One Technology Way,|
Denver, Colorado, United States
|Ed McVaney, Dan Gregory and Jack Thompson|
|Products||World, OneWorld, EnterpriseOne|
J.D. Edwards World Solution Company or JD Edwards, abbreviated JDE, was an Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software company. Products included World for IBM AS/400 minicomputers (the users using a computer terminal or terminal emulator), OneWorld for CNC architecture (a client–server fat client), and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (a web-based thin client). The company was founded March 1977 in Denver, Colorado, by Jack Thompson, C.T.P. "Chuck" Hintze, Dan Gregory, and C. Edward "Ed" McVaney. It was purchased by PeopleSoft, Inc. in 2003.
PeopleSoft, in turn, was purchased by Oracle Corporation in 2005, and Oracle continues to sell and support EnterpriseOne and World ERP software line.
Ed McVaney originally trained as an engineer at the University of Nebraska, and in 1964 was employed by Western Electric, then by Peat Marwick, and moved to Denver, Colorado in 1968, and later became a partner at Alexander Grant where he hired Jack Thompson and Dan Gregory. Around that time he was coming to the realization that, in his words, "The culture of a public accounting firm is the antithesis of developing software. The idea of spending time on something that you’re not getting paid for—software development—they just could not stomach that." McVaney felt that accounting clients did not understand what was required for software development, and decided to start his own firm.
"JD Edwards" was founded in 1977 by Jack Thompson, Dan Gregory, and Ed McVaney; the company's name drawn from the initials "J" for Jack, "D" for Dan, and "Edwards" for Ed. McVaney took a salary cut from $44,000 to $36,000 to ensure initial funding. Start-up clients included McCoy Sales, a wholesale distribution company in Denver, and Cincinnati Milacron, a maker of machine tools. The business received a $75,000 contract to develop wholesale distribution system software and a $50,000 contract with the Colorado Highway Department to develop governmental and construction cost accounting systems. The first international client was Shell Oil Company. Shell Oil implemented JD Edwards in Canada and then in Cameroon. Gregory flew to Shell Oil in Douala, Cameroon to install the company's first international, multi-national, multi-currency client software system.
Enterprise Resource Planning concept developed
As the majority of JD Edwards's customers were medium-sized companies, clients did not have large scale software implementations. There was a basic business need for all accounting to be tightly integrated. As McVaney would explain in 2002, integrated systems were created precisely because "you can’t go into a moderate-sized company and just put in a payroll. You have to put in a payroll and job cost, general ledger, inventory, fixed assets and the whole thing. SAP had the same advantage that JD Edwards had because we worked on smaller companies, we were forced to see the whole broad picture." This requirement was relevant to both JDE clients in the USA and Europe and their European competitor SAP, whose typical clients were much smaller than the American Fortune 500 firms. McVaney and his company developed what would be called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in response to that business requirement.
World ERP System launched
The software ultimately sold was named JD Edwards WorldSoftware, popularly called World. Development began using System/34 and /36 minicomputers, changing course in the mid-1980s to the System/38, later switching to the AS/400 platform when it became available.
The company's initial focus was developing the accounting software needed for their clients. World was server-centric as well as multi-user; the users would access the system using one of several IBM computer terminals or "green-screens". (Later on, users would run terminal emulator software on their personal computers).
OneWorld ERP System launched
By late 1996, JD Edwards delivered to its customers the result of a major corporate initiative: the software was now ported to platform-independent client–server systems. It was branded JD Edwards OneWorld, an entirely new product with a graphical user interface and a distributed computing model replacing the old server-centric model. The architecture JD Edwards had developed for this newer technology, called Configurable Network Computing or CNC, transparently shielded business applications from the servers that ran those same applications, the databases in which the data were stored, and the underlying operating system and hardware. By first quarter 1998, JD Edwards had 26 OneWorld customers and was moving its medium-sized customers to the new client–server flavor of ERP. By second quarter 1998, JDE had 48 customers, and by 2001, the company had more than 600 customers using OneWorld, a fourfold increase over 2000.
The company became publicly listed on September 24, 1997, with vice-president Doug Massingill being promoted to Chief Executive Officer, at an initial price of $23 per share, trading on NASDAQ under the symbol JDEC. By 1998, JD Edwards revenue was in excess of $934 million and McVaney decided to retire.
Quality control issues with OneWorld begin to surface
Within a year of the release of OneWorld, customers and industry analysts were discussing serious reliability, unpredictability and other bug-related issues. In user group meetings, these issues were raised with JDE management. So serious were these major quality issues with OneWorld that customers began to raise the possibility of class-action lawsuits, leading to McVaney's return from retirement as CEO. At an internal meeting in 2000, McVaney said he had decided to "wait however long it took to have OneWorld 100% reliable" and had thus delayed the release of a new version of OneWorld because he "wasn't going to let it go out on the street until it was ready for prime time." McVaney also encouraged customer feedback by supporting an independent JD Edwards user group called Quest International. After delaying the upgrade for one year and refusing all requests by marketing for what he felt was a premature release, in the fall of 2000 JD Edwards released version B7333, now rebranded as OneWorld Xe.
Despite press skepticism, Xe proved to be the most stable release to date and went a long way toward restoring customer confidence. McVaney retired again in January 2002, although remaining a director, and Robert Dutkowsky from Teradyne was appointed as the new president and CEO.
Web-based client, continued product evolution
After the release of Xe, the product began to go through more broad change and several new versions. A new web-based client, in which the user accesses the JD Edwards software through their web browser, was introduced in 2001. This web-based client was robust enough for customer use and was given application version number 8.10 in 2005. Initial issues with release 8.11 in 2005 lead to a quick service pack to version 8.11 SP1, salvaging the reputation of that product. By 2006, version 8.12 was announced. Throughout the application releases, new releases of system/foundation code called Tools Releases were announced, moving from Tools Release versions 8.94 to 8.95. Tools Release 8.96, along with the application's upgrade to version 8.12, saw the replacement of the older, often unstable proprietary object specifications (also called "specs") with a new XML-based system, proving to be much more reliable. Tools Release 8.97 shipped a new web service layer allowing the JD Edwards software to communicate with third-party systems.
Changes of ownership and EnterpriseOne
In June 2003, the JD Edwards board agreed to an offer in which PeopleSoft, a former competitor of JD Edwards, would acquire JD Edwards. The takeover was completed in July. OneWorld was added to PeopleSoft’s software line, along with PeopleSoft's flagship product Enterprise, and was renamed JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
Within days of the PeopleSoft announcement, Oracle Corporation mounted a hostile takeover bid of PeopleSoft. Although the first attempts to purchase the company were rebuffed by the PeopleSoft board of directors, by December 2004 the board decided to accept Oracle's offer. The final purchase went through in January 2005; Oracle now owned both PeopleSoft and JD Edwards. Most JD Edwards customers, employees, and industry analysts predicted Oracle would kill the JD Edwards products. However, Oracle saw a position for JDE in the medium-sized company space that was not filled with either its e-Business Suite or its newly acquired PeopleSoft Enterprise product.
Support for the older releases such as the Xe product were to expire by 2013, spurring the acceptance of upgrades to newer application releases. The latest offering of EnterpriseOne is application version 9.2, released in October 2015. The latest version of World (now with a web-based interface) is version A9.4, released in April 2015.
Shortly after Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft and JD Edwards in 2005, Oracle announced the development of a new product called Oracle Fusion Applications. Fusion was designed to co-exist or replace JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World, as well as Oracle eBusiness Applications Suite and other products acquired by Oracle, and was finally released in September 2010. Despite the release of Fusion apps, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is still being sold.
JD Edwards' founders other activities
In May 1998, Ed McVaney donated more than $32 million to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to establish the JD Edwards Honors Program (now the Jeffrey S. Raikes School). This program is charged with educating the next generation of business professionals by combining computer science education with business management skills. JD Edwards' founder and M.I.T. graduate Hintze (died September 1996) had also donated more than $28 million to the advancement and development of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Oracle Corporation - The parent corporation that acquired JD Edwards and PeopleSoft in 2004
- Oracle Fusion Applications - envisioned and pitched as an Enterprise resource planning suite: a combination of features and functionalities taken from Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel product lines
- Configurable Network Computing - JD Edwards' CNC architecture allowing heterogeneous systems combining mixed hardware, operating systems and back-end databases to work together seamlessly.
- C. Edward McVaney
- "JD Edwards EnterpriseOne". Oracle Corp. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
- "JD Edwards World". Oracle Corp. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
- "C. EDWARD MCVANEY ORAL HISTORY" (PDF). The Computerworld Honors Program. December 6, 2002. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "Taking Stock: JD Edwards Breaks Out". Informationweek.com. June 8, 1998. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "More Than 600 Customers Live on JD Edwards OneWorld. Dot.Com and Brick & Mortar Customers Alike Select JD Edwards to Achieve E-Business Agility". Technologyevaluation.com. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Morgan, Timothy Prickett (April 24, 2006). "Oracle Indefinitely Extends the Life of JDE World, EnterpriseOne". The Four Hundred. Itjungle.com. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "Announcing JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Applications Release 9.2 and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools Release 9.2" (PDF) (Press release). Oracle Corp. October 6, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- "Announcing JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Enhancements for Rental Management, Manufacturing, Agribusiness Solutions, and the New JD Edwards World Release A9.4" (PDF) (Press release). Oracle Corp. April 23, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Fusion Applications : Overview". OracleApps Epicenter. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Oracle officially launches its Fusion apps". CNET. September 20, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
- "Honors Program History". honors.unl.edu. University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- "33 Top Students Selected for J.D. Edwards Honors Program". newsroom.unl.edu. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- Allen Jacot, Joseph Miller, Michael Jacot and John Stern. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne: The Complete Reference (2009) McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-159873-1.
- JD Edwards on the Oracle Website
- JDEList - JD Edwards' longest running free discussion forum and mailing list
- JDE Source - Blog, Whitepapers and active forum for the JD Edwards community
- E1 Tips - Website dedicated to those that have the responsibility of a CNC Administrator for Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP System
- JD Edwards Blog - Blog for the JD Edwards community
- Case Study: "Jungles and Gardens: The Evolution of Knowledge Management at J.D. Edwards," MIS Quarterly Executive, Vol 3 No. 1 / March 2004. PDF.