B2B, B2C ecommerce for Dynamics GP notes for IT and consultant

First of all, you should think about dilemma to choose
ecommerce product, of build ecommerce website internally or program it with
software development partner firm.  In
our opinion, if your are small ecommerce channel reseller, then you should
stick to your franchisor ecommerce recommendation:  eBay, etc. 
However, if you are trying to start up new technology selling business
with ecommerce emphasis, and you have backing capital – you may find that your
ecommerce requirements are too unique and existing shopping cart/ecommerce
products are too simple to fit your business – the you consider assemble
ecommerce in Microsoft Visual Studio C# or VB.Net web project (purchasing
ecommerce libraries or SDK from trusted ecommerce vendors).  If you are large corporation, you should do
your homework as the final answer depends on various factors.  Again, in our opinion, ecommerce at this time
is not ready to be considered as simple choice, it is rather painstaking
process of selection, reselection, implementation and reimplementation:


1.       Dynamics
GP Business Portal with Order Management Module.  Here you are working with existing Great
Plains company Inventory items, and you create orders that end up in GP SOP
tables: SOP10100 and SOP10200.  You can
have active catalog, which is outside of GP – in separate BP Catalog tables in
your Company database.  In B2B scenario,
you have BP module Electronic Document Delivery which enables Sales and other
types of documents emailing to your business partners.  Outside of ecommerce, if you need to save on
Payroll stub postage, you can implement HR employee self service (assuming that
you are deploying GP Payroll module). 
You should definitely review Business Portal and if it fits your
requirements, perfect, we are happy to sell and implement it for you.  Some remarks we heard from our customers and
prospects – Dynamics GP Business Portal is not very flexible in customizations,
besides color schema and pictures or logos uploading.  We may agree and disagree with these comments,
as you should probably be more open to adopt the technology of the future, as
Microsoft is likely very committed to its Dynamics products Business
Portals.  Good example is Microsoft CRM
SDK, where in the initial versions 1.2 and 3.0 you had very slow customization
interface and restricted programmability and now with CRM SDK 4.0 you can
virtually do whatever you like as programmer. 
We believe that Business Portal for Great Plains Dynamics GP will
improve dramatically in the short future and third party ecommerce add-ons will
have hard time to compete with it, however for now you may decide to implement
third parties, as they are several steps ahead of Dynamics Business Portal


2.       OK,
now to third party modules, such as Alba Spectrum Order Connector, Posting
Sever or Autopost.  At this time we are
launching multiple ecommerce GP dedicated products, in fact by repackaging our
former customizable solutions to become out of shelf type of products, plus we
are expanding our Microsoft Dynamics GP ecommerce Software Development
Factory.  We assume that you already did
research on the competition.  In B2C
scenarios, we recommend you to consider our Order Connector product – it is for
simplified ecommerce integration to Dynamics GP SOP module: Quotes, Sales
Orders, Invoices, Returns.  We are
writing these lines in August 2009, and we are in very rapid progress, so for
current offering, please visit our website or call our office


3.       Direct
eConnect programming.  If you have C#, or
VB.Net software developers in stuff, we recommend this direction.  If your ecommerce web application is coded in
house, then you should have complete control with eConnect SDK
programming.  We do not discuss in this
article specific eConnect objects, however you should expect as coder
reasonable familiarity with Dynamics GP tables structure and object model.  If you feel that you need additional help,
please install Dynamics GP SDK from GP 10.0 CD #2.  Talking about eConnect for GP versions 10.0
and even 9.0 we heard mostly positive opinions from third party programmers,
Dynamics GP ISV and consultants


4.       Great
Plains Integration Manager.  If you are
OK with Great Plains operation initiated integration, or in advanced IM
scenario with scheduled integration, this approach is worth to consider, as IM
is rewritten in eConnect for GP 10.0.  If
you are on older version of Great Plains, IM requires OLE Server to be running
in integrating time, meaning that you have to consume open Great Plains User
License if GP workstation is running 24-7


5.       Great
Plains Dexterity in eCommerce coding. 
Dex is initial architecture of Great Plains Dynamics.  This development tool has no limits in adding
new or altering existing object in Great Plains.  In fact we use Dexterity Source Code
programming to develop our products, that extend eConnect limitations (such as
posting GP batches directly from ecommerce applications)


6.       eCommerce
for older Great Plains Versions.  eConnect
is in our opinion reliable for Dynamics GP 10.0 and in most of the areas for
9.0.  If you are on older versions of
Dynamics GP Great Plains or eEnterprise: 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2
or Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or MAC, please consider upgrade to
Dynamics GP 10.0.  If upgrade is
exceeding your budget, and if you are already on Dynamics GP on SQL Server 2000
or 2005, we are ready to help you with Order Connector product


7.       Non
Microsoft ecommerce platform.  If you are
on Linux, Oracle, DBII, PHP platform, please review ODBC connections options to
Microsoft SQL Server, where Dynamics GP is hosted.  If you are comfortable to create and support
these connections (including JDBCODBC bridges), then we can help you to
integrate you ecommerce application with Dynamics GP


8.       How
to get help?  Please call us:
1-866-528-0577, outside of USA 1-630-961-5918, email us
[email protected]  We speak English,
Spanish, Portuguese, including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Filipino,
Arabic.  Please, be aware that Dynamics
GP is not UNICODE compliant application, and if you need help in having GP
Screens to be translated to Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other hieroglyph
based characters language, this is not possible.  We would be happy to create Chinese Crystal
Reports out of your Dynamics GP system with the help of third party Dynamics GP
ISV tools, such as NJ Star.  If you are
trying to consider Great Plains for your Brazilian subsidiary, we would have to
discourage you and ask you rather to consider SAP Business One, which is
localized for Brazil.  Great Plains
Dynamics GP is also not localized for Russian market, we invite you to call us
to help you understand ecommerce and Corporate ERP options in Russian
Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland,
Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Poland, SerbiaScience Articles, Uzbekistan

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