Technical Services Limited


© BROOKDALE Technical Services Ltd. 2014

Technical Specification extract



"Though Baan's functionality is comprehensive and covers all generic business areas, organisations often require specifically-designed and built sessions to enable either replication of the function of legacy systems or replacement and improvement of current methods. New development can also encompass brand new functionality and can be integrated seemlessly into Baan."


By developing new sessions in Baan, the full flexibility of the product can be realised, enabling you to maximise your productivity and simplify your departments' working methods. Unique, business-specific solutions can be developed and tailored to meet your requirements and offer you great advantages in controlling and running your business.


Some examples:


Create 2-way interfaces between Baan and your dedicated systems

Build new tables and sessions to store and process specialised data

Create new processing sessions to merge functionality and simplify tasks

Produce customer-specific documentation

Construct tailored forms and menu structures to simplify operation

Generate internal control procedures





Before commencing a development project, it is necessary to have an appropriate control system in place. Having many years' experience of large development projects, Brookdale is able to employ a strict, proven change control procedure that will help you to manage your development work and ensure that appropriate approval and control processes are adhered to. Full details are available on request.


All development work is also undertaken to a recognised standards and procedures document, that encompasses full project administration and Product Maintenance and Control (PMC) where appropriate. See the Programming section for more details.





The development process will begin with identifying a requirement for functionality that will replace that of a legacy system, act as an alternative to standard Baan or introduce a new concept.


In any event, a functional specification will need to be drawn up, detailing requirements such as data sources, data input, form and report layouts and the desired outcome. An impact assessment is also useful at this stage in order to evaluate the effect of any proposal on other systems or applications. Click below to enlarge the image.


Functional Specification extract



Usually, this finalised and agreed document will be followed by a technical specification, giving data selection and processing details, along with any other technical data that will be relevant or useful in tracing development work.


Shown below is a short extract of the type of detail contained in technical specifications. Click below to enlarge the image.


















Graphical representations of intended developments will be shown, along with an annotated analysis of the 4GL code to be used. Data sources, data type & format, new component names and report specifications will also be detailed if included in the development. Any new tables must be specified showing field names and data types, indices and permitted values. Entity relationship diagrams will also be included where appropriate.


General table display session showing table data field names, data type and value (click below to enlarge the image):



Technical specifications are often useful when re-visiting or modifying developments at a later stage.




Prior to commencing development, it will be necessary to ensure that a suitable development environment exists. This environment must consist of at least 1 development VRC and 1 test VRC. (If you do not have any of this set up, Brookdale can create and configure it for you). The configuration of a Product Maintenance & Control (PMC) structure will also be verified - if applicable to your installation - to ensure efficient, robust solution distribution and maintenance.


(It is also often advisable to utilise a separate development server, though Brookdale will discuss specific requirements with your technical staff.)


An example of a simple, effective development environment is shown below (Baan Vb). Click below to enlarge the image:

VRC Structure


Product Maintenance and Control


Product Maintenance and Control was introduced with Baan IV and is an excellent tool for managing solution installation (and removal if necessary). It replaces the previous method of software installation which was performed using manual internal import & export of dumps.


Its use does not only apply to standard solutions received from Baan, as PMC can be configured to allow in-house development or customisations to be controlled in the same way. All development work undertaken by Brookdale will be managed using PMC, where present.


Once a suitable structure is in place, all versions of all software components are tracked and solutions can easily be installed, tested and removed for modification if necessary. This is a one-time set up. Click below to enlarge the image:


PMC Parameters


Programming Guidelines


By making the decision to undertake the development of new Baan software, you are extending and personalising the function of your Baan system to exactly fit your requirements.


The flexibility exists to create new sessions, forms, reports, UI and DAL scripts, libraries, functions, menus, tables, messages, questions and labels. These new components can be integrated into Baan's existing packages and modules by the use of standard naming conventions or it is possible to create new packages and to develop a completely new area of your business.


Since each development project is unique and has specific goals, it is suggested that you contact Brookdale to arrange an informal meeting to discuss your business needs.


All new software components are created in accordance with Baan's own development procedures, including the use of naming conventions. Program scripts are clearly marked with development specification references and change markers. Project administration is strictly adhered to in order to enable all development work to be tracked and referenced. Having undertaken large developments over a number of years, developing new solutions is one of Brookdale's particular areas of expertise.


For details of the options of types of sessions to which development can be applied, see the customisation page.


Note: In order for any new development work to be performed on your server, a development licence will be required - this is available from the Baan company, though your organisation might already have one.


Brookdale Technical Services Ltd.

Registered in England No. 4477442

VAT No. 797 7759 34