Tech blog: The Evolution of Extending Infor M3

Jan 20 2020

Author Remco Driessen

Infor M3 has evolved enormously over the last two decades. Both functionality and user experience have come a long way, on the road from on premise all the way to a multi-tenant CloudSuite solution. The approach on extending M3 functionality, where standard configuration doesn’t fully meet customer requirements, has also been transitioned over time. ComActivity has been on this journey with M3 from the very beginning.

In early days we modified the RPG codebase as the source code was fully available and bendable. Modification to the core engine comes with a burden on performance and/or the application itself if data indices are not used in an optimum way and/or coding issues in general have occurred. Another significant challenge comes with system upgrades. In particular, heavily modified systems added additional cost, complexity and effort to migrate to the newer version.

More recently, M3 changed to a three-tier architecture whereby data, business logic and presentation layer were de-coupled and could be developed independently. Any M3 modification or extension could now be realised through the presentation layer without affecting the core business logic of the ERP. Next, customisation and re-styling of M3 screens, by applying standard UI personalisation options, MS jscripts, C# assemblies and javascripts, could be applied to improve the user experience even further. Stand-alone applications called mashups with XAML as the code base could now be developed within the .Net borders of the presentation layer. This was subsequently transferred to an H5 equivalent in cases where the customer was using an H5 web interface. ComActivity has successfully delivered a multitude of scripts and mashups which have greatly enhanced user experiences across a number of M3 implementations.

Presently, with M3 deeply integrated within Infor’s suite of applications, Infor OS provides a united single sign-on ‘one stop shop’  platform on both on premise and cloud solutions, hosting great opportunities to extend user interface in and around Infor M3. On top of flexibility to bend the M3 presentation layer by standard UI personalization options, customer defined fields, flexible screen configurations and scripting, a newly introduced tool for M3 Cloud called XtendM3 can inject custom java code around M3 core program methods in response to the need for additional modifications you may require.

We have also leveraged the great potential of Infor’s Open Network (ION) architecture and social collaboration platform Ming.le, where customized workflows, alerts and contextual applications can be built to extend the M3 standard experience to add value to your unique business requirements. Tailored homepages target ‘a day in the life’ of any user within your organization. Extensibility development platforms like Infor App Builder and Infor Mongoose enable a rapid creation of any standalone application integrated with M3, either by a sequential approach of calling M3 ION API’s or by an asynchronous approach via ION through M3 standard E-Collaboration software (IEC).

Infor M3 extensibility within M3 CloudEdition..

ComActivity always aims to configure any solution within the borders of standard Infor M3. Where software extension is required, ‘no code’, ‘low code’ and ‘full code’ extension development tools provide endless opportunities in connection with M3 Cloudsuite to deliver the best fit for your unique business requirements.

‘No code’ solution Infor App Builder is mainly used to build high level apps and widgets, whereas ‘low code solution’ Infor Mongoose can be utilized to rapidly build very detailed applications in the centre of Infor OS elegantly integrated with M3, to meet the operational needs within your organization. A ‘full code’ solution is also available whereby the use of any javascript library allows you to build any extension to M3 with traditional HTML5 programming.

ComActivity applies a consistent approach to utilize appropriate extension tools by using a software selection matrix based on use cases and implementation experience of all available extensibility development options. Both functional and technical design specifications plus estimation documentation provide transparency on prototypes, cost, project life cycle and the added value, the M3 extension will add to your business.

Below: The Power of the Infor M3 UI – Powerful homepages and Infor M3 OIS101 with several extensibility examples.




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