December 2002

The LawsonGuru Letter is a free periodic newsletter containing provocative commentary about issues important to the Lawson Software community.  The LawsonGuru Letter is published by-and is solely the opinion of-John Henley of Decision Analytics. Visit Decision Analytics at  For subscription information, see the bottom of this message.
The LawsonGuru Letter is not affiliated with Lawson Software.

In this issue:
1. Where Integrity Shops
2. Focus: A Quick Primer on EAI
3. Meeting Your Needs
4. Reader feedback
5. Survey: What's your wish?
6. Lawson tips & tricks

1. Where Integrity Shops

In the DC area, there used to be a department store whose slogan was "Where Integrity Shops". As a kid, I never really understood what that slogan meant. [Read More...]


"The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer." - Peter F. Drucker

2. Focus: A Quick Primer on EAI
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) can mean many things.  [Read More...]

Truly interesting diversion:

Take an on-line IQ test, as well as other cool and useful personality and career tests and self-improvement tools:

3. Meeting Your Needs

This is the fourth issue of the LawsonGuru Letter, and I want to ensure it's meeting your needs. So, I'm asking you to reply back to this issue with answers to these questions:

  • Is it too technical, or not technical enough? Would you rather see more technical issues covered? More functional ones? Or, is the balance just right?
  • Are there too many topics, and not enough detail? Would you rather have more in-depth focus on just one topic?
  • Do you read the whole issue? Are there parts you skip? If so, why?
  • Would you receive it in HTML (Web) format with pretty pictures and fonts?
  • Are the tips & tricks useful? Have you put any of them to use? Do you have some to share?
  • Do you enjoy the "between-article" blips, like the quotes and survey results?
  • Is the "Worthwhile Reading" section useful? Do you check out these other articles, or do you just think it's a waste of space?
  • Is monthly too frequent?

Lots of questions, but I really want some answers. I write this newsletter and send it to you every month-for free-and I want it to be something you look forward to reading, in its entirety. If there are pieces that don't interest you, tell me. Perhaps it sounds corny, but I want the LawsonGuru Letter to be an integral part of your Lawson life!

Send me your thoughts to I'

ll keep them confidential, and really, really, REALLY want to hear from each and every one of you!

Worthwhile Reading
Can American Keep Flying? How American Airlines is using IT to respond to tough times.
CIO, November 1, 2002

I.T. Architecture: Heart Of The Matter
InformationWeek, November 8, 2002

Enterprise Software Upgrades: Less Pain, More Gain
CIO, November 15, 2002

What Works: Building a Strong Finance Team
CFO, November 2002,5309,8021||M|426,00.html

To Bill or Not to Bill? Ways to integrate e-billing software with other financial and procurement systems.
CIO, November 1, 2002

4. Reader Feedback

I truly want this newsletter to be an engaging dialogue, and want this section to become more of an "op-ed" section, with more reader commentary. In conjunction with that idea, I'm also debating setting up an interactive forum/message/collaboration site as an adjunct to this newsletter. Is that of interest to you? Would you support this idea if it had a nominal monthly fee? How much would you pay? In the meantime, please continue to send your comments to  Please let me know if you'd like your name withheld or not. Here's some recent comments I have received: Regarding the question: "Was Lawson better off as a private company?"

"From a customer standpoint, I've seen absolutely no difference between Lawson being public or private. Still the same old song and dance around poor customer service. Still constantly reorganizing. Still sloppy product development. Still mediocre bolt on products (like SEA). No really new ideas."

Regarding the "Go, No Go Decision": "This is closely related to what we refer to in the functional world as the "Pay Now or Pay Later" effect. This is the tenet of project management that says that if you have 4000 lines on the project plan and you only accomplish 3000 before your go-live event, the remaining 1000 do not go away. Instead, they mushroom in the post-live environment, always at a cost far greater than they would have if they were accomplished during the implementation."

"As consultants, we see this all the time. Personally, I would like to see a return to good old-fashioned methodology that insisted on parallel tests and pilot site testing before rolling out to the entire enterprise. These steps were deleted from most methodologies during the Y2K crunch when getting live and moving on was the mandate. However, do we still need to adhere to the Y2K methodology of the 1990's, or should we be looking to advance our approaches to meet the goals of today's clients' needs?"

5. Survey: What's your wish?

Let's have a little fun this month and just dream about what we'd change in Lawson if we could change any ONE thing. I know Lawson has had their Enhancement Request System in place for a while now, but I have not seen any public statistics on its success. If you could have any ONE wish granted, what major functional change would you recommend? I'm not talking about minor changes, like changing a field size or screen layout--I want to know what MAJOR changes you'd make. Perhaps a new module? An interface that's missing? Some screens that should be combined? I'm particularly interested in functional--rather than environment-- enhancements, although everything's fair-game. Just ONE enhancement though--what would it be? Send me your vote and thoughts to, and I'll share them in future issues. I will keep them confidential, so please don't be bashful.

6. Lawson Tips & Tricks
If you have a tip you'd like to share, send it to
a.  If you're using the Excel addins, your login info (server, username, and password) is automatically saved. It's not obvious how to change this if you want to login to a different server. Just click the ? Button on the toolbar, and you'll get a message "Click the OK button to clear the login information" OK. You'll then be prompted for a server/username/password the next time you invoke the wizard.

b. Moving Lawson printer definitions between Environments on Unix/NT is easy, but not obvious. Here's how: 1. Dump the printer file in the source environment:

$ rngdbdump -c GEN printer > printer.csv

2. Switch to the target environment, and use importdb to import it:

$ importdb -f GEN printer printer.csv
Note: If you're using the Lawson Environment 7.3.3 or higher, you'll need to turn off Lawson
      security to use rngdbdump and importdb with GEN.

The LawsonGuru Letter is a free periodic newsletter containing provocative commentary about issues important to the Lawson Software community. The LawsonGuru Letter is published by--and is solely the opinion of--John Henley of Decision Analytics. Visit Decision Analytics at subscribe, send an email to: To be removed from the subscription list, send email to:

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