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I asked a legitimate, specific, relevant, answerable question here:

Do integrated systems increase development time and cause inflexibility?

It was closed as "not constructive". In the "hot questions" box I found a few questions on other Stack Exchange sites that I don't think are more suitable for the Q&A format than mine was:

Could you explain to me why it was closed and what I should do to get it re-opened?

migrated from programmers.stackexchange.com Mar 27 '13 at 23:02

This question came from our site for professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle.

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    The "hot questions" thingy is a huge mess, that's for sure... – yannis Mar 27 '13 at 23:06
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    I have to say though that you don't seem to have asked this in good faith. That is, you didn't ask this to get an answer or to participate in a discussion. It just reads as so much flame bait. – Oded Mar 27 '13 at 23:08
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    @oded - you mean my original question? My original question is a good question I would really like to hear some experience from guys who have faced the same issue. Of course I never will. This question is entirely sarcastic and is meant to highlight the complete lack of judgement that determines what questions are appropriate. – Sam Mar 27 '13 at 23:15
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    @Sam I did a somewhat drastic edit on your question. Feel free to roll back my edit if you disagree with it, but I honestly don't think ranting about a closure helps getting your point across. – yannis Mar 28 '13 at 0:08
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    @Yannis Rizos Your edits are fine, I think I got my point accross. I dont want to rant or be argumentative :). – Sam Mar 28 '13 at 0:33
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I asked a legitimate, specific, relevent, answerable question here...

It's legitimate and relevant, no argument there, and perhaps even interesting (at least to those of us with backgrounds in similar systems). But I really wouldn't call it specific or answerable.

You are essentially giving us two answers to chose from, and they are certainly specific enough, but... What we need you to be specific about is the actual problem you are trying to solve and not the ongoing debates in your company. You don't even mention what the disparate systems are about (in general terms at least).

A vague question will only bring you vague answers, and you have already noted yourself that the answer isn't really applicable to the specific situation you are facing:

Sounds impossible. Maybe when the world stood still it might be possible to wrap it all in code. In real: That won't succeed. You will have some parts more nice than others. Do you mean that large integrated enterprise systems such as Oracle, Siebel, Epicor, Peoplesoft, and thousands of others are "impossible" and dont actually, really exist?? Is that what you are saying???? Have you ever even written code for a large ERP system?? Do you know how they are designed and built???

I have written code for a large(ish) ERP system, and what I've realized is that ERP is a catch all term that roughly translates to "über complicated behemoth that's does what the client(s) want it to do, in a way that suits the client(s) and is different from every other über complicated behemoth that's does what the client(s) want it to do, in a way that suits the client(s) and is different from ...". It is important for us to (better) understand your current systems before giving you answers, because Stack Exchange sites are about giving solutions to practical problems, not about generally debating various positions. If a debate is what you are looking for, that's fine, but you are at the wrong place.

As a first step you should edit your question and give us a high level overview of the various systems and how they currently work together. I'd also remove the opening paragraph completely, buzzphrases like "very complex business processes" and "very dynamic environment" are completely meaningless. Give us technical details, not marketing-speak, replace some of the overly general fluff with concrete technical parameters and you'll get much better answers.

Lastly, closure is a temporary state and it's only meant to signal to you and to readers that the question is (somehow) problematic. And yours is, but it's not unsalvageable (or irrelevant, or illegitimate, or even uninteresting), it just needs a few clarifications on the technical side and we are good to go.

  • Please note the bold text in my question I was clear I am not asking for a design doc I'm asking for a direction for this company to take. I cannot possibly imagine why debate is so strongly discourgated at stackexchange. Not every question has an answer that can be run through a compiler. Questions are answered by attaching weights and relevance to various viewpoints. Why does a "strategy" tag exist for this site? Please pose a question about strategy that is NOT subject to debate. You cant. Thats why I asked why SE is self-defeating. It cant exist under its own rules. – Sam Mar 28 '13 at 0:14
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    @Sam Lots of other places on the internet where you can have wonderful debates, SE is for questions and (preferably definitive) answers. Nothing self-defeating about that, SE was build exactly as a counter-weight to discussion forums and other places that are traditionally more welcoming to open ended discussions. We do lose some good debates, but that's life, you can't win them all and you certainly can't make everyone happy. Also, the strategy tag is traditionally used for questions about the strategy design pattern ;) – yannis Mar 28 '13 at 0:19
  • @YannisRizos I can't speak for the OP but my take on the question was basically, "What is the best high level strategy for managing the consolidation of an in-house software product suite, Consolidate it and why, Do not consolidate it and why? Or complete red herring and why". IMHO it is the latter because it is a false dilemma perceived by not being able to notice or articulate the real aspects of the ERP system that are making users and developers upset. It is a real technical problem with great technical solutions, it is just very high level. – maple_shaft Mar 28 '13 at 1:24
  • @maple_shaft The answers would be significantly different for different in-house software product suites, especially products that generally are extremely tailored to their users, like ERPs. And of course the answers would greatly depend on the specifics of the current system, as what best in theory may turn out to be non feasible in practice. I don't think in its current state the question is answerable. – yannis Mar 28 '13 at 1:29
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I think the physics questions can be answered with a bit of math, which seems perfectly in line with the charter of that demographic.

Likewise, the workplace question seems to fit the charter of that group as well -- it's an actual problem someone is facing.

As for your question about integrated systems... At the time I am writing this answer, that question is open, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Though, the question is rather hard to answer, so maybe that is why it might have been closed earlier. Or maybe it's because the question is too localized to your specific company?

Different stackexchange sites have slightly different ideas of what's acceptable. Further, each site attracts different types of people which may have higher or lower tolerances for sticking strictly to the rules.

  • In fact, the physics one was indeed answered with some interesting math – Izkata Mar 28 '13 at 0:53
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I greatly disagreed with the closure of this question and decided to reopen it. It is certainly constructive because there is really only a few viewpoints to address.

In the future though try to be less dramatic about a question closure. If you post a question in meta or flag content for moderator attention if you feel something wrong is happening then you will have a better time.

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