Enterprise Resource Management Software Trends

Do you keep half an eye on what’s happening in the global software market?  It’s interesting to note the strong sector growth for those segments that relate to the supply of goods and services and those that focus on ‘the relationship’ – and specifically the Customer Relationship Management. You’ve got it right, CRM, ERP, SCM, HMS / HIS, FSM and the like have all seen notable increases in growth worldwide this past year – ranging from 8% to 13% and the forecast from various industry analysts concur  continued growth will maintain at a similar pace through 2020.

It’s no surprise that many of the software companies serving these market segments are long time DBI customers. Where the Solutions Schedule and Studio Controls product lines offer unique solutions for what can be extremely complex programming requirements.

For those in the midst of challenging some of these complexities using creative scheduling and UI design concepts DBI is now offering one more developer tool for the Visual Studio toolbox – which may come as a surprise for some – an open source .NET Warehouse and Shipments Scheduling Framework. Navigate to CodePlex and look for the ‘Warehouse Scheduling Framework’ – https://dbischedulingframework.codeplex.com

The Dynamics of Scheduling

Scheduling :     for many of us scheduling is a common term for referencing a period of time allocated for an activity. That allocation may be contrasted against a vertical time-line (ruler) as is common with day timers, Microsoft Outlook and other appointment book presentations. DBI represents this type of functionality in the calendar and appointment scheduling controls found in Studio Controls.

An alternate perspective in scheduling may be termed as Gantt-style, a common reference in project management, where a value of time (time bar) is associated with a resource in relation to a horizontal time line (ruler). Gantt includes a definition where the relation of activities on a time line (ruler) may be linked or have affect to other activities/ resources along the same time line. The concept of Gantt in terms of scheduling resources (assets) allows a quick reference of availability which may or may not be directly related to other entities. The ability at a high level to see what a list of resources are doing, when, where, how and why. DBI represents this type of Macro Scheduling application functionality in terms of  Solutions Schedule.


There are three distinct perspectives to the term scheduling; Appointment Scheduling, Multi-Resource / Asset Management Scheduling and Project management. Project management incorporates an element of timeline scheduling, however, its true value is in managing a collection of required resources to complete a series of tasks in direct relation to each other, over a proposed period of time. Appointment scheduling focuses on an individual entity or entities over a series of hours or days. What may be termed as micro scheduling. Multi-resource and asset management scheduling on the other hand focuses on a list of entities (typically a Y axis presentation) and their status along a fixed or varying time line (an X axis orientation) which may include other relational information captured by an associated time bar. The concept of macro scheduling may be termed in this context.

In many scheduling instances macro (resource) and micro (appointment) scheduling views are needed to give end-users the right tools at the right time and to correctly present and interact with time-based relational information. For an in-depth discussion with Visual Studio sample code navigate to… Case Study

Welcome to Solutions Schedule .NET v6.0

ERP, CRM, MRP, SCM… there’s a full bowl of alphabet conjugations flavoured for and that speak to mining, production, processing, transporting… responding to satisfy our needs – consumer needs. Whether you’re at the beginning of the supply chain building systems that support the production of raw materials or at the end point of optimizing consumer service, each element along the way is skillfully managed.

Rarely do we stop to think of the logistic complexities, the simultaneous activities and the competing conflicts that go into supplying life in the twenty first century. As global markets expand and our appetites for ‘new’ grow – so too do our demands on: supply chain management, production planning, customer relations, field service management and enterprise resource planning.

Can you imagine what management systems would be like without an intuitively interactive, functional and visually appealing interface! There is a reason why Solutions Schedule is the choice of enterprise software developers. Welcome to Solutions Schedule .NET version 6.0!

Kanban – Logistics – Process – Visualization

Kanban is a common development strategy with software development teams today, helping to optimize requirements, resources, experience (skills) and process. The concept, to visualize the elements involved in software development allowing for dynamic involvement and fluid outcomes. In other words, manage all of the resources – visually and in a way that is responsive to incremental change without over-stressing anyone of the key elements along the way.

Kanban has evolved into six primary practices for successful outcomes. Not surprisingly, the first practice involves visualization and identifying the primary elements of work flow, which then steps into managing Work In Progress for optimizing resources. The third and fourth practices involve Flow Management and Explicit Policies which provide mechanisms for monitoring activity transitions and the rules for moving the project along (the business rules for your implementation of Kanban). Operational review and collaborative process improvement round-out the primary practices – the methods by which continuous improvements are realized.

What’s interesting about Kanban is that its origin lies at the heart of Toyota automobile production systems. A lean, just in time logistics production planning / scheduling system (lean manufacturing) developed by an intriguing individual by the name of Taiichi Ohno. His goal was to produce a system that optimized the logistics of production based on a pull strategy – along the lines of supermarket operations.

Whether your view is production line, outbound resource planning, global logistics or development process – the key is creating a visual presentation that is responsive, intuitively descriptive and malleable so it can be consumed in multiple implementations, supporting your primary principles – Solutions Schedule.

What to use for Desktop Development…

Line of business application development isn’t going away. How you look at current enterprise development requirements and future needs may indicate a code base strategy that follows very closely inline with XAML. Windows Presentation Foundation – WPF – has become a default for Windows desktop development and as Microsoft infuses new feature support into the IDE, including greater compatibility across Visual Studio assets, the underlying structure – XAML, helps solidify a path going forward.

From strong graphical solutions expected by line of business application users built on WPF to mobile fluent front-line workers consuming a mix of WPF, Silverlight and others, WPF answers an immediate need for business systems while incurring a knowledge base that carries forward to Silverlight and mobile app development spurred on with Xamarin.

Enterprise resource planning and scheduling starts with the heavy lifting being done on the desktop, where the detail and calculation intensive work is efficiently maneuvered using multiple displays that present multiple views of enterprise data. When it comes to desktop and more mobile Enterprise Resource Planning and Scheduling needs – DBI has you covered.

This month, we’re pleased to be releasing DBI Calendar WPF version 2.0!

In the segments that follow we will introduce the significant changes that have been made to Calendar WPF and the new features including full MVVM support that you have all been asking for – enjoy!

What’s Your Flavour of Scheduling ?

Scheduling has many names and terms of reference; often having starting points with Calendars and date pickers and quickly advancing to Day Minders, Rosters, Appointment scheduling to Enterprise Resource Planning and production scheduling.

Each has its own characteristics for presenting a type of appointment, task … in general terms a commitment that has a specific start time and an end time and usually presented along a timescale. The orientation of the timescale will imply a type of scheduling  – for instance, a vertical timescale is often viewed as appointment scheduling similar to a day timer or Outlook style of scheduling. In contrast, a horizontal timescale will imply resource planning, project management or resource scheduling. 

The complexities of scheduling have not diminished – if at all, scheduling has become even more complicated as we account for organizations with operations around the world accommodating a more sophisticated work force and advanced customer.

Taking these aspects in account, DBI has evolved its core set of components allowing developers to effectively manage the global nature of business and life today including the growing complexities of scheduling.  To the point, where today we look at managing many to many relationships that are associated with arranging appointments with resources from around the world.  A good example might be a video conference call, where resources from around the world are scheduled.


Value is more important than ever and competitive advantage a critical aspect of current business climates. The combination of Value and Competitive Advantage can be found in all of DBI’s product and service offerings. From the Solutions Schedule series of products to the Calendar and Studio Controls line up, combined with services that include custom component development that meet our customer’s specific needs to total project development  –  value and competitive advantage are cornerstones of who we are.

We respond to customer requests and market demands for solutions that help organizations attain optimized resourcing, process efficiencies and great Windows application design. No other company in the general UX design and Scheduling component software industry understands Scheduling and Resource Management like DBI Technologies Inc. Our products and services have been helping consultants and corporate enterprises alike surpass their requirements for natural, intuitive, snap-in and reusable functionality. Value and competitive advantage that increase the bottom line.

The whole story at:     http://www.dbi-tech.com

Lean Healthcare Logistics…

Healthcare is a hot topic around the world. In developed regions the strain on healthcare systems is becoming very apparent, influenced substantially by our aging populations. In North America and the United States specifically – as advanced nations evolve the provisioning of equitable healthcare for all citizens – this politically and socially charged hot potato will become more reliant on lean healthcare logistics.

In advancing nations including Brazil, China, etc. – with growing and more affluent populations and their higher standards of living demand increasing levels of healthcare services. Ever mindful of the healthcare challenges experienced by other nations, the developing nation leaders are looking for tighter integration of computer technology along with human expertise to elevate delivery of services.

Today’s pace and increasing demographics now plague healthcare systems. Inherent inefficiencies, brought about by expanding demands on systems not geared nor designed for the thresholds we’re demanding today. Stresses that can stifle innovation unless we start exercising creative approaches. We all know there’s no one quick fix, that our current generation and the next generations too, must evolve its’ healthcare systems to attain the levels of care we have come to expect.

Lean Healthcare Delivery becomes a critical concept in our creative approach for more efficient provisioning, in an ever increasingly frugal financial world. At the very least, lean healthcare concepts drive to remove unnecessary duplication of processes, testing and procedures to the point of finite planning and scheduling of predictable outcomes. In so doing, we provide the flexibility to appropriately accommodate unplanned and emergency services that we are very adept at executing.

In parts of our healthcare systems, being able to understand the timing mechanisms and their influences on the delivery of care and the quality of that care can be the difference between a fluid process; from general practitioner to lab results to specialist referral to treatment without interruption – Versus, an interrupted process, that for what ever reason lab results go stale, referrals are delayed, and so-on causing duplication and expensive critical time delays along the continuum of care. In the healthcare journey, if each primary step in the process is visible, the resources cohesively planned and the timing mechanisms for each resource understood throughout the continuum of care, we know great results are attainable.

Removing the causes of duplication can easily fund new healthcare initiatives, everywhere. By giving all stages of the healthcare process an understanding of the timing mechanisms, we can effectively resolve much of the frustration experienced in our healthcare systems.

Since 1996, custom and commercial software development groups have been consuming DBI Technologies Inc. (http://www.dbi-tech.com) snap-in, reusable Scheduling, UI and UX component software to deliver advanced healthcare systems that allow visual planning and scheduling of all resources – visually articulating the impact of a fluid, uninterrupted continuums of care. Through the provisioning of industry tested, critical path, drag and drop, visual enterprise resource planning and scheduling component software, DBI has had an envious opportunity to speak, consult, discuss, debate and understand many of the concerns from all regions of the world. It has been a fascinating journey to understand the cultural differences from one region to the next and to see the commonalities we are all faced with today and challenged to solve.

We need to continue challenging ourselves, to look at the situation from various perspectives – we have all the metrics to make good decisions, to understand the impacts across the continuum of care – if we don’t communicate the timing mechanisms, make visible the impacts causing needless delays and duplication we have missed the opportunity of a life time.

By deploying visible, multi – resource based planning and scheduling systems across the healthcare enterprise, we empower the healthcare professionals we hold accountable, with the tools to effect positive results.

We have the technologies, the skills and the resources to effect visual, schedule-based communication mechanisms that are simple to understand, that are viewed as everyday tools, and that are common and not something from outer-space, using a presentation medium that allows every practitioner along the process to see, to communicate, to comprehend the critical path for success.

Egyptians, Scholars, Henry Gantt, Kelly and Walker

It’s surmised that scheduling dates back 3000 years to ancient Egyptian times and the 

construction of the Pyramids. Although empirical records are not available to prove otherwise,
it’s reasonable to believe this to be true. Especially when one considers the marble
infrastructure that was built to support the Pharaohs tombs. The years it took to build the
marble beams and the the planning to move and place such weight, all to dovetail with the
balance of construction.

Fast forward to an era around mid to late 1700 and a couple of scholars, theologians, chemists
and the like … who upon their many musings and search for understanding are believed to be
the creators of the first bar charts and histograms, which they used to present chronologies.
(Priestly and Playfair) Leading the way to the early 1900’s and Henry Gantt who used his
visual charting technique for machine shop production (sound familiar) and not for project
management as one might have thought.

Critical path analysis and the finer development of algorithms started to appear around the
1950’s when Kelly and Walker were developing scheduling methodologies at DuPont. The aid of
computing technology coming right around the corner helped fast track (in context of the early
Egyptians) and further the specialization of the developed and developing theories, algorithms
and structures – the basis of today’s scheduling sciences.

How far we have come and will travel in the very near future.