eCommerce Shopping Cart Integration to Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing Transaction


Being bound by article genre rules, we will try to be reasonably laconic and balance technical (for developers and programming) and functional (for IT managers) information.  We will pay some attention to Microsoft Dexterity and its possible role in GP eCommerce integrations:1. Sales Order Processing Invoice or Sales Order as ecommerce shopping cart destination.  In our opinion this object is the most natural for being considered as shopping cart destination in GP.  SOP Transaction has document header, where you specify customer, doc number, dates, addresses, shipping info, tax and other document level info.  Plus, it has Items lines, where you add your shopping cart items and link them with the information on availability in stock, allocation (when applicable), back ordering, or you can even have your line items as services, or non inventory items, where you are not bound by Inventory tracking.  If you think SOP Transaction is the right object for ecommerce shopping cart integration, you need to choose the integration tool or technology2. Dynamics GP Dexterity proprietary technology.  We do not recommend you to do Microsoft Dexterity programming and customization in order to integrate eCommerce shopping cart, because other tools could do similar job without custom programming, especially Dynamics GP Integration Manager.  If you have serious reasons to try Dexterity route, we recommend you to discuss Dexterity ecommerce integration with your Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, or with experienced Dynamics GP Dexterity programmer.  Dexterity might be the way to go, when you require that Great Plains becomes your master application, from where you initiate eCommerce shopping carts pulling, and where you define your Inventory Items, Price Lists, Discounts (Trade Discounts on Sales Invoice Document level) and Sales Campaigns and push these objects to your ecommerce web application3. GP Integration Manager.  If you are representing reasonably small or mid-size ecommerce retailer (B2B or B2C ecommerce) or wholesaler (B2B ecommerce) and you are sort of OK with the option of daily ecommerce to GP integration (one time per day) and your ecommerce transaction volume is below thousand new orders per day, we recommend you to review IM in details and only consider moving to the next step is you tried IM in and out and there is something special and important to your ecommerce business processes, that Integration Manager cannot do.  OK, having said that, let’s review IM.  This tool is end user friendly (you may still need Dynamics GP consultant, if you feel that your organization doesn’t have IT internal support).  You start with creating Data Sources – we recommend you either to export ecommerce shopping carts into text (comma or tab delimited) files or even better Create Advanced ODBC Data Source, based on SQL View, including options to create cross platform SQL View in MS SQL Server, with linking to Oracle, MySQL/PHP/Linux, Microsoft Access, Lotus Notes.  Second step – you link your Sources (you will need at least two for ecommerce shopping cart, as Document Header and Lines should be integrated).  In IM you can also do VBA scripting and in these scripts you can address custom tables in GP via Microsoft ADO technology, if required.  Plus, as additional (but not the last tip – call us for more info) tip you can schedule IM Integration to run every, let’s say, twenty minutes to make ecommerce to GP integration behave as it is in quasi real time4. Dynamics GP eConnect.  This integration tool and SDK could be deployed in Microsoft Visual Studio C#, VB.Net or other programming language project as libraries and help with Sample Codes (it is Software Development Kit).  eConnect enables real time integration, as you can include eConnect libraries into ecommerce  Web Application.  If you are experienced or even making progress Microsoft Visual Studio Programmer, and you are familiar with C# (Microsoft Java blend) or VB and have some exposure to SQL Stored Procedures and XML – eConnect should be open for you to experiment.  Initially eConnect was dedicated to Great Plains eCommerce programmers to integrate ecommerce web applications with Dynamics GP 7.0 and 7.5 (later on eConnect was expanded and now for Microsoft Dynamics GP version 10.0 it covers most of the core modules: GL, SOP, POP, Inventory Control, Receivable Management, Payable Management, Payroll, General Ledger, Project Accounting, etc.)5. Direct SQL scripting for Dynamics GP ecommerce integration.  If you try it from scratch – it might be too long way to come through all the errors and bumps, so we recommend you to consider Alba Spectrum Order Connector, which gives you intuitive set of SQL Stored Procedures to call directly from eCommerce web application to integrate shopping cart as GP SOP Invoice or Sales Order.  If you would like to try it on your own and you need some intro on Microsoft Dynamics GP tables structure and data flow training, we are happy to offer this service USA Nationwide and Internationally6. eConnect Automatic Batch Posting Extension.  Yes, we have Alba Spectrum Posting Server, which does just that.  By Dynamics GP architecture fundamental reasons, Batch Posting is in the hands of Dynamics GP users: batch should be reviewed, modified and approved for being posted (as Dynamics GP is mid-market Corporate ERP Platform)7. Dynamics GP ecommerce in international environment.  Microsoft Dynamics GP version 10.0 is localized and available in English speaking countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UK.  If is also localized in French Quebec province of Canada.  There are reasonable localizations for Spanish speaking Central and South America and Caribbean.  If your local country ecommerce requirements include Unicode characters support (China, Japan, Korea), Dynamics GP Dexterity doesn’t support Unicode out of the box.  We recommend you to call us for the options available for your specific Unicode based language.  There is reasonable support for Microsoft Dynamics GP in Arabic alphabet – for Saudi Arabia and all the Persian Gulf States, plus Egypt, Syria, Lebanon.  If you are in Afghanistan – Dari language is based on Arabic alphabet and could be deployed on Microsoft Dynamics GP ecommerce platform with Arabic language support extension

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Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum, [email protected] 1-866-528-0577 – Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains MS CRM Partner, serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Not-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally. We are serving USA Nationwide: CA, IL, NY, FL, AZ, CO, TX, WI, WA, MI, MA, MO, LA, NM, MN, Europe: Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, OAE, Bahrain), Asia: China, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South & Central America: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela
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