A cloud computing platform for ERP applications

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<ul><li><p>A</p><p>A</p><p>CQ1a</p><p>b</p><p>a</p><p>ARRAA</p><p>KWECGR</p><p>1</p><p>dmmaflWeeteod</p><p>etsaa</p><p>Q2</p><p>h1</p><p>1</p><p>2</p><p>3</p><p>4</p><p>5</p><p>6</p><p>7</p><p>8</p><p>9</p><p>10</p><p>11</p><p>12</p><p>13</p><p>14</p><p>15</p><p>16</p><p>17</p><p>18</p><p>19</p><p>20</p><p>21</p><p>22</p><p>23</p><p>24</p><p>25</p><p>26</p><p>27</p><p>28</p><p>29</p><p>30</p><p>31</p><p>32</p><p>33</p><p>34</p><p>35</p><p>36</p><p>37</p><p>38</p><p>39</p><p>40ARTICLE IN PRESSG ModelSOC 2608 110Applied Soft Computing xxx (2014) xxxxxx</p><p>Contents lists available at ScienceDirect</p><p>Applied Soft Computing</p><p>j ourna l h o mepage: www.elsev ier .com/ locate /asoc</p><p> cloud computing platform for ERP applications</p><p>hin-Sheng Chena, Wen-Yau Liangb,, Hui-Yu Hsub</p><p>Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, USADepartment of Information Management, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan, ROC</p><p> r t i c l e i n f o</p><p>rticle history:eceived 13 March 2013eceived in revised form 15 October 2014ccepted 11 November 2014vailable online xxx</p><p>eywords:eb services compositionRPloud computing</p><p>a b s t r a c t</p><p>Cloud computing enables many applications of Web services and rekindles the interest of providing ERPservices via the Internet. It has the potentials to reshape the way IT services are consumed. Recent researchindicates that ERP delivered thru SaaS will outperform the traditional IT offers. However, distributinga service compared to distributing a product is more complicated because of the immateriality, theintegration and the one-shot-principle referring to services. This paper defines a CloudERP platform onwhich enterprise customers can select web services and customize a unique ERP system to meet theirspecific needs. The CloudERP aims to provide enterprise users with the flexibility of renting an entire ERPservice through multiple vendors. This paper also addresses the challenge of composing web servicesand proposes a web-based solution for automating the ERP service customization process. The proposedenetic algorithmsough set theory</p><p>service composition method builds on the genetic algorithm concept and incorporates with knowledgeof web services extracted from the web service platform with the rough set theory. A system prototypewas built on the Google App Engine platform to verify the proposed composition process. Based onexperimental results from running the prototype, the composition method works effectively and hasgreat potential for supporting a fully functional CloudERP platform.</p><p> 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.</p><p>41</p><p>42</p><p>43</p><p>44</p><p>45</p><p>46</p><p>47</p><p>48</p><p>49</p><p>50</p><p>51</p><p>52</p><p>53</p><p>54</p><p>55</p><p>56</p><p>57</p><p>58. Introduction</p><p>Traditional business applications such as computer aidedesign (CAD), product data management (PDM), Computer aidedanufacturing (CAM), enterprise resources planning (ERP) andanufacturing execution systems (MES) all rely on a central servernd procedural software. These systems are not autonomous orexible enough to support a dynamic business environment [34].ith the advance of Internet technology and globalization, these</p><p>nterprise applications, especially ERP systems have been web-nabled, providing access to information and communications viahe Internet as a part of global business strategy [16]. Along with themerging demand for mobility and on-demand services, the devel-pment of web-based ERP systems becomes an urgent research andevelopment issue [64].The subscription to web services for ERP applications has two</p><p>ssential advantages: ease of integration and reduction in costshrough the hosted application model [57]. Wu et al. [67] pre-Please cite this article in press as: C.-S. Chen, et al., A cloud computhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009</p><p>ented a framework for measuring the scalability of service basedpplications in a Cloud Computing environment and propose anssignment strategy to improve the scalability of composite Web</p><p> Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 47232105.E-mail address: wyliang@cc.ncue.edu.tw (W.-Y. Liang).</p><p>ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009568-4946/ 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.</p><p>59</p><p>60</p><p>61services in terms of services productivity. Recent research indi-cates that ERP delivered thru SaaS will outperform the traditionalIT offers as a consequence of the current economic crisis and willhelps the economies to recover [21]. Although ERP is lagging behindother applications in terms of SaaS based applications there seemsto be a general consensus that ERP in SaaS is gaining momentum.To grab this momentum, the four big players in the ERP systemsmarket SAP, Oracle, Sage and Microsoft are positioning their ERPoffers in SaaS model [24]. However, distributing a service com-pared to distributing a product is more complicated because of theimmateriality, the integration and the one-shot-principle referringto services [23]. Also, the process of analyzing and selecting servicesin the Web services composition process is more complex than theone of analyzing and selecting parts for a product design [37]. Itis further complicated by the customers request in terms of thescope of application. One specific need is the development of effi-cient composition methods which evaluate and optimally integratethese possibly heterogeneous services on the Web, especially in theERP application domain, in response to an enterprise customersrequest.</p><p>Therefore, this paper proposes a CloudERP platform on whiching platform for ERP applications, Appl. Soft Comput. J. (2014),</p><p>enterprise customers can select web services and customize aunique ERP system to meet their specific needs. The CloudERP aimsto provide enterprise users with the flexibility of renting an entireERP service through multiple vendors. This paper also addresses the</p><p>62</p><p>63</p><p>64</p><p>65</p><p>dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15684946www.elsevier.com/locate/asocmailto:wyliang@cc.ncue.edu.twdx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009</p></li><li><p> ING ModelA2 ft Com</p><p>csTrswlftm</p><p>rtIvatr</p><p>2</p><p>2</p><p>naEpiasrIgotcwpia[nfptat[me</p><p>yImemfk</p><p>2</p><p>Wp</p><p>66</p><p>67</p><p>68</p><p>69</p><p>70</p><p>71</p><p>72</p><p>73</p><p>74</p><p>75</p><p>76</p><p>77</p><p>78</p><p>79</p><p>80</p><p>81</p><p>82</p><p>83</p><p>84</p><p>85</p><p>86</p><p>87</p><p>88</p><p>89</p><p>90</p><p>91</p><p>92</p><p>93</p><p>94</p><p>95</p><p>96</p><p>97</p><p>98</p><p>99</p><p>100</p><p>101</p><p>102</p><p>103</p><p>104</p><p>105</p><p>106</p><p>107</p><p>108</p><p>109</p><p>110</p><p>111</p><p>112</p><p>113</p><p>114</p><p>115</p><p>116</p><p>117</p><p>118</p><p>119</p><p>120</p><p>121</p><p>122</p><p>123</p><p>124</p><p>125</p><p>126</p><p>127</p><p>128</p><p>129</p><p>130</p><p>131</p><p>132</p><p>133</p><p>134</p><p>135</p><p>136</p><p>137</p><p>138</p><p>139</p><p>140</p><p>141</p><p>142</p><p>143</p><p>144</p><p>145</p><p>146</p><p>147</p><p>148</p><p>149</p><p>150</p><p>151</p><p>152</p><p>153</p><p>154</p><p>155</p><p>156</p><p>157</p><p>158</p><p>159</p><p>160</p><p>161</p><p>162</p><p>163</p><p>164</p><p>165</p><p>166</p><p>167</p><p>168</p><p>169</p><p>170</p><p>171</p><p>172</p><p>173</p><p>174</p><p>175</p><p>176</p><p>177</p><p>178</p><p>179</p><p>180</p><p>181</p><p>182</p><p>183</p><p>184ARTICLESOC 2608 110 C.-S. Chen et al. / Applied So</p><p>hallenge of composing web services and proposes a web-basedolution for automating the ERP service customization process.his study proposes a method that makes use of the genetic algo-ithm (GA) concept and the rough set theory to solve the Webervices composition problem. The genetic algorithm incorporatesith rough set theory to solve the web services composition prob-</p><p>em has been discussed and applied [5,36,37]. However, these allocus on how to use rough set theory to extract rules and ignorehe feature of the application domain. The novelty of the proposedethod lies in the application domain (Cloud ERP).This remainder of this paper is organized as follows: Section 2</p><p>eviews the concepts of Web-based ERP and Web services composi-ion. In Section 3, a novel ERP platform called CloudERP is proposed.n Section 4, the proposed composition method for Web ERP ser-ices is presented. In Section 5, a system prototype is presentedlong with experimental data analysis and then followed by Sec-ion 6 which provides concluding remarks and summary of futureesearch directions.</p><p>. Literature review</p><p>.1. Web-based ERP</p><p>ERP systems are one of the most adopted information tech-ology (IT) solutions in organizations [2]. Because of their scalend substantial resources consumption, it is not surprising thatRP systems have been a center of focus by both researchers andractitioners [11]. The key competitive edge for every enterprisen the 21st century is in its ability to prescribe, standardize, anddapt its business activities and collaborations with customers,uppliers, partners and competitors [34]. Most ERP vendors todayecognize this interoperability issue as significant and have built upnternet-enabled supply chain/logistics modules to facilitate inte-ration with the back-end systems of supply chain partners relyingn a diverse set of legacy databases, IT infrastructure and applica-ions [52]. For example, Gollakota [15] reported a company whichreated kiosks with Internet and computer access and operated aeb portal serving the needs of the farming industry. The portalrovided information relating to farming techniques, farm businessnformation, and general information such as weather and climate,nd access to the firms ERP system. Separately, Tarantilis et al.57] presented a Web-based ERP system developed to address busi-ess problems and manage real-world business processes rangingrom a simple office automation procedure to complex supply chainlanning. Zhang et al. [75] explored the IT service innovation inextile industrial clusters from a service system perspective. Theyrgued that the IT enabled producer service could be used to ensurehe structural upgrading of the textile industrial clusters. Mital et al.44] also developed an integrative framework to identify the deter-inants of choice of SaaS in the specific context of SaaS based-procurement and ERP.In summary, one of the most important trends in the recent</p><p>ears is cloud computing. It has the potentials to reshape the wayT services are consumed. More recently, some ERP vendors haveoved some of their offerings to the cloud e.g., SAP By Design. How-ver, there is still a lot to be done in order for the customers to seeore and more services and suites moving to the cloud. There-</p><p>ore, more research efforts are still needed in order to elucidatenowledge on the marriage of the two [11].</p><p>.2. Web services compositionPlease cite this article in press as: C.-S. Chen, et al., A cloud computhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009</p><p>The capability of composition is an important strength of anyeb services provider. Rather than accessing a single service, com-osing services is essential as it adds better benefits to its users PRESSputing xxx (2014) xxxxxx</p><p>[13]. By ensuring high-level interoperability, Web services offerhave the capability of composing compatible processes referred toas composite Web services, independent of specific platforms andcomputing paradigms [42]. While elementary Web services do notrely on other Web services to fulfil external requests, composite ser-vices integrate multiple service components to fulfil a customersrequest [43].</p><p>Several approaches and applications have been proposed toexploit the concept of Web services composition. One researchlooked into the role of policies and context for framing the com-position of Web services. Policies are to govern the behavior ofWeb services engaged in composition; and context is to sup-port the development of adaptable Web services [42]. Yu et al.[73] designed a broker-based architecture for selecting Qualityof Service (QoS)-based services. The objective of service selectionis to maximize an application-specific utility function under theend-to-end QoS constraints. Park [46] presented a decentralizedprotocol design called the Web services co-allocation protocol, aim-ing to facilitate the execution of composite Web services, whileLee et al. [32] proposed a Web services-based MultidisciplinaryDesign Optimization (MDO) framework that synthesizes both disci-plinary and cross-disciplinary resources available for MDO. Takingadvantage of Web services, Zhao et al. [77] built a biomedical dig-ital library infrastructure called the Living Human Digital Library(LHDL) that allows clinicians and researchers to preserve, trace,and share data resources, as well as to collaborate at the data-processing level. Recently, Yahyaoui et al. [70] proposed a novelmatchmaking approach between fuzzy user queries and real worldWeb services. The matchmaking spans over a domain dependentclassification step that produces fuzzy classification rules for Webservices. Furthermore, these rules are leveraged to classify Web ser-vices into categories, which allow reducing the matchmaking space.One study developed an efficient approach for automatic composi-tion of Web services using the state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence(AI) planners [79].</p><p>Rajeswari et al. [51] revealed various challenges in the QoSparameter for Web service composition because it is difficult to rec-ognize. In summary, Web services composition is a complex issue.The complexity initially arises from the diversity and compatibil-ity of the composition components of Web services. It is furthercomplicated by the customers request in terms of the scope ofapplication. In theory, service components are developed by dif-ferent organizations and offered by different providers at differentrates. There is a general need for developing principles and method-ologies for managing composite Web services. One specific need isthe development of efficient composition methods which evalu-ate and optimally integrate these possibly heterogeneous serviceson the Web, especially in the Cloud ERP application domain, inresponse to an enterprise customers request.</p><p>3. CloudERP</p><p>Cloud computing is defined as both the applications deliveredas services and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services [3]. Kim [29] anticipated thatCloud computing would become a key computing paradigm forthe next 510 years. Cloud services can be viewed as a cluster ofservice solutions based on cloud computing, which involves mak-ing computing, data storage, and software services available viathe Internet. Generally, cloud services can be divided into threecategories [69]:ing platform for ERP applications, Appl. Soft Comput. J. (2014),</p><p>(1) Software as a service (SaaS): Applications services deliveredover the network. SaaS simplifies the utilization of a large</p><p>185</p><p>186</p><p>dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asoc.2014.11.009</p></li><li><p>ARTICLE ING ModelASOC 2608 110C.-S. Chen et al. / Applied Soft Com</p><p>(</p><p>(</p><p>uu[mtddcsdseEEnTraestmwecpcpT</p><p>187</p><p>188</p><p>189</p><p>190</p><p>191</p><p>192</p><p>193</p><p>194</p><p>195</p><p>196</p><p>197</p><p>198</p><p>199</p><p>200</p><p>201</p><p>202</p><p>203</p><p>204</p><p>205</p><p>206</p><p>207</p><p>208</p><p>209</p><p>210</p><p>211</p><p>212</p><p>213</p><p>214</p><p>215</p><p>216</p><p>217</p><p>218</p><p>219</p><p>220</p><p>221</p><p>222</p><p>223</p><p>224</p><p>225</p><p>226</p><p>227</p><p>228</p><p>229</p><p>230</p><p>231</p><p>232</p><p>233</p><p>234</p><p>235</p><p>236</p><p>237</p><p>238</p><p>239</p><p>240</p><p>241</p><p>242</p><p>243</p><p>244</p><p>245</p><p>246</p><p>247</p><p>248</p><p>249</p><p>250</p><p>251</p><p>252</p><p>253</p><p>254</p><p>255</p><p>256</p><p>257</p><p>258</p><p>259</p><p>260</p><p>261</p><p>262</p><p>263</p><p>264</p><p>265</p><p>266</p><p>267</p><p>268</p><p>269</p><p>270</p><p>271</p><p>272</p><p>273</p><p>274Fig. 1. A CloudERP workflow.</p><p>amount of soft- ware applications remotely, elastically andseamlessly [65].</p><p>2) Platform as a service (PaaS): A software development frame-work and components all delivered on the network. Offeredas on-demand, pay for usage model. A PaaS model packages acomputing platform including operating system, programminglanguage execution environment, database, and web server. APaaS client is able to develop and run its applications at thesoftware layer [65].</p><p>3) Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): A...</p></li></ul>

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