The term ERP is used to refer a software application or a set of programs which are created to automate all the business processes of an organization. A typical ERP software is expected to have modules, each module designed and created to automate a particular set of related processes.
The modules of an ERP software are finance, sales and marketing, purchase, materials management, CRM etc. The finance module of an ERP software automates the finance department of a company and all the business processes which fall under the purview of the finance department.
Similarly, the manufacturing module is expected to automate the activities which fall under the purview of manufacturing department.
ERP softwares can be broadly categorized based on the technology into three types. The first type being a client/server ERP software which works on a set of locally networked computers.
A web based ERP software is hosted on a web server and available for use by independent computer systems with access to internet. The web based ERP software can be accessed using a web browser.
A SAAS ERP software is also a web based ERP software, and is accessed by using a browser but is available for use on a transaction or time basis.