Microsoft Great Plains Integration Notes

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics GP, current version 10.0, deploys MS SQL Server 2005 or earlier versions. If you are software developer, it is probably first that enlightens you - design custom integration with SQL stored procedures or views. However you should first get the idea on the majority of available programming and integration tools to make the best pick for your customization project. Let's review GP integration options:

1.GP Integration Manager. IM is intuitive integrating tool, which allows end user to design query, map query fields to GP business objects, such as GL account, SOP Invoice and all the other (except probably some exotic ones, typically related to newly acquired modules, very new functionality, or the like). If you need to alter standard GP integration logic, IM allows you to deploy VBA scripting and program events: before query, before document and others. To give you practical example - in before document event VBA script could alter document date, if you would like to issue your integrated invoices twice a month, while integrating every day. Besides VBA scripting you can deploy field value translation - if your integration query gives you customer ID as 100 and in GP it is AARONFIT001, you can import translation table and apply it in your integration. Translation table can be imported in Excel format

2.eConnect. This tool opens integration door to MS Visual Studio .Net C# or VB programmers and among them are eCommerce developers. eConnect core is set of encrypted SQL stored procedures, which replicate GP Dexterity business logic - this means that eConnect "validates" GP logic and it is a way safer than direct SQL scripting. eConnect covers the majority of GP modules and objects, however it doesn't cover such modules as Invoicing (however it covers Sales Order Processing or SOP module, which is more powerful one)

3.Microsoft Dexterity, former name is Great Plains Dexterity. This IDE and programming language allows you to go into GP heart and utilize its source codes and engines. The example of Dex customization is Albaspectrum Posting Server, which allows eCommerce eConnect developer to post Sales batches directly from eCommerce application, which is not possible in pure eConnect. Dexterity allows you to create all the thinkable integrations, however it requires Dex programming experience and it is not recommended to count on newcomers in Dex.

4.SQL Scripting. If eConnect is not an option for you (where we would strongly recommend you to review eConnect one more time and change possible your mind in favor of eConnect option), you can go ahead with SQL scripts. Review GP table structure in Tools->Resource Description->Tables, then in GP test environment create the transactions you plan to integrate via GP user interface and analyze the records created in the tables. Try to feed one transaction in test company and then try to run check links: Maintenance->Check Links, select your series and work or master tables in them - be sure check links doesn't produce error report. SQL stored procedures integration is not self evident and here we just give you initial orientation.

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