All modern software needs to be able to act on shared data with third party applications. This is especially true in the situations in which portalBase is commonly used, for example where it is a rapid development environment for creating applications to supplement legacy or hard-to-alter core software. You rarely get full value out of data if it’s in a ‘silo’ that no one else can access (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_silo).
Some examples of interoperability are
- allowing an e-commerce site to be updated with stock availability and prices from from a central stock control / ERP system
- allowing desktop publishing software access to the marketing dept.’s image/document resource library
- Electronic Data Interchance (EDI) – allow large amounts of orders to be processed automatically in a supply chain
Today’s release of portalBase 2.2.4 adds more options to make interoperability easier. You’ve always been able to import data from third party systems, via spreadsheet and also to export in the same way. However, you can now update existing data using a new enhanced import process. This allows a round-trip of export/modify/import or regular updates from external sources, e.g. updating of product prices in an invoicing system or contact details in a CRM system.
Here’s the first step of the new import wizard.
Remember, for completely automated data transfer, clients can also request direct database access from other software to their underlying portalBase database with an industry standard interface (ODBC / JDBC to postgreSQL, for technical readers)
Other improvements in this release
- Calculations have been improved – users can now create one calculation that references another
- Error messages have been made clearer both for calculation creation and the import process
- the iPhone version of portalBase is stable – more news about this shortly!