Microsoft Dynamics GP as back office ERP in Retail business

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Great Plains typically integrates with Microsoft Retail Management System (MS RMS).  You should consider the level of integration: do you plan just to pull transactions from RMS to GP or you plan to control RMS inventory and purchasing plus all financials from GP.  The answer may vary, but these are the mayor first questions to answer.

  • Pushing transactions to RMS.  This question might be considered as simple, however we saw programmers, who were trying hard to manipulate RMS, especially on the store level, by inserting records into RMS store database tables.  This route leads nowhere, because RMS will wipe out these ‘illegal’ records by analyzing its historical processed worksheets.  All communications between RMS headquarters module and the stores are done through RMS worksheets.

     And this is good news for you – as a programmer, you should program worksheet and mark it as approved to manipulate RMS logic.  You typically do it on the headquarters level – and RMS will propagate your logic down to the stores
  • Pulling transactions from RMS to GP.  Here you have more flexibility and you can directly populate Great Plains SQL tables or use business-validating logic of eConnect.  If you are Microsoft Visual Studio developer, you probably prefer eConnect approach as it has Web Services interface.  We heard questions about eConnect performance, and we would like to confirm that eConnect deploys SQL stored procedures and so should be very efficient
  • Auto Posting.  We were hearing multiple complains from GP developers about eConnect limitations – one of them is inability to post Microsoft Great Plains sales order processing batches automatically from custom logic.  Well – the answer might be doing your homework and look for eConnect extenstions, one of them is Alba Spectrum posting server
  • Microsoft Dexterity extensions.  When you contract Microsoft Dynamics ISV partner, you usually get Microsoft Great Plains Dexterity so-called chunk to be integrated with your GP workstation to enable custom logic.  Be sure that you are getting DYNAMICS.DIC dictionary file with your customization scripts in it.  This will be required if in the future you will decide to switch to another Dynamics GP customization partner to support or upgrade your alternate GP logic

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