Edi for Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics Gp - Highlights

By: Andrew Karasev

Electronic Document Interchange or EDI is popular bundle of various technologies, allowing you to submit or accept PO requests from/to your partners: vendors or customers. In this article we do not assume new "modern EDI" trends to think that XML format interchange is also EDI, we will think about EDI in traditional manner, where EDI is fixed length (text, with some exceptions) field format, where each line might be header, details (lines) and footer (trailer) with the options to have more flexible lines definitions. The goal of this article is to give you highlights, assuming that you are Great Plains developer, programmer or IT specialist, on how to integrate EDI compliant systems with Microsoft Dynamics GP Great Plains

1.GP technology overview. When talking about EDI, you should think about GP from the position of Great Plains Database platform, current version 10.0 is available on Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2000 only (and MSDE and SQL Select, which in fact is reduced version of MS SQL Server). If you consider to deploy integration tools, such as GP Integration Manager (IM) or GP Dexterity, you should think about performance and the volume of your EDI transactions per day or one integration session (and how frequent do you plan to have these sessions)

2.SQL Stored Procedures, Views, DTS packages and queries. In our opinion this is the most efficient and fastest way to export EDI transactions from Great Plains. You should invest some time into formatting SQL select statement output (such functions as CAST and CONVERT)

3.IM and Dex. These tools should be considered to be deployed if you plan importing EDI files. Integration Manager allows you to use ODBC connection to import documents, however fixed-length EDI format brings some technical challenge (it is not comma or tab delimited file and IM needs help here). If you plan to deploy Integration Manager, consider preprocessing fixed length files with DTS package or SQL Linked Server query to reformat it to tab delimited text file. If you are comfortable with Dexterity - this tool allows you to call SQL stored procedures, where you can do fixed-length fields parsing

4.eConnect - this tools is oriented toward XML streams and parameters, so, we do understand your enthusiasm to deploy this tool as it is friendly to eCommerce MS Visual Studio C# and VB.Net developer, however EDI technology might be a bit "archaic" for eConnect project

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