What is ERP system?

ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) is an integrated computer-based system used to manage internal and external resources,including tangible assests,financial resources,materials,and human resources.Its purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.Built on a centralized database and normally utilizing a common computing patform,ERP systems consolidate all business operations into a uniform and enterprise-wide system environment.
An ERP system can either reside on a centralized server or be distributed across modular hardware and software units that provide services and communicate on a local area network.The distributed design allows a business to assemble modules from different vendors without the need for the placement of multiple copies of complex and expensive computer systems in areas which will not use their full capacity.
To be considered an ERP system ,a software package should have the following traits:
1.Should be integrated and operate in real time with no periodic batch updates.
2.All applications should access one database to prevent redundant data and multiple data definitions.
3.All modules should have the same look and feel.
4.Users should be able to access any information in the system without needing integration work on the part of the IS department.