The Forum Central™ software system is an essential part of the ‘Forum’ Forward Supply Chain Management solution from Sify Technologies Limited. Sify’s Forum software allows corporate to enable their extended organization in linking to a unified system for managing the business activities. The channel companies can use Forum Micro ERP (MERP / µ-ERP) software to manage their business transactions. The Forum Central™ software provides licensing, registration and messaging capabilities.


There is an administrative portal that allows users to manage their profile and message boxes. The Registration and Messaging activities are performed through client libraries that can be consumed from the MERP side.

The Forum Central™ software has the following subsystems :-

  • l  Forum Central Services
  • l  Forum Message Client
  • l  Forum Central Portal

The Forum Central Services subsystem offers the core services through the web using WCF based Web Services. These web services use a standard and Basic HTTP binding so that they can be consumed using any technology stack. Behind the Web Services sits a switch which uses a rule manager to decide on the processing actions to be taken for each message. Processing functionality can be achieved through a set of registered plug-ins.

The Forum Message Client is a windows client tool that is installed along with MERP. It provides the user interface that initiates exchange of messages between MERP and the Forum Central™ server. Outbound messages from the MERP are sent to server for processing, and messages meant for that specific MERP instance (read channel organization) are downloaded. The Message Client also allows the user to see and manage the local message store.

The Forum Central Portal allows users to login and search for documents in their message box and for companies in their network. A corporate is allowed to search for documents in their entire supply chain network. The companies can also manage their profile information. The portal crucially, also allows the creation of a supply chain network.

Forum Central™ Architecture Design


The Forum Central™ Services and Portal components can be deployed in a hosted multi-tenanted server by Sify or as a dedicated server for a client. The dedicated server scenario is used when the customer does not want their transactional data to reside outside their network/server.

However the licensing and registration of MERP always resides on the Sify server. In case of a hosted server all communication is with the Sify hosted server. To keep the client side program agnostic of whether the server is hosted or dedicated, all communication in a dedicated server scenario will be with the dedicated server. The dedicated server however will relay all licensing and registration requests to the Sify hosted server.

The various scenarios for deployment are as follows :-

  • l  Hosted Deployment
  • l  Dedicated Deployment
  • l  Hosted + Dedicated Deployment


Functional Features

  • 1. Robust Document Exchange
  •     a. Flexible Document Types and Formats
  •     b. Transport level security using SSL support
  •     c. Data Security using encryption
  •     d. Guaranteed Delivery using Status Retry

  • 2. MERP Registration and Licensing
  •     a. Central licensing management for hosted as well as dedicated deployments
  •     b. Support for License Renewal
  •     c. Multi Step Web Service Interface for Piracy Prevention

  • 3. Enhanced Business Support
  •     a. Definition of Supply Chain Groups (aka Corporate Group)
  •     b. More user roles for corporate groups
  •     c. Enhanced Document Tracking for Integration Scenarios
  •     d. Simplified Agreements Scenario using Supply Chain Groups
  •     e. Perpetual availability of documents on server
  •     f. Additional States in Document Work flow with login support for Processing Errors

  • 4. Administration Portal
  •     a. Document Viewer Support
  •     b. Message Resend Option from Server
  •     c. MERP Master Data Recovery support
  •     d. Enhanced search for documents using new improved meta data
  •     e. Perpetual availability of documents on server with housekeeping and archival facility

  • 5. Forum Central Client
  •     a. Messaging Client tool for document exchange
  •     b. MERP Master Data Recovery Support
  •     c. Registration and Licensing Services


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