Microsoft Great Plains | Great Plains Integration Tools

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics GP, current version is 10.0, as of October 2007 - is successor of former Great Plains Software Dynamics/eEnterprise. Great Plains Software specially created GPS Dexterity technology and programming language to be used as the shell to abstract Dynamics business logic from computer operating system, database and graphical platform (such as MS Windows and MAC OS) in earlier 1990th. IM was initially and still is to the certain extent Microsoft Dexterity application, which uses Microsoft Dynamics GP workstation as OLE server to validate integration business logic behind the scenes. This is the reason, why performance might be a bit disappointing for large scale integration. However IM is powerful user friendly and "developer-friendly" tool, if you are comfortable with VBA scripting and ODBC SQL queries (including SQL data aggregation), you should be able to program advanced integrations

1.IM Queries. You can have tab or comma delimited text files as the sources (these are the most popular, especially tab delimited, as you can expect commas in customer or vendor names). The second option is ODBC queries, where you can have simple and advanced. Advanced will allow you to group records into one, good example is GL transaction import from one file, where you create GL transaction header by grouping records in the source by date. Advanced ODBC queries also allow you to script sophisticated SQL select statements (however you should be aware that ODBC standard does not support all SQL expressions and functions)

2.VBA Scripting. VBA scripting was very popular prior to the time when Microsoft introduced new software development and customization conception - Microsoft.Net. VBA scripting allows you to extend and customize Microsoft Office applications: Excel, Word, MS Access and as you could expect Microsoft Dynamics GP Integration Manager. As VBA was designed and it is applicable to GP IM - certain events are exposed to VBA developer: before document, before records, after document, after records - where you can intercept and replace or modify original IM logic. The example of interception would be changing document date to the end of the week

3.eConnect performance improvement project. IM is in the process of being rewritten in eConnect. eConnect has SQL stored procedures in its core and these are definitely or supposedly faster than Microsoft Dexterity cursors and OLE GP server

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