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Question Answer
Will CK-ERP run on Windows Servers with Apache and MySQL installed? CK-ERP is designed to fail within a Windows environment. Let us first re-assure you that the Linux learning curve is a rather flat one, and the nice part of it all, is, you don't need to spend any amount of money building up your experimental learning system software-wise. In a small way, we are doing our part in helping to lessen the stranglehold M$ has on the IT profession. We would encourage you to try out any one of the freely available Linux distributions and setup/test CK-ERP from there.
After successful installation of CK-ERP, why are the HR, SS and Payroll modules unaccessible ? The default setup of CK-ERP is to guard against the system administrator from being able to modify his/her own personnel record or to mess with his/her colleagues' personnel records.

To get around this restriction, follow the action sequence, ck-ac -> Requestor -> Start search -> (a single line of -> edit -> change Requestor Category to auditstaff -> Update Requestor. You should now see [Human Resources Mgmt] appearing in CK-ERP's navigation bar.

Do try out the various ACL features and/or combinations of the Access Control module. There are many ways of utilizing the access control mechanism and you could create your own access categories and implement your own access restrictions. However, it is very easy to get to a situation where all users are denied access to all CK-ERP modules, so, be very careful how you formulate the final access control scenario.

Actually, in a live system, the system administrator should be locked out of all CK-ERP modules, except those belonging to the System Administration cluster. Since this behaviour is likely to cause even more confusions with first time users, this operation mode is not set up as the default setting.

Where to enter (xxx) entries or perform (yyy) functions ? The best way to find out is to do one round of clicking all ck-xxx module icons and follow through all the header menu choices and study all the subsequent system flows. It is also very important to read in detail the entire content of each module's index page. The on-screen prompt of each screen display will also provide contextual guide on how to interpret the displayed text and figures. At the same time, CK-ERP is designed for use by experienced accountants. If you are not familiar with accounting operations, you should approach the accountant within your organization and seek his/her assistance with regard to CK-ERP-usage related queries.
Why is CK-ERP not tightly integrated with the underlying middleware ? Presently, CK-ERP is able to run within 33 different middleware environments and there are more to come. If you are interested in 'integrating' tightly CK-ERP within xxx (database-wise, processing-logic-wise), you may perhaps spend a year to do the job -- 33 different middlewares? 33 man-years. Then, you would have to spend another nnn years to debug the (CK-ERP + xxx + yyy) combos, say, (Joomla + Zencart + CK-ERP). You know the sum.

One may consider things like SOA, RPC to provide some sort of loose coupling. However, these technologies do not seem to be mature enough nor secure enough to be able to stand the test in a court of law. That is, if there is a major processing error within, say, a SOA based (Joomla + CK-ERP) environment, it would take a team of experts to find which is at fault - Joomla, CK-ERP or even the SOA stack itself.

So, it is decided that (CK-ERP + xxx) 'integration' will stop at the point of producing xxx connectors. For the rest of the 'integration' job, it is a standing invitation for any open source software integrator to try his/her hand. Indeed, it is in this area, where software integrators, traditionally, excel. Again, it is also a standing invitation to any and all open source software integrators to contribute their integration code back to CK-ERP, if they, so, incline.

At the same time, please don't ask the CK-ERP project team how a particular (CK-ERP + xxx) tight integration should be done. Because,

1) We have no expertise in xxx .
2) As it is, we are already fully occupied with enhancing the various functions of CK-ERP and producing yyy connectors.

My company is in the transport and warehousing business and I want to use CK-ERP. I want to know how to deploy it. Is there any documentation that describes the usage of the modules in a non-inventory situation ? There is no specific user that had reported using CK-ERP within the logistic sector. However, the following observation may be relevant.

a) Computerisation of accounting ledger, revenue (flight or storage charge) collection, HR/Payroll, CRM/VRM (customer/vendor contact management) are very much industry neutral. You could set up a demo prototype system within your local environment and ask your company's accountant, financial controller, sales, purchasing, HR personnel to check if they need anything beyond the basic system.

b) Providing IT support to your company's main business operation (transport and warehousing) is a totally different matter. At the moment, CK-ERP does not have too many features that help out in this respect. You could create dummy inventory items like,

Item number Item description
c123o246 Cargo held/delivered on behalf of customer 123 under order 246

and use (ck-inv -> Goods Receipt) and (ck-inv -> Goods Delivery) to track the progress of a particular lot of cargo.

However, things like cargo consolidation/split-up, shipment tracking, etc are missing. And no. Development of these features are not on the agenda. But you could always sponsor / pay someone to develop a specific module to add in these features. You could develop your own logistics module, and you are most welcome to contribute the developed logistic module back to CK-ERP's main codebase :-) .

Why are the monetary figures in my CK-ERP installation not displayed according to locale convention? For locale-aware monetary figure printing to operate correctly, the server machine must have the relevant locales correctly implemented.