Forum OpenACS Development: Gnu Enterprise

4: Gnu Enterprise (response to 1)
Posted by Albert Langer on
Chuck, thanks for the reminder about Gnu Enterprise.

Seems they have got a *lot* further than last time I looked, though
they are still nowhere near ready yet. That may actually
make it easier to pay some attention to future integration
issues. Their approach has been to do a lot more specification
of an integration architecture up front before delivering
working code than is usual for free software projects. A fair
bit of detail concerning the complex problem of integrating
separate data models is in their docs:

Actually doing much about it would of course end up, as Don
pointed out, needing a separate sub-project. But perhaps since
Chuck is familiar with GnuE something could be started preparing
for this now, with Chuck and others interested who aren't able
to help with the intensive core port analysing the requirements and
issues while others are working on the core port.

I'm rather worried about the possibility of the ecommerce
side becoming stuck in limbo for a while, with a working
version of ecommerce 3.x that can't be taken much further
while what can be done with the skeleton for ecommerce 4
remains unclear for a period that could perhaps be prolonged
in view of developments at aD.

A multiple vendor version of ecommerce will certainly be
needed and it will also need to define interfaces for
working with internal and external fulfilments, accounting and inventory.

The skeleton for ecommerce 4 provides a good basis for
major aspects of the multiple vendor side and the Gnu
Enterprise stuff looks like a good approach to such
internal and external interfaces. Includes specifications
for such things as how to handle multiple currencies etc
that can come back to haunt one later when not taken into
account from the beginning. Related to that is the very nice
separation of the geographic tables in the ACS 4 version of
ecommerce 3, which could probably plug right in to GnuE as is.

As far as I can see integration with GnuE stuff only relates to
the narrowly defined ecommerce aspects and not to anything
in the core (though of course it has to take into account the
parties model in the core). I'm assuming that there's no point
attempting to integrate at the Web UI level for end users, though
some admin pages might be just as much part of an "enterprise"
system as they are part of a "web" system.

Perhaps some liason could be established between such an
ecommerce subgroup and the GnuE project.

Chuck - any chance of you kicking this off with a more detailed
analysis of GnuE issues in a separate thread and/or file storage
document, eg including specific extracts and references to GnuE