Performing a Dynamics GP eCommerce Integration

When Business Development Goes Hand in Hand with Cost Optimization

Dynamics GP integration into an existing eCommerce platform enables an extensive array of options to automate and improve your customer sets. One of the big capabilities behind automation is the power to personalize and individualize the experience that an end user goes through, without increasing the costs. In many cases you can even achieve a dramatic cost reduction at scale, as a business is growing, developing its processes, and improving its customer sets. It's integral to work with a partner who can expertly assist with this automation and integration between Dynamics GP and your eCommerce system. The rationale behind this suggestion revolves around their inherent complexity that could cause issues if not properly managed.

We strongly encourage you to work with someone who has adequate experience with both Dynamics GP and eCommerce APIs. The Dynamics GP platform offers a multitude of different integration options, the most common being through leveraging the eConnect and the web services endpoints. Each of these can require some seriously specific configuration and set up. In addition to the eCommerce webservices, particular nuances are also present with the web API framework, which is a set of REST endpoints. So, it's always advisable for an experienced partner to complete these types of integrations.

When it comes to an integration with Dynamics GP, it's generally favorable to utilize an eCommerce platform that can scale with your business. Not only handling more and more traffic as usage increases but also applying different business logic as you add more integration tasks and customize them. During the evaluation of possible solutions, consider whether the integration platform in question can efficiently handle that. Ideally, it should be done in a performant way that's affordable as well. Some of the features that render a platform enterprise-friendly are: the ability to discreetly split out tasks or jobs that run, to complete the integrations themselves, and to enable distinct modifications within each of those jobs according to the desired business logic.

Digging deeper inside the plethora of possibilities, you may opt to set up business-specific rules that match your company and customer needs, along with business-specific data transformations that tie to the fields and entities that make sense for your organization's stakeholders. In addition, it's critically important that the system is fortified and secure to the level dictated by the nature of data that's being transferred between the different infrastructures. Other aspects to consider are redundancy, reliability, and overall performance. The general idea is that all of the pieces need to seamlessly come together in order to form an optimal integration. Otherwise, you will likely end up with major roadblocks and challenges for your integration project. If they occur, those drawbacks can significantly slow down your operation and even cause it to be more cumbersome than worthy.

Selecting the Entities to Integrate with Dynamics GP

Enable Logical Connections and Design Around Business Needs

We stress the value of selecting a partner that has encountered a multitude of unique integrations, tackled several project issues, and has built those resolutions and optimizations into their integration platform. Our firm belief is that we have extensively incorporated that with the Clarity Connect platform. For Dynamics GP eCommerce integrations in particular, some of the most common information includes:

  • Custom entities and fields
  • Location data
  • Payment information
  • Shipments and status
  • Sales orders
  • Invoices and quotes
  • Categories
  • Products and variants
  • Attributes and associations
  • Customers and accounts

Whenever we're integrating, it’s typical to break the integration tasks or jobs into groupings that are logical and can run at their own schedule, based on their respective timing and logic. One of the most common integration components is bringing order data from an existing eCommerce platform back into Dynamics GP. Whenever an order is placed on the eCommerce website, transferring simple order data probably isn’t enough. It’s highly likely we would need additional information, like:

  • The overall order itself, including order lines
  • Product tax codes
  • Attribute data for products, like selections, variants, colors, and custom data
  • Shipping, fees, and possible split shipments
  • Taxes and transaction IDs for Avalara, TaxJar, or other third-party tax calculation providers
  • Customs and duties
  • Discounts that might apply on the item order or shipping level
  • Payments with transaction ID data, recurrence of payments, and splitting of payments

All of the above data can be directed into Dynamics GP as needed. That data is typically mapped and the business logic is configured so that it's customer-specific for your business and end users. This process ensures everything is optimized and logically follows your workflows. Another common practice is to bring the user information in Dynamics GP whenever a new eCommerce user places an order. This user can be tied to an existing customer or contact within a company in Dynamics GP; if there is no known company or customer in Dynamics GP, it would simply be created dynamically.

It should be noted that there's no hard and fast rule for exactly how your integration with Dynamics GP is going to work; these are just some common themes that we will typically work with. We can certainly enable any type of integration between the different entities and fields, both core and custom, inside of an eCommerce website and Dynamics GP. For example, when it comes to customers and accounts, it's very common for us to bring over address information. This will typically include shipping and billing information, all the different locations, with the primary shipping and billing for the overall account. For specific locations, there might be associated contacts on the customer record with certain roles attached. Even the role data can be effectively brought in if desired.

Going Beyond the Usual to Meet Different Business Requirements

Scenario Analysis to Uncover the Optimal Advanced Logic

Further information that potentially lies within Dynamics GP would be pricing data, customer-specific pricing, price groups, or quantity-based discount levels. In addition, there might be multiple different locations with their own credit limits, tax exemptions, or other information around them that we need to pass inside the eCommerce platform. It's also very common to look at products purchased in the past and use them to dynamically inform the back-end of the eCommerce platform what was purchased and what to recommend. We may even enable the eCommerce user payment of an invoice that's generated in Dynamics GP, or a quote to be pushed into the eCommerce platform and converted into an order.

Upon payment completion inside the user dashboard, the updated information will return to Dynamics GP. It's common to also bring in the shipment data and status whenever an order is completed, which can be shared among Dynamics GP and the selected platform. Other frequent integrations examples are detailed product information, category information, related attributes, and associations. To elaborate, these would be things like dimensional weight, information around the product attributes, pricing, inventory, and any accompanying media.

All of that data around pricing and inventory is usually going to get updated dynamically from Dynamics GP. Dynamics GP will likely have SKU information, maybe a simple description, attributes, relationships, categories, etc. But it's probably not going to have all of the meta information and rich descriptions that you would see on a website. There might be a PIM (Product Information Management) system, with marketing staff, a product manager, or team members that are enriching and enhancing the data coming from Dynamics GP into an eCommerce system.

Whenever the integration from Dynamics GP fires off a job to update pricing and inventory levels into the eCommerce platform, it’s seriously important that this enhanced data and additional descriptions aren’t erased. The enriched content that's living in the eCommerce platform absolutely must be preserved. This stands true across the board and a discreet business logic that's applicable per job needs to be in place. That's just one scenario but business logic extends beyond this example. The Clarity team can deliver an immensely catered and customized integration that leverages our core offerings, combined with the experience of countless completed projects. We want to bring to bear the best practices that we've identified across these vast implementations and make them work for your project.

How Can Clarity Help

Dynamics GP Integration Specialists

Clarity offers a complimentary review, so we encourage you to reach out to our team of friendly and knowledgeable experts and request more information for your upcoming project. You're also welcome to click on any of the links that you see on our site and explore additional resources that might be helpful. If you have a question that isn’t fully covered and would like to learn more, click on the Ask the Experts link. One of our friendly and experienced specialists will provide you with a detailed response to your topic of interest. We would be happy to discuss all the areas a Dynamics GP integration for your business.

NopCommerce + Dynamics GP Integration

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of NopCommerce to Dynamics GP, including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between NopCommerce and Dynamics GP. There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

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Connecting with Clarity Connect:

  • NopCommerce

    NopCommerce

  • Dynamics GP

    Dynamics GP

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of NopCommerce to Dynamics GP, including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between NopCommerce and Dynamics GP. There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

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Be Nimble, Be Quick

SaaS or In-the-Cloud Applications

SaaS-based integrations are very common. These are exclusively online and used to integrate applications like Salesforce, Office365, USPS, UPS, 3PL, Avalara (Clarity is a certified Sage, Microsoft and Avalara partner) and any other application that is served up in the cloud.

In any of these scenarios, the eCommerce storefront is hosted on a cloud-based server (usually at a provider like Amazon, Azure, Rack Space, Liquid Web, Managed.com, etc.), and Clarity Connect is installed on the same server, with the connector or adapter communicating to the other online application across a secured Internet connection.

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Working from Within

On-Premises Applications

Another common implementation is when a client has their ERP or CRM installed on premises, behind their corporate firewall. In this scenario, Clarity Connect is then installed on a server on premises, along with the connector at the client’s facility and configured to communicate securely within their network to the back-office application(s).

Then an IP exception, with specific port and public / private key combo is used so that Connect can securely communicate with the other application’s connector / adapter in the cloud, improving security and ensuring that the client’s ERP / CRM are not exposed outside of their network.

NopCommerce
Innovative & Robust

How Middleware Integration Works for B2B Platforms

Integrated NopCommerce & Dynamics GP applications can foster greater customer loyalty with business process automation that delivers consistently outstanding customer service. Order processing speeds up, customers can access a range of information about their accounts such as order history and shipping options, so that it’s easy to place complex orders. Examples of how integrating ERP software works in practical terms include the following automated processes:

  • Customers and prospects visit an eCommerce website.
  • A record of the visit is generated and converted into a format that works in NopCommerce & Dynamics GP software (Contact record -> Activity log).
  • If a sale is made, a Customer Record and Sales Order are automatically generated.
  • Visitor behavior is tracked and recorded to build user profiles for custom displays, marketing messages, recommendations and content curation.
  • Sales Orders and Quotes are sent to the appropriate staff for review, fulfillment and shipping.
  • Shipping details are converted into readable formats and forwarded to the eCommerce store.
  • Inventory figures update in real-time.
Dynamics GP
A Better Experience

Customer Service Takes its Place at the Top of the Queue with ERP Integration

The usefulness of both CRM and ERP software depends on how efficiently business process automation works, and that depends on how fully the software is integrated into operations. If customers must contact sales or customer service staff frequently to troubleshoot problems with orders, get answers to simple questions or manage other issues with their accounts, the hidden and labor costs can be tremendous.

Companies routinely lose orders, fail to upsell accounts and frustrate customers when self-service eCommerce applications don’t work seamlessly with back-office data, pricing and automation. The costs of staff intervention also raise human capital costs and prevent staff from pursuing revenue-generating tasks.

  • Generating customized email, marketing promotions and newsletter marketing.
  • Generating customized reports and 360-degree views of each customer’s profile and real-time actions.
  • Automating line of business applications to foster seamless connections with multiple databases and internal management systems.
  • Delivering customer-centric tools for order fulfillment, support requests and ticketing applications.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
It's All About Endpoints

Business Logic & Endpoint Types

Business logic are workflows that are the real meat and potatoes of the integration. It's where all the business processing happens and is made up of events, triggers, rules, and more. It's what allows all of the real-time or batched communication and automation of the front-end website with data and logic from the back-office applications. This is what extracts and exposes all of the value of your website / marketplace project.

The workflows can be very simple, such as checking a product's in-stock inventory count, to something much more complex. The basic endpoint categories are:

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Contacts

Individual users, typically customers or individuals of partners

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Accounts

Customer accounts, partners, resellers, etc.

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Products

Products or services that your company provides or sells

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Inventory

Stock quantities of products or services

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Pricing Tables

Pricing set on your products or services

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Sales Orders

Orders placed on the web that are pushed to the back office for processing

There can be literally hundreds of endpoints an API can expose to a connector (Clarity's eCommerce API exposes over 10,000) and the list can be very different from the two sides you're integrating. This is important because you may want to push or pull information from an application that can't be easily accessed or loaded to an application that doesn't support that type of data (Accounts and Contacts may both be in your CRM and ERP, but products and inventory may only exist within the ERP).

Possible Complex Workflow Samples

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Login Authentication Workflow

When a user logs into your store, Connect can go to the integrated CRM, look up the user, see what account they belong to. Is the account status on hold? Does the user have permissions to purchase on account? What pricing table does the account get assigned? Which products should be made visible to the user, etc.?

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Viewing a Product Workflow

When a user clicks on a product category, go to ERP in real-time and check to validate their (the account's) pricing, inventory story quantity and whether the product can be back ordered.

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Displaying Multiple Stock Quantities

If you stock products in multiple warehouses, how do you let users know how many are at each location? Connect can pull that information from your ERP(s), and display that on the website, allowing users to order from the closest location that has the number they need in stock.

Workflows and Benefits Supported by NopCommerce

NopCommerce uses REST for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Product and Orders categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Login & Tiered Pricing

Automated login can validate users & account-based tiered pricing with Dynamics GP

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Lead Capture & Generation

Capture leads to support your marketing activities

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Automate Sales Orders

Automate push Sales Orders for processing into Dynamics GP

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP uses EDI File Exchange for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Pricing and Fulfillment categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Products & Services

Automatically pull products and services from Dynamics GP into the NopCommerce storefront

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Inventory & Stock Quantites

Display accurate stock and inventory counts on your NopCommerce store by pulling real stock quantities

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Invoicing & Payments

Pulling invoices from Dynamics GP into NopCommerce allows customers to save, print and pay their invoices online

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Integration Cost & Timing

Since the endpoints expose what is accessible to each connector, those applications with robust, well-defined APIs allow you to integrate more quickly and at a much lower cost. Simple integrations (i.e. forwarding orders to the back-office, pulling stock and quantities to the front-office) can start around $15k (including the platform's one-time license fee), especially for those that we've already developed robust connectors for. The complex integrations or those with many workflows and dozens of endpoint calls, may run as much as $30k all the way up to $100k for multiple applications.

It all depends on the number of applications being integrated, the ability to easily integrate with the applications, and the numbers and complexity of the business workflows being built. Using Clarity Connect, typical integrations can take from a few weeks to a few months. Over more than a decade, Clarity has done over 3,000 integrations and although 40% of the integrations that come our way are new, we haven't met an integration that we haven't been able to develop. Give us a call today to discuss your integration project.

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