B&L Information Systems is issuing a new version of its Odyssey enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform for foundries and diecasters. Odyssey 4.7 MR1 is now available for general accessibility and, as explained by the developer, the release was timed to allow B&L’s R&D team to coordinate the beta release of the new browser-based Web User Interface (UI) with the Windows UI release cycle for Odyssey.
Odyssey ERP is a product developed specifically for metalcasting operations, and designed to give everyone in such organizations the necessary information to complete jobs on time and on budget. The platform has modules that meet the specific needs of metalcasting's five major functions — management, accounting, sales, production and quality, so information can be shared and received by everyone, with no extra effort.
“Scheduling extra time for the Odyssey 4.7 development cycle has not only allowed our R&D department to fine-tune the Web UI beta, but also to include additional enhancements for all Odyssey users. Another benefit to putting Odyssey’s Windows UI and Web UI on the same release schedule is that it allows a more efficient quality assurance process as well as ensuring the integration of new features and enhancements,” stated Brad Clark, Odyssey product manager. “Our QA team used this extra time to perform additional quality work on 4.7, so Odyssey 4.7 MR1 will also contain stability improvements.”
The Web UI version of the Shop Floor Manager is available immediately for all users and the full version of the Web UI for all Odyssey modules is available as a limited release beta. The developer claimed this “zero-client ERP technology eliminates the need for metalcasting manufacturers to use specialty devices and third-party software interfaces to get the most out of their ERP.”
The Odyssey’s Web UI Shop Floor Manager may be used with any browser-based device, including laptops and tablets; supported browsers include Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.
The Odyssey Customer Feedback Forum has been one of the primary sources for determining which enhancements are added to Odyssey. Customer requested enhancements for the GA of Odyssey 4.7 include: Ability to add comments or a modification history to Data Views; ability to assign lot numbers by tool, rather than product; and, support for strong passwords, a common security measure.
Other Odyssey 4.7 enhancements were created to simplify metalcasters’ daily tasks, including: heat planner scheduling by furnace; purchase order receipt e-mail notification; and, attendance points system.
B&L Info explained that the Odyssey 4.7 development cycle included over 100 improvements, ranging from “simple user experience tweaks” to comprehensive enhancements to business logic programming. The most significant improvement, it noted, is the introduction of the Web UI.
“The Odyssey Web UI is a purely browser-based interface designed to provide users with an easy-to-use interface while maintaining the back-end database and business logic of Odyssey. This is a historic, game-changing product for B&L customers and fits with B&L’s overall cloud-computing strategy,” according to CEO Philip Laney.
Clients who host Odyssey on their own servers have access to Odyssey 4.7 information now in the B&L customer portal (Customer Login).
Odyssey SaaS clients will be contacted by B&L's Technology Department with information on the update schedule.