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Best Practice to Load File into IPA

The Data Iterator node is commonly used to loop through records but it can also read a file into IPA. (For more on the Data Iterator Node, visit: https://www.nogalis.com/2017/05/04/ip-designer-series-the-data-iterator-node/)

Based on the responses of seasoned IPA developers on the Infor/Lawson forums, the best way to ‘load’ in a file to an IPA flow is to use a FileAccess node followed by a DataIterator node. This speeds up the flow considerably as the FileAccess node would read the file into memory and then the DataIterator node can use the data from the memory instead of reading and closing the file multiple times.

First ‘load’ or ‘read’ the file into IPA using the FileAccess node. Then set DataIterator to process the Data (and not File) and set the source to be the FileAccess_outputData. This should noticeably improve the performance of the flow as the data is just being loaded into memory once by the FileAccess.

 

Find The Human-Technology Balance To Champion Your Customers

Technology is undoubtedly a huge part of the way we live, learn, and work. It doesn’t take long to come across a new story focusing on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation and its potential impact on jobs. A study from McKinsey finds that by 2030, an estimated 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation, with data-centric roles like accounting biggest hit. Technology is introducing new tensions as well as opportunities for the finance industry to transform the way business is done. Though, instead of fearing technology will take over our jobs we should embrace it. Technology will be able to do our basic tasks more efficiently, but the human side of business is best done by humans. Finding the human-technology balance in your business is the sweet spot that will give your business more satisfied customers.

Use tech to improve human relationships – The importance of customer service to financial organizations is a great example of how human-technology balance works for your business. Customer service agents use AI and machine learning to respond to customer requests because these technologies can allow them to quickly identify customer needs and spend more time solving problems and maintaining a human touch.

Refocus on becoming people-centric – While many businesses consider themselves customer-centric, they should really be focusing on being people-centric. When people are placed at the center of your organization, adopting innovations will always focus on solving real human problems. While new technology is changing the way accountants work, these developments are providing new opportunities for them and their clients to thrive.

The true power of “human technology” is taking advantage of the latest technological advances, while still prioritizing the unique things that only human interactions can deliver.

 

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IPA – LSF Server Configuration Recommendations from Infor

Infor Process Automation should be configured correctly to ensure proper functioning of other Lawson System Applications. Here are the official best practice IPA-LSF Server Configuration recommendations directly from Infor. (KB 1946828)

Recommended Configurations

  1. JT-973173

    This JT resolves a memory leak issue in the Event Manager Java Process. Not having this JT means the Event Manager Java Process will slowly grow in size and if left unchecked, can consume all RAM and even crash the LSF Server.

  2. Remove lpsMaxHeap=XXXXX and lpsMinHeap=XXXXX from LAWDIR/system/bpm.properties

    These settings are only required when using JNI.

  3. Set useLPSBridgeSocket=true in LAWDIR/system/bpm.properties

    NOTE: The use of the LPS Bridge Socket connection means LSF batch/online programs will no longer initialize a JVM, it will simply make a socket connection to the Event Manager process to make the request.

  4. Set Windows pagefile on LSF server to 32 GB

 

Additional Recommendations for Infor Cloud Clients

  • Verify and ensure that lpsHost=inforbclm01.inforbc.com
  • NOTE: If this setting is not pointed at the internal domain, a grid session memory leak can occur in Event Manager on the LSF server
  • NOTE: Changes to this file should be made by executing pfserv config lps and they require a restart of LSF Process Flow and LSF Web Application Servers.

Additional Recommendations for LSF on LINUX

  • Ensure LSF JT-875069 is applied to the LSF system
  • Add “useLPSLocalServices=true” to LAWDIR/system/bpm.properties
  • Follow KB 1936921 which has two process definitions files used for synchronizing services from IPA/Landmark to LSF
  • In the GEN data area of the Landmark Rich Client, navigate to ConfigurationParameter BusinessClass and add: Component=ipa, Name=useRMIWebServlet, Value=true
  • Configure LSF to look at IPA Services in the LOGAN database instead of connecting to IPA. This requires LSF JT-875069 which allows you to add “useLPSLocalServices=true” in bpm.properties. This also requires the use of a ServiceSyncFlow to move the services from IPA to LSF. To implement this procedure, please follow instructions on KB 1936921.

How integrating CRM and ERP can increase revenue and profitability

One of the main reasons that enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations fail is that businesses try to lever ERP into a system that it’s not been designed for. While ERP can automate and manage many back office functions for a company, it does not solve or replace other aspects of the business. One such area is customer interactions. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) systems come in. Using a CRM system enables a company to learn and act upon every single customer interaction – something ERP is not designed to do. Integrating both ERP and CRM systems to work side by side could open many possibilities for a company. With such an action, a company has a single view of all customer interactions including contact details, meetings, emails, quotes, orders, products purchased and warranty details. A significant reduction of errors or repeat data means a much more efficient process. In order to get the best out of the two types of software, the most efficient approach is to take an example of each and get them working together. It’s important to note that CRM and ERP are two very different systems. But it’s apparent that with some time and effort, successful integration of the two systems can produce an efficient and cost-effective way of working.

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Setting Up LSF Java User Permissions for IPA

When working with Infor Process Automation (IPA), code or programs can be executed remotely on the Lawson System Foundation Server through these four nodes:

  1. System Command Node
  2. File Access Node
  3. Resource Query Node
  4. Resource Update Node

These nodes work by making a connection (via RMI call) to a java.exe process running on the Lawson System Foundation Server. Therefore, it is vital that the process owner has the proper access to run these commands.

Follow the instructions below to configure your LSF system so these processes will be owned by a user that has the necessary access:

  1. Create two files (pfrmi.cfg and pfem.cfg) in %LAWDIR%/system directory. The next time the process flow is restarted, the java.exe process will refer to these files to specify which user will start the java.
  2. Both files should be identical and have just two lines each:
    line 1: LAWSONUID DOMAIN\accountname
    line 2: 

LAWSONUID DOMAIN should be replaced with your own domain and accountname should be replaced with your own account name. This is the user you are designating to run the java command. This user needs to have the proper access to run those commands. This domain/accountname combo needs to be a valid user defined in the LSF Environment Service Identity.

The second line needs to be a blank line. (Only if LSF system is running on Windows. No blank second line needed for UNIX)

line 1/line 2 are there to show you the line numbers. The actual words “line 1” and “line 2” should not be in the files.

Powering Smart Manufacturing with ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has revolutionized the way businesses operate. With the help of technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), almost every industry could benefit from an effective ERP system. Smart manufacturing companies, for example, could benefit from automation and value-added advancements to their development process. An Article in CIO Review highlights some of the benefits of effective ERP use in smart manufacturing.

  • Accelerating business automation – ERP automation allows a workforce to focus on supervising and monitoring automated methods, which adds to increased productivity and operational accuracy.
  • Enhancing customer experience – ERP maintains accurate periodic-based customer follow-ups, provides practical insight into service capabilities and involves customer-focus ideas.
  • Enabling deeper visibility and insightful decision-making – With high-tech visibility options, ERP enables the workforce and the managers to monitor and manage processes from remote locations.

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