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Re: What is Enterprise Software?

by radiantmatrix (Parson)
on Nov 01, 2005 at 17:29 UTC ( #504663=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to What is Enterprise Software?

There are two things at play, here, and I think that confuses the issue. There is the term "enterprise software" that refers to just that (which I'll proffer a definition of in a moment); but there's also the marketing term "enterprise software" that gets tagged onto things to increase the price tag.

During my scant years as a contractor, I arrived at a definition of "enterprise software" that I found useful for comparing packages and helping suits to understand what was really being sold/built/implemented. That definition is, simply, this:

enterprise software
Software that is specifically designed to solve a class of problems shared among significant portions of an enterprise.

By way of example, Lotus Notes qualifies as enterprise software because it was designed to solve a set of problems (e-mail, scheduling, etc.) shared by just about everyone in an organization. Maybe not Joe and Annie on the production line, but all of the help desk, management team, and office staff (thus significant portions as opposed to all).

Also, note the specifically designed phrase: software that just ends up solving a particular enterprise's range of enterprise problems isn't enterprise software -- it's software shoe-horned into an enterprise role.

Is perl enterprise software? That, I suppose, depends. Just about any cross-platform application framework (Java, .Net {sort of}, Perl, Python) could arguably be enterprise: they are designed, in part, to solve the shared enterprise problem of running software tools on whatever platform that's available. I think that's a bit of a stretch, personally.

I think it's more accurate to say that Java, Perl, etc. are frameworks that are well-suited to building enterprise software.

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