Kinetic MES overview - things I have learned - PART II

Remember this post? Time for an update!

I am testing out Kinetic 2022.1 now. First and foremost in my book is seeing if I can still use kMES (that’s what I call it).

Why? Well 24 of my licenses are data collection and if I had to move all of those people to full licenses (“Default User”), I estimate a one-time cost of over $130,000. Plus 20% annually. I think I’d be fired…

For the initiated, I’ll start with a summary of findings. If you need explanations, read on.

Summary of findings

  1. It still works, mostly.
  2. You have to use the client, not the browser, for kMES to use a DC license
  3. There are some new restrictions.
    a. Seems like we are back to the classic MES restrictions of blocking Part Entry and Job Entry and Supplier Price List, etc.
    b. But Order Entry and PO Entry are fine as always, and Project Entry, PO Suggestion Entry, and many, many others
    c. Also unchanged is that any dashboard that I create myself is always permitted.
    d. If you Kineticize a dashboard, it will work also in kMES, but if you try to embed links to screens, it fails just like the old dashboard action items did.
    e. (Again, with all of this I mean in kMES. I’m not talking about when using a full license.)

Also, I am testing with SQL 2016 (wrong!) and I have to change my personal “Form to Open” settings to be Classic in order for anything to work. But that’s unrelated.

Long-winded version

OK, so, we now have like SIX versions of Epicor in 2022.

  1. The client (which itself comes in flavors of Kinetic, Windows 8 modern shell, and Windows 3.1 Classic)
  2. The new hotness - full version in a browser
  3. Kinetic Data Collection - a legit replacement for MES
    a. In client or browser
    b. NOT what I am reviewing today
  4. kMES - what I am reviewing today (client only)
  5. Ooooooold school MES classic - the gray one
  6. We don’t talk about Bruno EWA

Did you catch that 3 and 4 are different???

Let’s rewind.

First, if you use the full version, none of this entire article applies to you.

In E10 up through 10.2.300 we only had classic MES. You could customize that and add buttons to open a LOT of screens in Epicor (even BAQ Designer, for example) - and all of this is documented by Support. But a user was stuck with that layout. People would ask, “But how do I search for Purchase Advisor?” And you couldn’t, but if I added a button to open it then they could get there. Or there’s always Open With.

Starting in 10.2.400 they tried to Kineticize MES and it didn’t go well for MES but what it did do was make the interface EXACTLY like the Kinetic home page, with searching and tiles and BAQ grids on your home page and everything. It even opened up access to Part Entry and other previously forbidden screens. I call this kMES

Now in Kinetic 2022, kMES is still lurking around (in the client only, I think) but what Epicor expects you to use for MES is the Data Collection (DC) interface which is like kMES all grown up. On the other hand, kMES got knocked down a few pegs in that the bonus screens like Part Entry are no longer available. But we still have the search and home page features, so that is still lightyears ahead of classic MES.

I think Kinetic DC has some promise for my purposes (i.e. NOT data collection), but I found that it used a full license no matter what I did (AND a DC license). Hey, maybe that has to do with my stubborn self still on SQL 2016? No idea. But regardless, it is not as Epicor-like as kMES is.

But the point in all this is that I think kMES is still a viable option in 2022 to keep costs down. Just not quite as broadly as before. It seems that the only role that can’t make kMES work anymore is… mine.


I like it!

Thanks for the recap, haven’t read the original post yet! Bookmarking this!


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One of the biggest things I think Epicor needs to address is the licensing for manufacturing floor employees. Kinetic gives such a good opportunity for a company to go paperless, but not at the cost of the MES licenses needed (or full licenses). I suggested to my CAM that they need a “Work Queue” license that is dirt cheap so companies can go the tablet route. This new license would only allow a user to open the Work Queue. MES could still be used for employees that need the extra functionality, but someone who just needs to log into a job and bring up documents would use Work Queue. I think it should be like a $1 per month per unique employee.