MaxiSun is an interface system between Infor SunSystems/SAP Business One/other ERP systems and other third party business applications. The original MaxiSun software was developed to integrate Maximo and SunSystems, in 2001, by Sapphire Systems. Early versions of the software were very “black box ” systems in that there was very little that could be modified by the client after the installation had taken place.
There were always two main components comprising the system, the data extraction component and the data conversion component. In the first version of the system the data extraction component was an SQR script authored originally by MRO software for Sapphire. The data transformation engine was originally authored by Sapphire in Visual Basic.
Since the early days MaxiSun has been modified to make it more capable of being configured by the client. The SQR extraction tool has been replaced with a dedicated program called Origin and the MaxiSun data conversion engine gained the benefit of a user interface that allowed the source and destination files to be mapped at field and line level.
These mapping settings needed a dynamic storage facility so this was created using a Microsoft Access database initially, later upgraded to SQL Server.
ETL describes the methodology behind the MaxiSun middleware , in that any interface task is broken down into three distinct parts.
1. Extract In the extraction phase, records meeting certain pre-defined criteria are extracted from the source system’s database to either a series of files in the file system (typically these are XML or CSV files) or to memory in the case of certain specific interfaces.
2. Transform In the transformation phase the file data (or data in memory) is manipulated by a series of rules to meet with the data entry requirements of the destination system. Such manipulations can include, but are not limited to, trimming fields to a given length, creating balanced double entry records, performing calculations, joining values together etc. MaxiSun supports a range of standard data manipulation features right out of the box, but since it has full user definable .Net macro capability, literally any transformation can be achieved.
3. Load In the load phase the transformed data is uploaded into the end point application by a method that is appropriate to that application. Typically, applications receiving data, perform some level of validation on that data and sometimes feedback a result to the sending application. Examples of this are loading transactions into SunSystems via the Sun Systems Connect (SSC) web service or loading data into the Maximo interface tables, from where the Maximo Enterprise Adapter (MEA) or from version 7 the Maximo Integration Framework (MIF) validates and processes the data into the application tables.
MaxiSun combines the extraction and transformation tasks into one action – this speeds up the process dramatically and means that there are fewer steps in any interface task to check in the event of an issue.
MaxiSun is middleware that creates an integration hub by enabling point to point integrations between two or more third party systems. It uses a number of methods to communicate with those systems and is fully configurable to perform ETL (extract / transform / load) tasks to meet the individual interfacing requirements of the given third party applications.