The majority of modern ERP systems are fully Internet-enabled systems. This means that communication between a server where an ERP systems is installed and many clients is done through the Internet.
An ERP system may comprise three main tiers:
- Clients : clients are end-users that connect to the system via Internet browsers.
- Applications Server : An applications server incorporates a Web server, forms, system tools and a variety of ERP programs.
ERP systems are considered to be a backbone of e-commerce solutions. Successful utilization of the “front-end” e-commerce solutions is unimaginable without strong support by and cooperation with the internal “back-end” computer systems. In fact, many ERP vendors combine ERP applications and e-commerce solutions in one integrated computer system.
ERP is basically a packaged business software system to allow a firm to:
- Automate and integrate its business processes
- Share common data and practices across the entire enterprise
- Provide and access information in a real time environment.
It aims to integrate the firm‟s back-office processes and information flows. E-commerce on the other hand, is the use of computer systems and packaged software applications protected by network security measures to conduct online transactions.