Linkoping, Sweden-headquartered and seldom-heard-of enterprise resource planning vendor, IFS International AB, has opened a UK office to push its uniquely object-oriented application suite. IFS UK’s managing director Alex Sorbie claims the company’s product suite is technically far superior to the competition’s… meaning the likes of Baan Co and SAP AG. Sorbie says the IFS applications suite is object-oriented, making it easy to implement the suite in a modular fashion, whereas its competitors, are having problems making theirs modular. Sorbie is presumably referring to SAP AG’s R/3 suite, which has received criticism over the years for being a behemoth of an application which can be difficult to tailor to a particular company’s business processes; but which SAP says it is in the process of modularizing. IFS says a company can install one or two modules of its own suite and then build up. IFS’s applications are based on the Oracle7 relational database, but the company claims they make use of an object-oriented middle tier – written in PL SQL – between the database and the application code. This middle tier will apparently also make the task of supporting Oracle8 a piece of cake, according to the company, though there’s no date for that yet. IFS claims its product suite scales up to the large enterprise – customers include Saab AB, NEC Corp, Nikon Corp and Canon Inc – but can also be used by small to medium companies. IFS applications run on Windows NT and the major Unixes, there are no plans to support any other databases. IFS recently floated on the Swedish stock exchange; revenue for 1997 is expected to be around $100m.