A.T.P (Available to promise) is a vector describing how many units of a specific product are available, at any given time in the future, to cover customer orders. A.T.P. is a powerful tool for both the logistic team, in charge of making sure that enough stock is available to satisfy future customer demand, as well as anyone fronting a customer, and has to provide a reliable customer inquiry regarding possible supply dates.
The A.T.P vector takes into account the amount of currently available stock, future supply (from manufacturing or procurement) and future demand (sales order, internal orders etc.). The A.T.P. quantity decreases due to customer orders (and possibly other transactions), and increases as new stock is available, through purchasing, manufacturing or customer returns.
I planned to provide a flash-based A.T.P. ‘viewer’ for open source ERP systems for some time now, and surprisingly enough, I’ve found this feature request on Openbravo’s issue tracker. So I decided to implement a version of A.T.P. that would run as a stand-alone flash application ( which can be easily embedded into your company’s portal).
But I wanted to develop something that would be generic enough so it can be used as an A.T.P. viewer for any open source ERP system (or any ERP system for that matter). I decided to use Talend as middleware. Talend is a powerful data processing tool, and provides one important feature – you can create ‘data services’ that read data from your ERP system, and expose it through a service call to any consuming client.
The client was using flash technology. The front-end was developed using Flex, and it is completely independent of the back-end system. It calls a couple of services, created by Talend, that provide the data used by the A.T.P. viewer. There is still further development required to make the A.T.P. viewer robust, but it is already useful in several scenarios.
I plan to release the whole thing as open source and would love to get help from anyone with relevant knowledge – more on that in future posts.
In the meantime, you can take a look at the A.T.P. viewer in the following recorded demo.
Impaortant! - the data (customer orders, production orders etc.) used in the recorded demo is sample data provided by Openbravo. The dates of the transactions are from 2006 and 2007. A.T.P. always looks forward, into the future. I had to use this data because I do not have access to a live system. So only for purpose of this demo, we assume the date now is somewhere during the year 2005, so all transactions occurring in 2006/7/8 are future transactions.