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Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing and Ecommerce

Microsoft Dynamics GP (or how it was formally known Great Plains Dynamics) SOP (Sales Order Processing) module is the most popular in integration with ecommerce shopping cart in both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C) scenarios.  The majority of the most popular ecommerce shopping carts are transforming ecommerce document directly to SOP Sales Order, Invoice or Return.  B2B scenario typically has more sophisticated specific customer related pricing, discounts on shipping & handling.  This small paper is dedicated to technical consultant and programmers, as well as IT managers to get initial orientation in Great Plains SOP module technologies (such as table structure, customization tools, reporting options, plus ecommerce products available on the software market):

1. Dynamics GP SOP module technical self-discovery.  Among us programmers, it is common when we do not require external consultant help and do self-discovery by looking into whitepapers, Google, product table structure, workflow, often trying sample transactions in test company and seeing how they were recorded in SQL tables.  If you are in synch with that kind of approach, please either install Dynamics GP SDK (where you can find and print out Great Plains table structure diagram – in our opinion, this is something very complex for initial discovery, but you can be more pedantic in your efforts).  At least we are OK as we gave you SDK option, and now for more hands-on example.  In Dynamics GP User Workstation (we recommend you to login to test company TWO, also referred as Fabrikam), here you follow Dynamics GP->Tools->Resource Descriptions->Tables, select the product Dynamics GP, series Sales.  At that point you should look at the tables with SOP prefix as well as related tables (SOP10100 document header, SOP10200 document line are the most popular) in Receivable Management module (with RM prefix, mostly customer master, address, etc.: RM00101 – customer master and RM00102 – customer address master are probably on the top of the list).  If you are also interested in querying Inventory items, please switch series to Inventory and look for such tables as Item Master: IV00101

2. We do not recommend direct data feeding via SQL insert statements of stored procedures.  In the first paragraph you probably had the chance to realize that such mid-market Corporate ERP applications as GP are too complex to be dealt directly via SQL data feeding.  Instead, assuming that you would like to do ecommerce shopping cart integration on your own with internal IT programmers team, we recommend you to consider two options – Integration Manager module and eConnect SDK

3. Dynamics GP Integration Manager.  This module is end user friendly, especially when you are trying to integrate CSV or Tab Delimited (or even custom character delimited) text file.  Being available and friendly for Accounting department folks, IM, however goes beyond the borders of Accounting department, and if you are proud about yourself as being ODBC, VBA, Java/EJB or another programming language expert, Integration Manager should give you the opportunity for self-actualization.  If you imagine the scenario, where you make Linked Server construction in Microsoft SQL Server 2008/2005/2000 to something like Linux/PHP/MySQL database, or even Oracle custom database (Progress, IBM DBII, or you name it from the Unix world), then in MS SQL Server company or specially created custom database you could compose cross-platform (heterogeneous) SQL Stored procedures – you can have it work as Advanced ODBC query in Integration Manager.  These types of integration typically require professional Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Consultant help, especially in the case when you are really shocked about the complexity of the technology

4. Ecommerce and Dynamics GP EConnect SDK.  Well, eConnect is for C#, VB.Net or another Microsoft .Net compliant programming language (where examples are mostly in C#, VB and C++, so if you are practicing “exotic” .Net compliant programming language you may feel some disadvantage down the road, plus some familiarity with XML structures is recommended).  In comparison to Integration Manager (where by the way eConnect connectors are available to produce comparable integration performance), eConnect is probably the only possible option to provide real time ecommerce shopping cart integration (IM Integration could be scheduled to fire every 5 minutes or so, but this is probably “quasi real time” mode)

5. Alba Spectrum eCommerce Module for Microsoft Dynamics GP.  In our module we tried to follow the priorities to enable wizard driven ecommerce setup (you should be able to pick your ecommerce shopping cart platform, such as Magento/PHP, ASP.Net Storefront), plus preferred GP Inventory site (where ecommerce invoice is to be fulfilled)

6. Recovering unsuccessful ecommerce integrations with Microsoft Dynamics GP.  We are really sorry to recognize that you are at that phase of the project, where you have to seek second opinion.  The good news is the fact that we are professionals.  Andrew Karasev is Dynamics GP Certified Master in both functional and technical consulting categories

7. What to do if you are on older legacy Great Plains version and would like to pursue eCommerce extension path.  We know that post recession time (we are writing the lines in September 2010, where we are not really certain where we are – flat or progressing to the recovery, if Obama did his job or we are still in the hands of the generic capitalism or moving to European Socialism – very scary – isn’t it?).  Well, regardless on the where you are and what is your Great Plains version, the good news is – Alba Spectrum supports all the ever released versions of Great Plains: Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac: 9.5, 9.2, 9.1 and earlier, Great Plains Select on Pervasive SQL Server 2000/Btrieve or Ctree: 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2; Microsoft Dynamics GP on MS SQL Server 2008/2005/2000 versions 7.5, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0 and 2010/11.0

8. Well, we covered a lot of the topics and now it is time to give you our contact info.  Please call us 1-866-528-0577, email us help@albaspectrum.com  We service you USA, Canada and Internationally via short visits onsite and following web sessions and phone conferences.  Local service is available in Western Michigan: Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, Saint Joseph, New Buffalo, Muskegon, South Haven, Holland, Grand Haven, Ludington; Chicagoland, Northern Indiana, Southern California: Los Angeles, Irvine (Orange County), San Diego, Houston Texas

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