Integrating Clarity Connect™ & Microsoft Dynamics AX

Chris Reddick, Founding Partner of Clarity Ventures, on how Clarity Connect™ integrates with Microsoft Dynamics AX

 Video Transcript: Okay, so this is going to be a video overview of the Clarity Connect Application (Clarity's integration platform) with the A.X., A.I.F. platform for A.X. integration to Clarity eCommerce (Clarity's B2B Enterprise eCommerce solution). In this video, we're going to take a look at the full cycle of data back and forth between A.X. and Clarity eCommerce. To get started, you've got data sitting in the A.X. application that's residing within an A.X. database. The A.X. database has an application integration framework or A.I.F. for A.X. 2012. That application integration framework can talk to a message queuing system. Typically, S.M.Q. is used. There are some other more robust platforms that are also available. The standard formats are XML. And then, also, we can utilize Windows Communication Foundation, as well.

Typically, what we'll do for an integration with this line of business application is effectively normalize the data using the message queuing model. We'll implement the A.I.F. and then, everything passes through the queuing model. If you'd like, we have additional videos that cover queuing that go into quite a bit more detail. Some of the major benefits of queuing, though, are that it allows for asynchronous processing of data, it's redundant. It's, in addition, by having the firewall set up here, with some of the security authentication protocols that we'll use for this type of an integration, allows it to be very secure, as well. Typically, the data is going to be passing back and forth across a firewall. The actually A.X. application is going to be securely hosted on an on-premise or internal location, or in a cloud that's very secure. The eCommerce application is, typically, going to be in a cloud or some sort of external hosting solution, such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure. That's why this firewall element is here. Now, if you're hosting on premises, you can certainly look at other configurations of this, as well.

So, Clarity Connect, processes the data based on the specific client needs. We have modules that process basic inventory information, customer information, and order information. But a lot of customers want additional information when they're integrating with the platforms, such as Dynamics A.X. or other line of business applications that are ERP or CRM related. So we can turn on modules that allow for looking at other sales order documents like past quotes or past orders, invoices that need to be paid, being able to submit those invoice payments, looking at multiple locations for shipping to different addresses or locations, etc. So it's possible for us to bring that into the actual eCommerce website using this Clarity Connect Platform that Clarity has developed for Dynamics eCommerce integrations to line-of-business applications.

Now, if you go down stream, basically, from here it's pretty simple. It's basically, an SQL database that hydrates or provides the data for the eCommerce application which is, typically, the customer facing environment that the customers are going to see. So, that's full circle for the platform. As far as the data getting passed back and forth, the periodic push of data back and forth between the site for orders that get placed, making sure inventory gets synchronized, customer updates to their data, etc., gets pushed back into A.X. That periodic time frame can be specified. Typically, it will be every 30 seconds or two minute intervals, so that the data gets pushed in using an asynchronous process to the queuing system. And that will allow the queuing system to then, take all of the work load or the processing time out of the actual application.

So, whenever somebody goes and update their information, within seconds and, typically, even under a second, their screen will show that their information is processed behind the scenes, and the data gets pushed into Clarity Connect. Clarity Connect pushes the data to the queuing system securely over the firewall and then, this queuing system ensures that the data is going to get pushed into the line of business application, in this case, A.X. Then, similarly when the data is going from A.X. into the platform, the data will get pushed into this queuing model, so that whenever additional inventory, price changes, new products, maybe a customer information changes, or an invoice or sales order gets paid or updated in A.X., that data gets securely pushed into this queuing model. And in this case, the implementation leverages the application integration framework, ultimately sending the data back into the eCommerce implementation so the user can view it in their user dashboard.

Now, the application integration framework exposes a lot of the core entities within A.X. and that allows Clarity to leverage that to push the data back and forth between the A.X. application and effectively, the A.X. database using this tier of data exchange that is effectively the recommended best practice by Microsoft for A.X. integrations. So, that's the full process. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch in us. Thanks for watching. I hope that was helpful.

For more information, visit our Dynamics AX Integration Resource Center.