Introduction to JD Edwards

If you are brand new to JD Edwards, you've come to the right place to begin the process of understanding JD Edwards (the company) and JD Edwards (the software). Probably the first tidbit you need is to know that "JD Edwards" is often abbreviated as "JDE". Those of you who are here to learn about Java Development Environment should look elsewhere!

JD Edwards is named after its first three founders, Jack Thompson, Dan Gregory, and C. Edward (Ed) McVaney. Jack was the technical guru, Dan was the marketing and sales guy, and Ed became the CEO, leading JDE for many years.
JD Edwards started as a custom programming shop in the late 70s, writing software utilizing the IBM System 3X as its foundation. By the mid-80s, JDE came out with the first package version of its core product, Financials;
followed by Distribution (Sales, Inventory, and Purchasing), which was added in the late 80s; and finally followed by Manufacturing and Payroll/HR in the early 90s. JDE's first ERP package was named "World Software". JD Edwards was fortunate when IBM came out with its successor to the System 32/36/38, the AS/400. Within a few years JD Edwards software was running on 15% of all installed AS/400s. JD Edwards grew rapidly, with 300 employees and revenue of $24M in 1988, increasing to over 6,000 employees worldwide and nearly $1B in revenue 10 years later. JDE became a very strong player in the mid-market (companies with annual revenue from $200M to $800M), especially in industries that engaged in manufacturing and distribution operations.

In the mid-90s, the old "green screen" technology using character-based "dumb" terminals, started to shift to a "client-server" architecture with a Windows-like GUI (Graphical User Interface). JDE had some false starts as it developed the new software, initially named Everest, and later renamed OneWorld. Initial releases of OneWorld were not stable, and it wasn't until 2000, when OneWorld Xe was released, that JDE had a functional product with which it could compete with other ERP platforms such as SAP and PeopleSoft. Despite the false starts, however, the flexibility and power of this package to run on multiple hardware/OS/DB platforms made it a formidable competitor against these other vendors. Note that the World product now offers "web enabled" screen views, which allow the green screens to look more like a normal PC screen, but it is an optional preference, and many companies still use the original green screen.

JD Edwards made a key decision early in the design of OneWorld-the database used by OneWorld would match (or at least not conflict with) the database used by World Software. Thus, the functionality of the early releases of OneWorld would be essentially the same as the functionality of World Software. And there was a data conversion path, which made it relatively easy for clients to migrate from World to OneWorld, and in many cases run both packages simultaneously in "coexistence" mode.

In 2003, PeopleSoft acquired JD Edwards and renamed OneWorld to EnterpriseOne. (PeopleSoft's flagship product was named PeopleSoft Enterprise.)

Almost immediately, Oracle launched a hostile takeover bid to acquire PeopleSoft. In 2005 Oracle completed its takeover of PeopleSoft, leaving Oracle with a number of ERP and CRM packages to sell and support: Oracle EBS, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards World, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, and Siebel. Oracle quickly announced that it would continue to support these separate packages with its Applications Unlimited program, and at the same time develop a totally new ERP solution, Fusion. Fusion Applications became generally available in 2010, but the full ERP product (Financials, Distribution, Manufacturing, HR/Payroll) is probably still 5-10 years away.

In the meantime, Oracle continues to enhance JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne. More information on the current versions of World and EnterpriseOne can be found at JDEtips Upgrade Support Center.

Please Note: The Intro to JDE pages on this site are intended to be brief summaries for JD Edwards customers who are encountering JD Edwards for the first time. For more advanced knowledge, please review the articles in our JD Edwards Library, and our JD Edwards Training offerings for JDE clients.

Another excellent resource to help you get started with JD Edwards is JDEtips eLearning.
JD Edwards Training

JDEtips provides exceptional configuration-level JDE training for IT staff and key business users. We help you gain and maintain the solid JD Edwards knowledge base needed to squeeze the most operational efficiencies from your JDE solution. 47 public or private, live, instructor-led classes have been designed to give you the key knowledge needed to master configuration of specific JDE functionality.

JD Edwards Training
JDE Documentation

Solve Your JDE Challenges

Understand JDE Best Practices


JDEtips Knowledge Express is a library of 726 articles on functional and technical EnterpriseOne and World topics. The techniques documented will help you unlock the full power of JD Edwards.

Learn More

Search our Document
Library for JD Edwards Solutions



Go