In this setting, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP systems) were developed. The great achievement of enterprise resource planning systems is that they provide an integrated database that spans large parts of an organization. Enterprise resource planning systems basically reimplemented these disparate enterprise application systems on the basis of an integrated and consistent database.
An enterprise resource planning system stores its data in one centralized database, and a set of application modules provides the desired functionality, including human resources, financials, and manufacturing. Enterprise resource planning systems have effectively replaced numerous heterogeneous enterprise applications, thereby solving the problem of integrating them.
Enterprise resource planning systems are accessed by client applications, as shown in Figure 2.3. These client applications access an application server that issues requests to a database server. We do not address the architectures of enterprise systems in detail but stress the integrated data storage and the remote access through client software. With the growth of enterprises and new market requirements, driven by new customer needs around the year 2000, the demand for additional functionality arose, and new types of software systems entered the market.
The most prominent types of software systems are supply chain management systems, or SCM systems, and customer relationship management systems, or CRM systems. While basic functionality regarding supply chain management has already been realized in enterprise resource planning systems, new challenges due to increased market dynamics have led to dedicated supply chain management systems. The main goal of these systems is to support the planning, operation, and control of supply chains, including inventory management, warehouse management, management of suppliers and distributors, and demand planning.