November 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. Making the tough Go/No-Go Decisions
2. Focus: How Shall I Print Thee?
3. Support Decommission of NT4 Environment
4. Reader feedback
5. Survey results
6. Lawson tips & tricks

1. Making the Tough Go/No-Go Decisions
There was an interesting article in the Washington Post (10/13/02) recently about the abandoned conversion of the DC government's
payroll system. [Read More...]

J2EE vs. .NET
According to a study of developers by Evans Data,
40% are using .NET
51% are using Java 2 Enterprise Edition

However, this will change in the next year:
63% will be using .NET
61% will be using J2EE

Source: Infoworld, 10/14/02

2. Focus: How Shall I Print Thee?
Recently, while explaining Lawson printing solutions to a client, I realized how complicated and confusing this can be.  [Read More...]

Cited as the top frustration in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration: "difficult integration" (39%)
Infoworld, September 2, 2002

3. Support Decommission of NT4 Environment
A number of clients were taken by surprise by Lawson's recent "decommission" announcement for Lawson Environment on the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server platforms, effective January 1, 2003. This affects both the Lawson Environment, as well as Logan/IOS remote web servers.

Lawson has since clarified this, and the upshot for Lawson clients still running NT is this: migrate from NT4 to Windows 2000 Server as soon as practical. Lawson will continue to support the Lawson Environment on NT until September 2003. However, Lawson issues or patches that require additional support or patches from Microsoft will likely require additional paid support from Microsoft.

Read Lawson's revised decommission letter here:

Read Lawson's clarification here:

In October 2001, Microsoft announced their plans for retiring support for Windows NT. Beginning January 2003, they will begin providing only limited support for NT. In other words, if you need extra support, or "hot-fixes", you will likely have to pay for them. See

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done."
- Andy Rooney

4. Reader feedback

I got some interesting feedback on last month's article on purchasing cards. One reader "scolded" me for not knowing that p-cards are a
requirement for DoD contractors on purchases of less than $2500 (, and therefore
that Lawson should have a ready solution. I explained that Lawson's client base is widely varied, and that government contractors make up
only a small percentage.

The prevailing response was that p-cards are an invitation for fraud, and that--although required by DoD for small purchases--p-cards have
hardly been a resounding success.

One reader relayed his consulting experience about a regional transit agency purchasing rail cars on p-cards to circumvent the purchasing
approval process!

This coincides with a recent news story on p-card abuses ( Seems that certain Navy
personnel were using p-cards for questionable purchases (see the story for details), including to "hire prostitutes at brothels, buy
jewelry, gamble and attend New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers games".

The Pentagon, of course, has promised to mend its ways, however the focus is on "after-the-fact" audits and reconciliation. No mention
of a system to prevent fraud before it happens.

Worthwhile Reading:
First-hand accounts by some of our most successful entrepreneurs, including Fred Smith (FedEx), Al Neuharth (Gannett...and fellow Lawson client!), Richard Thalheimer (The Sharper Image), Donna Dubinsky (Palm/Handspring) and others.
Fortune Small Business, October 2002

Integrating warehouse management systems (WMS) with your other back office systems is not easy. It's even harder when you have more than one WMS. Learn more about standardizing and other best practices.
CIO, September 15, 2002

Built for Speed: Executive dashboards are a requirement for intelligent organizations.
Intelligent Enterprise, September 3, 2002

Food Fight: Bet you didn't know that Wal-Mart is the US's top grocer. Learn how the competitors are trying to keep up.
CIO, October 15, 2002

Virtual Close: Not So Fast
Companies once assumed they'd be able to close their books in a day, but that goal has proved surprisingly elusive.
CFO IT, October 23, 2002,5309,7884,00.html
5. Survey Results
Frankly, I was very disappointed by the lack of response to last month's survey, which asked, "Was Lawson better off as a private company?"

Out of over 600 subscribers, only a handful responded. This tells me that 1) no one has an opinion (I hope not!), 2) nobody reads this (again, I hope not!), 3) you fear having your opinion exposed, or 4) what difference does it make?

Of those who responded, all but one agreed that Lawson was better off before their IPO.

The lone dissenter--a "maybe"--put it this way:

"Down the road, we'll ask ourselves "did Lawson penetrate new markets, deliver its next generation products, and lead the sector
with innovative solutions? If the answer is "yes", then the IPO was worth it."

Well put. If you'd still like to respond, send me your vote and any thoughts to

Remember to VOTE on November 5th! It's your civic duty.

6. Lawson Tips & Tricks
By the way, if you have a tip you'd like to share, send it to

a. If you're running a Unix/NT version of Lawson, you can use the 'nohup' command to make your admin tasks a little easier. [Read More...]

b. With Internet Explorer, pressing Ctrl+N will open a duplicate window (i.e. second browser window, opened to the same URL/form).
This gives you the same functionality using Portal or XML User Interface as pressing F10 in LID.

c. If you're running Unix or NT, here's how to call an operating system command from inside a Lawson COBOL program [Read More...]

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 To subscribe, send an email to: To be removed from the subscription list, send email to:
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