  While I think it’s optimal to know a situation’s underlying causes and effects, sometimes circumstance demands simplicity.  As such, if you’re in need of getting a dashboard loaded on a timeline, and need to get functionality in front of the user community in a hurry, this little hack might be just the trick for fixing your CGCCode mismatch error in Epicor 10 ERP.

 

Are you having issues with, or have questions about, your Epicor 10 ERP Dashboards or Technical areas? Contact Us today. 

Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Cloud-based computing allows users to access their software applications on shared computing resources, thus avoiding the costs of managing and maintaining their own data center. It’s an ideal option for those who need guaranteed up-time and want the most up-to-date software applications available. More and more business is turning to cloud ERP software as well, as it provides the anywhere-access of all cloud applications and features a lower up-front investment.

What Is Cloud ERP Software?

ERP software integrates your business processes to foster automated workflows and provides you a full view of all of the various aspects of your business that make it work, including sales, finance, and production. The only major difference between cloud ERP software and on-premises ERP software is the physical location of the software. However, if that physical location is at the vendor’s data center and made available to you through the internet, you are able to access the software from anywhere.

The History of Cloud ERP

ERP software is now entering the phase where data is flowing freely across all aspects of a business and providing the ease and precision of automated workflows. It wasn’t always that way, however.

In the early 1960s, the original ERP was the pioneer computer system installed at a manufacturing plant in order to track materials. Two decades ago, business solutions were maintained on space-eating machines on premises of all types of businesses. ERP software was sold in large, cumbersome packages with questionable functionality.

Customizing that software required hiring someone to configure it through millions of lines of software code. If you had a problem, it would take a team of engineers to figure it out.

There were a number of issues that necessitated the progress of ERP to the cloud. The biggest of those issues is that the expense of the data center, the IT team, space for the computers, the computers themselves, the code writer and the engineers caused the powerful benefits of ERP software to be little more than a dream to everyone but the largest and most profitable companies. Further, the processes of inputting and accessing the information left little room for alternatives, and noncompliance with procedures was high as frustrated employees refused to conform to the system’s process changes.

Benefits of Cloud ERP

In addition to providing a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, without the demands of on-premises deployment, cloud ERP offers many other benefits, such as:

  • No upfront software licensing fees
  • The vendor handles all software updates and upgrades, meaning you and your employees always have access to the latest versio
  • Access to your data wherever you are
  • You pay only for the cloud services you need and you’re easily able to add more as your business grows or your needs change
  • A fixed monthly rate for the software that you rely on
  • Data is backed up regularly and there is a disaster recovery plan in place
  • Your vendor provides data security and your vulnerability to attacks is diminished, as your data is not located on premises
  • A limited amount of time is needed for implementation, meaning you can take advantage of the benefits of your cloud ERP a lot sooner

Why Cloud ERP Is Right for Your Business

Is your business in the process of growing and, therefore, requires a scalable solution? Do you have limited funds to invest in hardware, software, and IT personnel? Do you want guaranteed up-time and the knowledge that your data is recoverable in the event of a disaster? Do you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much you’re going to pay each month for the business technology you require? Are you ready to start using your ERP system as soon as possible? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then cloud-based ERP is a great solution for you. Contact us for more information.

Want to know if EstesCloud Epicor ERP Hosting Makes Cents for your company? Download our free Epicor ERP On-Premise vs. Hosting Calculator