ECommerce Integration Developing for Microsoft Dynamics GP Notes

Another option would be to try existing ecommerce module (available from various Dynamics GP ecommerce ISV partners, you can make your research or call Microsoft Business Solutions). Respecting your approach to program ecommerce integration, we would like to offer this small publication, where we are considering several options and ecommerce programming instruments:
1. Batch Mode ecommerce to Dynamics GP Great Plains Integration approach. Here we assume that you have reasonable low volume of daily ecommerce invoices or sales orders (in B2B ecommerce you may work eCommerce development agency on Sales Order execution level and then transferring completed order to Sales invoice). Batch mode assumes that you export your daily ecommerce documents into text files and then run integration manually. For Batch mode integration we recommend you to deploy Dynamics GP Integration Manager. If your source files for integration are text files exports from ecommerce web application, then IM is end user friendly and you may decide to do self discovery or call our office for short Integration Manager introduction in eCommerce integration design. With IM, however, you can try more sophisticated approach, where you pull data directly from SQL Server (MySQL/PHP, Oracle, MS Access) ecommerce database. IM has Advanced ODBC Data Source, where you can deploy such advanced SQL techniques as Union
2. Real Time eCommerce integration to Dynamics GP. Real time means instantly, so IM is not an option, you can deploy, however Dynamics GP eConnect SDK. eConnect allows you to include libraries into your Microsoft Visual Studio C#, VB.Net project, and then call eConnect methods directly from your ecommerce web application. eConnect in our opinion came to its maturity with Dynamics GP version 9.0 and especially current version 10.0 (January 2010). We assume that new version of Microsoft Dynamics GP 11.0 will be relying on eConnect technology as well or even with greater emphasis. EConnect is Microsoft Visual Studio programmer friendly and if you are such a developer, we recommend you to invest your time in eConnect research and self discovery. eConnect, however doesn’t allow you to post Dynamics GP batches directly from its methods, if you need batch posting from ecommerce application, consider Alba Spectrum Posting Server. And we would like to make this comment for small and mid-size ecommerce retailers – real time ecommerce integration is often not required and is in essence luxury for the majority of ecommerce community. Only large volume ecommerce chains need real time integration, so if eConnect training approach seems too unrealistic to you, please continue reading the next paragraph
3. Quasi Real Time eCommerce integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP. Quasi means almost, and we agree with you, when you say that new customer account setup confirmation with login instructions should be emailed in a second. You may also decide that charging customer credit card should be instant (technically you are just reserving your amount via credit card processing service, real transfer to your account will happen later). However, there is no need to integrate ecommerce transaction to your Dynamics GP application immediately, you can do it every hour or every twenty minutes without visible delay for the new or existing ecommerce customer. If Quasi real time approach seems to be reasonable for you, please review the methods to schedule Dynamics GP Integration Manager to run automatically every half an hour or more (or less) frequently
4. eCommerce Integration Strategies. Here we recommend you to speculate on which system is master and which is slave. You may decide to define all your new items, price lists, customers directly in Dynamics GP (master) and then propagate them to your ecommerce application or do it just the opposite, where your ecommerce is master and Great Plains Dynamics is slave. There are pluses and minuses – obviously GP has matured user interface, where you can create or update your cards and transactions, that are subject to be pushed down to your ecommerce slave application. But, in some scenarios, you would prefer custom objects with advanced interface in ecommerce to be pushed back to Dynamics GP
5. eCommerce and Dynamics GP, Great Plains Dynamics versions. As general advise, we believe that being on current version of your Corporate ERP application is a way better, comparing to being on really outdated version. If you are deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP 11.0, 10.0, 9.0 (where you can deploy eConnect SDK for ecommerce programming), or no longer supported versions of Dynamics GP 8.0 and 7.5, or Microsoft Great Plains 7.0, Great Plains Dynamics 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2 or earlier (including versions on Pervasive SQL Server 2000/Btrieve or Ctree) – we recommend you to update to GP 11 (10) and deploy eConnect or IM on currently supported version. We also respect the situation, when MBS annual enhancement reenrollment cost might be too high and you have to stick to your legacy Great Plains version. In our opinion, if you are on legacy version, investment to ecommerce should be very modest. For legacy GP versions we recommend you to consider Alba Spectrum Order Connector
6. eCommerce to Dynamics GP in International Environment.

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