SAP Business One or how to Integrate Ecommerce Shopping Cart

We have seen numerous successful and not successful integration cases and we would like to share with you our experience.  This publication is not intended as technical whitepaper it is rather for managerial personnel and decision makers.  Web portals are often created prior to ERP application selection and it is difficult to rebuild working portal in order to deploy nice turnkey integration solution.  Let’s review the possibilities:

1. Magento and others canned shopping cart solutions.  These are often seen when you are outsourcing your ecommerce portal to internet provider.  Your provider gives you the ability to create your own catalog with product price, description and supporting pictures.  It also gives you export and integration options in one or several formats.  If you do not want real time integration then it is possible to schedule Data Transfer Workbench with integration based on the text file fire every maybe half an hour to imitate quasi real time data feeding.  If you would like to implement real time integrations please talk to your provider and see if you can deploy connectors available for popular retail ecommerce shopping carts

2. What if our portal is programmed in-house?  This scenario is often associated with merchant desire to exercise tight control over the source code and provide ecommerce channel which could be branded and not associated with other internet store franchises such as eBay or Amazon.  In this case you are likely building your own cart with seamless integration to your inventory catalog, items and their availability and quantities on hand.  Here you often host Linux server directly in your office with PHP programmed portal and based in MySQL.  If you are midsize company then you should think about the option to deploy ISV solution something like iBolt but you should be ready to allocate budget for the software and software developers training.  This budget is comparably or in some cases exceeds SAP BO software licenses cost.  Unfortunately for small merchants the cost is often too high and then you should consider again Data Transfer Workbench scheduled to do quasi real time carts integration.  It works like this: you export the carts from your portal in the form of text files exactly in the format of CSV templates and then DTW imports them in the form of AR Sales Order or Invoice.  What if we need real time integration triggered by customer credit or debit card payment?  Keep reading

3. Real time integration might not be as important as you may think it is.  In fact even famous retailers in food, books, beer and wine ingredients and various spare parts for bikes, motorcycles and used car parts just to open the list are using quasi real time integration model.  Twenty minutes delay in importing your order to accounting system is not a critical for you especially thinking about USPS, FedEx or UPS Ground delivery time.  Order placement email notification could be sent from your custom portal but real order fulfillment in the warehouse floor could be delayed.  Well if you still think that real time method is required then let’s talk about programming integration in Microsoft Visual Studio and SAP B1 Software Development Kit.  SDK has objects descriptors and code samples available in VB and C# and this is why MS Visual Studio is recommended for software development.  You should discuss with your development team information interchange method as you can connect to MySQL via ODBC or pick and process text or XML file.  Or if you like it to be done via computer operating system neutral (here probably Linux hosting PHP/MySQL from ecommerce portal side and Windows with Microsoft SQL Server hosting Business One) consider programming integration in the form of XML SOAP Web Service project.  Then your custom web service could be called from PHP code

4. Some popular questions and answers.  Is it possible to deploy another .Net compliant programming languages?  Yes and we know examples where coding was done in Delphi.  Can we do country and languages specific ecommerce integration with multicurrency logic and the price list dedicated to specific country?  Yes as Business One supports multicurrency and such international trade features as Canadian provincial GST, European VAT (Value Added Tax), US state level sales tax just to open the list of international compliances.  SAP BO is localized across the globe including Brazil, China, Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  Again the list of countries is not complete as we have limited space dictated by the genre.  Is it possible to program integration directly in SQL Stored Procedures?  Theoretically it is probably possible but we would like to discourage you from such as decision.  B1 is three tiers application and application server controls such important processes as transaction roll back in case if something is not complete and there is the risk of data inconsistency

5. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, [email protected].  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West MichiganHealth Fitness Articles, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA and Canada nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed)

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