eCommerce Connectors for Dynamics GP and SB1 notes

In this small publication we assume that you already reviewed existing electronic commerce add-ons (including SAP Business One eCommerce module and Dynamics GP Business Portal Order Management) and you decided or inclined to consider approach of simple integration from GP or SBO from your ecommerce web site, which is in production and does the job. This approach is good for both models: B2B and B2C. In B2B model you should decide if you would like your special pricing model for each of your customer or for specific customer group to be set in your Accounting (in this case, pricing should be reprogrammed in ecommerce application to reflect changes made in GP/SB1) or it should be originated in ecommerce business logic and then simply pushed to GP on each of the ecommerce invoice line (in this scenario you simply do not use GP/SBO Item Pricing functionality and have your ERP application to accept passively what is coming from ecommerce):


1. Philosophy. Instead of aggressive ecommerce out-of-the-shelve product selling, we prefer to have as ready for deployment ecommerce product and in addition to this we offer them as customizable “solutions” and connectors. Plus, we are in good position to help you with integration programming, where your internal software developers need help with eConnect, GP and SAP B1 tables structures, Great Plains batch posting directly from ecommerce application code, helping your with barcode warehouse management custom automation logic and ecommerce logistics. Plus, we are helping you in cross platform ecommerce connections, when you may have ecommerce on Linux, PHP/MySQL, Oracle, Java EJB platforms and you need help with heterogeneous ecommerce data feeding query to Microsoft SQL Server based GP and SAP Business One databases.


2. Batch mode integration. This scenario is perfect for small ecommerce retailers. Great Plains and SAP BO have Integration modules: GP Integration Manager and SB1 Data Transfer Workbench. Dynamics GP IM is more advanced, comparing to Workbench, however you have to purchase it as separate module to GP, and WB is included into your SB1 purchase (free stuff is important for small businesses, especially when they are in startup mode). Let’s first review in brief GP Integration Manager. IM is user friendly application, where you can setup integration of your new customers, new ecommerce invoices and then have IM operator to call this integration once per day or every hour. You can also schedule IM – special tool is available from Microsoft Business Solutions or, if you are technology savvy you can deploy Windows macro third party applications to do similar scheduling. You can consider exporting ecommerce documents in tab or comma delimited text files or simply work with SQL Views – in this case you use Advanced ODBC Queries in Integration Manager. Now SAP Business One Data Transfer Workbench – you can export your ecommerce data flies in CSV format, which fits exactly to DTW CSV templates – this will allow you even to schedule DTW jobs via Windows scheduled tasks. Second more advanced approach allows DTW job to work with ODBC connection to Microsoft SQL Server Views. MS SQL Server view may call data from Microsoft and non Microsoft DB sources, such as MySQL, Oracle, MS Access, FoxPro, etc. At this time, SAP Business One version 2007 you cannot schedule DTW ODBC based job – it should be called by DTW operator


3. Real time integration. In this scenario you eCommerce website development agency extend your ecommerce application code with SDK libraries. Dynamics GP ecommerce SDK( it is eConnect) and SB1 SDK – both of them are open for Microsoft Visual Studio C#, or VB.Net developer (SAP B1 SDK also has reasonable openness to Delphi programmers). Some comments here: eConnect is coded in SQL Server Stored Procedures and its methods are very fast in execution, where SB1 SDK methods are at this time (September 2009, SB1 2007, and former version 2005) slower, expect one invoice in 3-4 seconds, do not expect several thousand transactions to be integrated in ten minutes (however GP eConnect is that fast, we recommend eConnect only if you are Dynamics GP latest versions: 10.0 or 9.0). You can also review SQL direct programming into Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing tables: SOP10100, SOP10200 and related, however we recommend you rather use eConnect objects to do the same job. We do not recommend you to push data directly to SQL B1 Marketing Documents tables: INV1, etc. as SB1 Early Watch is designed to monitor all the changes to SB1 records done outside of the SB1 application, Work Bench and SDK methods realms