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A Function-as-a-Service (FaaS)-Based ERP

May 2018 Presentation
Charles Chow (Deloitte Consulting)

This presentation considers whether function-as-a-service–based enterprise resource planning systems can become a reality as serverless architecture matures.


Software Engineering Institute




An ERP is designed to serve organizations from end-to-end, meeting customers' needs, demand from marketing, and, on the financial side, from order to billing. An end-to-end ERP usually has hundreds of functions. The current on-premise based ERPs—or SaaS-based ERPs—are either charging the end-user based on the number of licenses or through limited subscriptions, making scalability a tough business decision for the organizations. In addition, scalability is hardly justifiable financially since only a certain percentage of the functions of an on-premise ERP or SaaS-based ERP are being used by the end-users. A FaaS-based ERP (Function as a Service) fills the gaps from both scalability and flexible consumption from a pure pay-per-use perspective.
This presentation is a discussion of the serverless architecture being applied to build a FaaS-based ERP, including abstraction of servers, flexible consumption and executions on functions, and services being instantaneously scalable. It will also elaborate the type of ERP functions, such as process a web request, queue messages, and scheduled jobs and tasks from implementation perspective. The quality attribute requirements (such as for performance, security, modifiability, and reliability) will be highlighted to describe the benefits and potential setbacks since not every ERP function is good fit for FaaS.