Microsoft Great Plains Integration Manager 10.0 Technical Notes

Microsoft Dynamics GP version 10.0 introduced new technologies like eConnect and this seems to be a general trend to move from proprietary tools like Microsoft Dexterity to Microsoft specific platforms like .Net, COM+ and MS SQL Server stored procedures like you knowing that the eConnect core contains encrypted stored processes. Historically, Great Plains IM was based on OLE technology, using a GP workstation as the OLE server and validating the business logic in GP forms where the OLE mechanism entered field values. Let’s take a look at the new and legacy features available in IM version 10.0. It’s in transition, in our opinion, to be completely rewritten in eConnect, but at this point it’s available with both traditional and eConnect connectors:

1. eConnect port. GP consultants should be aware that the eConnect connector requires a specific company if you remember how the OLE connector works – it recognizes the company you are calling the Integration Manager from and you have to therefore do not specify the company in the integration settings. eConnect requires the specification of the company objective. The performance of the eConnect integration should be higher compared to traditional connectors because eConnect doesn’t use slow OLE technology and the business logic (or in other words, it replicates dexterity functionality) in SQL stored procedures (running on the server are) imitated. Typical GP integrations include the Sales Order Processing module (this includes e-commerce scenarios) as well as the Purchase Order Processing module (where you integrate EDI supplier invoices for example) and currently GP IM 10.0 eConnect Connector enables these integrations, what very optimistic is hint

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2. IM upgrade. Typical scenarios are when you skip two versions, say from GP IM 7.5 to 10.0. In this scenario, you need to upgrade in two steps – first to GP IM 9.0 and then to 10.0

3. VBA programming for Integration Manager. This technology may seem outdated as VBA was popular in the late 1990s to automate MS Excel and MS Access type scenarios. However, VBA and modifier modules are still available with the purchase or upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics GP. VBA scripting is event driven, so you should check the options to change IM business logic for pre and post integration, pre and post document. This article format is short and we cannot give you example VBA scripts here. However, if you have a development budget and want more advanced technical and programming help, we’re here to help

4. GP IM advanced techniques. translation technology. Each field is available for translation logic. You can load the Excel translation table directly into IM. The translation logic allows you to map the ID of the external item number to your internal one, or in the example of a collection agency, to translate the ID of the supplier to the customer ID, since the collection business is reversed where sale means collection

5. IM on cross-platform integrations, here we must emphasize the ODBC standard and advanced integrations. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005 linked server design allows you to provide either a direct SQL SELECT statement or an OPENROWSET statement. If you come from the world of Oracle and the Oracle EBusiness Suite, a similar integration concept from Oracle EDI is available. If you are using Linux Red Hut and PHP and MySQL, please consider ODBC bridge or contact Java technology. If your PHP sits on a MS Windows platform, you can provide a direct call to MS SQL Server 2005 or 2000

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6. GP data conversion and integration manager. Legacy data massage, conversion, is available and IM usage is very helpful. Microsoft Dynamics GP offers IM installation or initial migration licenses limited by the number of days

7. The most popular integration tables in Great Plains: SOP10100, SOP10200, RM00101, RM00102

8. Connections between Integration Manager and Great Plains Dexterity: DEX_ROW_ID is one of the most popular questions in the developer community. When injecting direct SQL insert statements into GP tables, DEX_ROW_ID is outoincremental and therefore does not need to be filled in

9. GP and MS CRM connector. It’s outside of GP IM so please don’t get confused. The MS CRM connection business is largely handled by Scribe Software, so please contact these people first. Also, SAP Business One is a very popular ERP and MRP (manufacturing module and extensions) platform for small businesses that Microsoft CRM can be integrated with. On the Microsoft Dynamics CRM side, you can use SQL views and stored procedures to store exported data in the custom database, and on the SB1 side, use the Sap B1 SDK to program SB1-integrated objects: sales orders or Sales Invoices

10. XML Web Services Approach. Since XML is essentially text, it is the platform-independent data stream (or text file stream). From the GP side, to open the web service for the UNIX client, you usually involve C3 or VB.Net developers

11. IM Concluding Remarks. Great Plains Integration Manager is both an end-user and developer-friendly tool. If you are a VBA or Microsoft.Net programmer you should be able to build a solid integration on top of the IM platform. eConnect is likely to be the most important IM transformation technology, so if you are deploying IM integration techniques, be sure to follow the eConnect news