Integrating Microsoft Dynamics GP with eCommerce
Techniques to help you integrate eCommerce with Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) is Microsoft’s second most used enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution (they offer 4 unique ERP solutions). This software is best suited for small to midsize businesses that need ERP software that is easy to use and implement. Dynamics GP can help you keep track of your business intelligence data, manage your accounting, and monitor inventory. Integrating your Dynamics GP software with your eCommerce platform enables the systems to share information, providing you with the most up to date and accurate data relating to your business. In order to get the most out of your Dynamics GP eCommerce integration, follow the best practices for integration listed below.
eConnect is a set of tools made to help integrate Dynamics GP with other systems and software. It provides a robust set of endpoints exposed via an API, making it easier for developers to communicate with data inside the Dynamics GP environment. Microsoft recommends that you use eConnect for all the integrations that it is capable of helping with. eConnect helps developers by providing them with a large number or integration points that make it quicker and easier for them to complete the integration.
Use a Mapping Matrix
A mapping matrix is a great tool to use to help plan out your Dynamics GP integration and explore every possible integration point. Creating a mapping matrix gives your team a chance to validate all of the connections that they are working to create as well as consider other potential connections that could be beneficial to your business in the future. If possible, it is best to create all of your integration connects while your systems are being operated on rather than having to rework and add to your integration numerous times. Check also to see if you have custom entities that eConnect may not have access to up front. Those typically require using web services to integrate with.
Document Custom Classes and Fields
Before starting developing your integration between your Dynamics GP software and your eCommerce platform, you need to make sure that all of the custom classes, fields, and entries created in your Dynamics GP are well documented. While Dynamics GP makes it easy to create custom fields, it can be difficult or time consuming to access those customizations through the eConnect tools, depending on a number of different factors. If you are connecting any of these custom fields to your eCommerce platform, you should have a thorough review for every one of the fields so that the team members that work with them will have a better understanding of the detailed requirements.
Create a “Cloned” Environment
Cloning your production environment in order to create an environment, often called a "sandbox," to develop and test the integration in enables your developers to work on the integration without disturbing business processes. When creating the cloned environment, you need ensure that the development environment matches your production environment. To help you do this, it is ideal to create a list of features and functions that are present in the production environment. You can then work on the integration in the cloned environment, making sure that the connections are being made and eConnect is working like you thought it would, without affecting your business or messing up your data.
Follow Best Practices to Integrate Microsoft ERPs
Redundancy, performance and security are the basis for strong integrations. Using a message queue and programming data to be sent by one system until it is received by the other is the way to achieve redundancy. For your integration to perform well, using caching and make sure that data is sent in small sizes. To have a secure integration, use multiple levels of security, transmit data over SSL, scope data, and require authentication. By following these tips, you will have a well built basis for your Microsoft Dynamics GP and eCommerce integration.
Clarity Can Help
At Clarity, we are committed to creating strong, secure, and useful integrations for our clients. Our Microsoft Dynamics Certified team of experts is highly experienced at developing integrations, especially when integrating Microsoft software. We have also created our own integration platform, Clarity Connect, to help build seamless integrations. To find out more about how Clarity can help your business integrate its Microsoft Dynamics GP software with your eCommerce platform, visit the Dynamics GP eCommerce Integration Center.