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SAP connection, offline app and multiple GeneXus systems for best management of dairy industry.

CONAPROLE is a Uruguayan cooperative that leads the way in the processing and distribution of fresh milk, as well as in the production and distribution of dairy sub products that range from ice cream and yoghurt to cheese and jam. This cooperative, which handles innumerable processes on a daily basis –both for domestic distribution and export– is continuously applying technology innovation to maximize and optimize its operations.

In this context, GeneXus and SAP have been present in Conaprole since the year 2000; SAP is used as an administrative management tool and GeneXus is used for developing systems and features attached to the ERP.
To implement communication between GeneXus and SAP, BAPI (Business Application Programming Interfaces) technology is used in the form of services. It receives requirements from the system developed with GeneXus (whether requesting data from or sending data to SAP) and triggers the remote function that will obtain the data from SAP or process the data received.
One of the first GeneXus systems used by CONAPROLE is GLF (Fresh Milk Management) which manages –in various modules– the entire operation involved in milk collection, quality measurements, distribution and payment to producers, among other processes in real time. GLF connects to SAP ERP R/3, which manages other areas within the company.
In turn, one of the systems integrated by GLF, called Info-Rut, interacts with a Geographic Information System (GIS). Through heuristics-based algorithms it makes calculations to determine, for instance, the best route for collection trucks.  This tool, which was developed together with the School of Engineering, brought savings of US$ 800 thousand in its first year of use for calculating distances, informed the IT Manager at Conaprole.
Another system used by CONAPROLE and developed with GeneXus is an Internet application that enables producers to access the entire data managed by GLF, including milk collection made, lab analysis, settlements, and dates of current payments and expenses.
In 2004, CONAPROLE incorporated a system for automating sales forces, which would operate from a Pocket PC that communicated with a SAP system via GPRS. Back then, the aim was to replace paper and fax records with a Pocket PC application when collecting orders at supermarkets and large customers. As a consequence, this would reduce operating times and error margins. In addition, the cooperative has a network of product sub distributors who also entered high-volume orders in paper forms. This operation was replaced with a web system developed in GeneXus that allows entering those orders directly into SAP R/3 as sales orders, making the corresponding stock controls.
Throughout the years, CONAPROLE has found multiple advantages in GeneXus: “With GeneXus we’ve reduced both licensing and development costs” informed Engineer Ricardo Scaich, IT Manager at Conaprole. In addition, it also offers outstanding features such as versatility, shorter development time and the possibility to work with leading edge technology at a lower cost. As for integration with SAP: “This type of seamless integration with GeneXus opens a wide range of programming possibilities”, he said.

At present, the cooperative is migrating its mission-critical systems to GeneXus X Evolution 2, as its strategy will be to continue using GeneXus as development tool complementing SAP, and to evolve with the advances introduced by the new versions of GeneXus. An example of this is the use of Smart Device generators. In this regard, Conaprole has been one of the first beta testers to use the latest version of GeneXus (Tilo), which provides an offline feature for Smart Device applications. In this way, Conaprole has upgraded the application for taking orders (making it possible to enter them into the device regardless of whether or not an Internet connection is available) with the "AFV Mobile Application" (Sales Force Application) for supermarkets.