eCommerce Connectors for Dynamics GP and SB1 notes

In this small publication we assume that you already
reviewed existing electronic commerce add-ons (including SAP Business One
eCommerce module and Dynamics GP Business Portal Order Management) and you
decided or inclined to consider approach of simple integration from GP or SBO
from your ecommerce web site, which is in production and does the job.  This approach is good for both models: B2B
and B2C.  In B2B model you should decide
if you would like your special pricing model for each of your customer or for
specific customer group to be set in your Accounting (in this case, pricing
should be reprogrammed in ecommerce application to reflect changes made in
GP/SB1) or it should be originated in ecommerce business logic and then simply
pushed to GP on each of the ecommerce invoice line (in this scenario you simply
do not use GP/SBO Item Pricing functionality and have your ERP application to
accept passively what is coming from ecommerce):

 

1.       Philosophy.  Instead of aggressive ecommerce out-of-the-shelve
product selling, we prefer to have as ready for deployment ecommerce product
and in addition to this we offer them as customizable “solutions” and
connectors.  Plus, we are in good
position to help you with integration programming, where your internal software
developers need help with eConnect, GP and SAP B1 tables structures, Great
Plains batch posting directly from ecommerce application code, helping your
with barcode warehouse management custom automation logic and ecommerce
logistics.  Plus, we are helping you in
cross platform ecommerce connections, when you may have ecommerce on Linux, PHP/MySQL,
Oracle, Java EJB platforms and you need help with heterogeneous ecommerce data
feeding query to Microsoft SQL Server based GP and SAP Business One databases.

 

2.       Batch
mode integration.  This scenario is
perfect for small ecommerce retailers. 
Great Plains and SAP BO have Integration modules: GP Integration Manager
and SB1 Data Transfer Workbench. 
Dynamics GP IM is more advanced, comparing to Workbench, however you
have to purchase it as separate module to GP, and WB is included into your SB1
purchase (free stuff is important for small businesses, especially when they
are in startup mode).  Let’s first review
in brief GP Integration Manager.  IM is
user friendly application, where you can setup integration of your new
customers, new ecommerce invoices and then have IM operator to call this
integration once per day or every hour. 
You can also schedule IM – special tool is available from Microsoft
Business Solutions or, if you are technology savvy you can deploy Windows macro
third party applications to do similar scheduling.  You can consider exporting ecommerce documents
in tab or comma delimited text files or simply work with SQL Views – in this
case you use Advanced ODBC Queries in Integration Manager.  Now SAP Business One Data Transfer Workbench
– you can export your ecommerce data flies in CSV format, which fits exactly to
DTW CSV templates – this will allow you even to schedule DTW jobs via Windows
scheduled tasks.  Second more advanced
approach allows DTW job to work with ODBC connection  to Microsoft SQL Server Views.  MS SQL Server view may call data from
Microsoft and non Microsoft DB sources, such as MySQL, Oracle, MS Access,
FoxPro, etc.  At this time, SAP Business
One version 2007 you cannot schedule DTW ODBC based job – it should be called
by DTW operator

 

3.       Real
time integration.  In this scenario you
extend your ecommerce application code with SDK libraries.  Dynamics GP ecommerce SDK( it is eConnect)
and SB1 SDK – both of them are open for Microsoft Visual Studio C#, or VB.Net
developer (SAP B1 SDK also has reasonable openness to Delphi programmers).  Some comments here: eConnect is coded in SQL
Server Stored Procedures and its methods are very fast in execution, where SB1
SDK methods are at this time (September 2009, SB1 2007, and former version 2005)
slower, expect one invoice in 3-4 seconds, do not expect several thousand
transactions to be integrated in ten minutes (however GP eConnect is that fast,
we recommend eConnect only if you are Dynamics GP latest versions: 10.0 or 9.0).  You can also review SQL direct programming
into Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing tables: SOP10100, SOP10200 and related,
however we recommend you rather use eConnect objects to do the same job.  We do not recommend you to push data directly
to SQL B1 Marketing Documents tables: INV1, etc. as SB1 Early Watch is designed
to monitor all the changes to SB1 records done outside of the SB1 application,
Work Bench and SDK methods realms

 

4.       SAP
Business One and Dynamics GP Tables Structure diagrams.  In the case of SB1, you can read SAP Business
One SDK documentation – it has table references.  In the case of Great Plains, please consider
installing Dynamics GP SDK from CD #2. 
As quick reference in GP user interface: Tools->Resource
Descriptions->Tables; in SB1 in view menu mark View System Information -
when you open SB1 screen, such as AR Invoice, place cursor over the field and
read its Table and Field name in left down corner, for example RDN1.ItemCode is
the field for item number on return line. 
Again, we would like to stress that Tables Structures are in ideal
scenario for pulling data from GP or SB1 for ecommerce order status report, if
you need certain level of ecommerce customer self service (and not for pushing
data into your Corporate ERP tables with SQL insert statement, as this practice
has very high business logic violation and data integrity compromise potential)

 

5.       eCommerce
with Custom Logic in GP or SB1.  In the
case of SAP Business One you can create new so-called User Defined Tables and
extend existing tables with User Defined Fields.  User Defined Tables have automatically
created simply editing interface, where you can add records or modify existing
ones.  If you would like to add user
defined fields to such tables as Marketing Document Line (including customer
invoice line) – these fields should become immediately available to be placed
on Customer Invoice form, plus they will be available for Data Transfer
Workbench integrations and in SB1 SDK. 
In the case of Dynamics GP some of the objects have User defined fields
included and ready for activation.  If
your targeted object doesn’t have User Defined fields extension, you will need
to program it likely in Great Plains Dexterity as table, linked with related original
GP tables by the Primary Key with the same fields

 

6.       eCommerce
in International scenarios.  If you are
multinational corporation and you are deploying Dynamics GP in US headquarters,
please try first to understand if GP is localized in the country where you plan
to deploy it as Accounting or in ecommerce. 
Great Plains version 10.0 is available in English Speaking countries:
USA, Canada (including French Canadian Quebec version), Australia, New Zealand,
UK, South Africa, Oceania, plus in South East Asia for the countries, where
English is the language of business. 
With some exceptions it is also available in Spanish Speaking Latin
America, Mexico and Caribbean.  By its
architecture Great Plains doesn’t support UNICODE based alphabets, mostly
hieroglyphs: Chinese, Japanese, Korean. 
SAP Business One is more widespread, it is available localized in such
countries as Brazil, Russia, Poland, China, Japan, Korea.  Even if you deploy Great Plains Dynamics in
US headquarters, we recommend you SB1 internationally, where GP is not
available – SB1 is very simple in data export and consolidation to Dynamics GP
via Integration Manager or FRx consolidated Financial Reporting

 

7.       Alba
Spectrum eCommerce Products.  We offer
Order Connector, sending transactions in realtime to Dynamics GP Sales Order
Processing Tables; Posting Server (Autopost), allowing you to post GP batches
directly from eConnect application.  We
also offer Microsoft RMS integration to Great Plains, if your ecommerce is
working from RMS tables

 

8.       Dynamics
GP eConnect and Dexterity programming training. 
We offer USA and International phone or skype based training, supported
with web sessions

 

9.       SAP
Business One eCommerce integration and programming training.  If you are comfortable to program ecommerce
integration for SBO and you need some guru level help, we offer this service
via phone or skype conferences, supported with web sessions if required

 

10.   How
to get help?  Please, feel free to call
us: 1-866-528-0577, outside of USA: 1-630-961-5918 or email us
[email protected]  We are very
technical and real Dynamics GP Dexterity, SAP Business One SDK programming
gurus.  We have Great Plains Software Development
Factory and could support unlimited Dynamics GP Customization and Programming
needs.  Plus we speak English, Chinese,
Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and not only as native speaking sales folksPsychology Articles, but
as real technical consultants.  If you
prefer skype: albaspectrum

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