Integrating Dynamics NAV with External eCommerce Solutions

Maximize Business Potential while Keeping Costs Down

Dynamics NAV integration with an existing eCommerce platform allows businesses to provide individualized and personalized experiences to their customers. It does that by automating and systematizing all the core processes of a business. Ultimately, the integration can help grow your business while reducing overhead. The automation of processes will also considerably improve customer experience and ensure they stay loyal to your offering within the market.

There are a lot of complexities when it comes to a Dynamics NAV eCommerce integration. Therefore, we recommend working with an experienced partner. You must look for someone who has completed Dynamics NAV eCommerce integrations before in particular.

The endpoints of Dynamics NAV can be modified to create custom entities that meet the needs of the business. Even the eCommerce web API framework is very extensible. It can handle custom fields and core entities too. So, between that and the web API framework, a lot of potential complexities and pitfalls may come up during the project. That is why we encourage you to work with someone who has dealt with business models similar to yours. So, they would have experience with workflows and scenarios you might use. And would already be aware of all the complexities.

Integration Platform

We also suggest looking for an integration platform that is architected to adapt and grow with your business. It should be secure, reliable, and persistent with its integration jobs. Moreover, it should be adaptable. So, it does not limit you or paint you into a corner.

Off the shelf or cookie-cutter systems often tend to have limitations. So, we encourage you to dig in and evaluate different platforms before choosing one. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of the integration technology that your partner is going to be implementing.

Invoices and Quotes

Whenever a user completes a purchase, they are essentially performing a user registration. If they have used the platform before, they may get associated with an existing customer account Dynamics NAV. It may give them access to different pricing levels, etc. After the purchase, the user account and all the order information would then be pushed into Dynamics NAV or associated with an already existing customer record.

Common NAV Integrations

The integrations that one would typically see between Dynamics NAV and an eCommerce system include, but are not limited to:

  • Customers and accounts
  • Catalog system: categories, products, attributes and associations, and relationships
  • Sales orders, invoices, and quotes
  • Shipments and shipment status
  • Payments and payment status
  • Omnichannel capabilities
  • Custom entities and fields

Some of these might be unidirectional, while others can be bidirectional. We give an example of some of these integrations between the two systems below.

Customers and Accounts

For customers and accounts, the data in Dynamics NAV services as a record source and the eCommerce platform might provide updates or enrich that data. For instance, an existing user might make changes to their address information, or a new user might register via Magento.

Generally, you can pull all the account data on the record and any associated entities from Dynamics NAV. These might include different shipping and billing addresses, tax information, tax exemptions, credit limits, customer-specific pricing, etc. There also might be a hierarchy of users or roles. The status of each user might drive data from Dynamics NAV into the eCommerce platform, disabling their access to certain things. The account data may also include order history. It would allow you to enrich the user’s experience further. They would be able to reorder, request for a refund or replacement.

The Catalog System

Another common integration area is the product catalog. It typically includes the skew data, the dimensional weights, inventory and pricing data, any kind of base-level descriptions, etc. Mainly, it includes any core operational data that represents an item or a product.

Within an eCommerce system, there are additional fields. The marketing or the product information team can use these to enrich the data coming from Dynamics NAV. The eCommerce system will serve as a source of record for those extended fields. It would allow users to get data updates around pricing and inventory in real-time without overwriting the product information stored.

Shipment Process

The shipment fulfillment process will occur within the Dynamics NAV. The data will be pushed into the eCommerce system and shown on the user’s dashboard. Essentially, any kind of authorization or verification for an order will be tracked. Updating the user with these statuses can help manage expectations and give them an idea of the fulfillment timeline.

Once the items get shipped, the integration can provide tracking data around it. It also enables you to confirm delivery and receipt of delivery. You can also tie back any customer issues back into Dynamics NAV. So, for instance, if a customer needs a refund, you can pull in the transaction information and ensure a seamless refund process.

How Can Clarity Help

Dynamics NAV eCommerce Integration Specialists

To conclude, setting up robust core integrations with Salesforce will allow you to adjust the system as your business grows. So, you can continue to improve your offering to end-users, reduce costs, and increase your profitability as a business.

If you have any more questions related to this topic, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team. The Clarity team has an amiable and knowledgeable sales and business development staff. They can provide a complimentary analysis. We certainly look forward to answering your questions and talking with you about your upcoming Dynamics NAV integration project.

We also encourage you to go through the resources below. They have helpful information that covers other topics related to Dynamics NAV integrations, some of which can be helpful for your project. If there are topics that you do not see below, you are welcome to click on the ask the expert link. Our team will be happy to provide a technical response to any questions that you may have regarding those topics.

WooCommerce + Dynamics NAV Integration

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of WooCommerce to Dynamics NAV, 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 WooCommerce and Dynamics NAV. 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.

Pricing
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Connecting with Clarity Connect:

  • WooCommerce

    WooCommerce

  • Dynamics NAV

    Dynamics NAV

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of WooCommerce to Dynamics NAV, 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 WooCommerce and Dynamics NAV. 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.

WooCommerce
Innovative & Robust

How Middleware Integration Works for B2B Platforms

Integrated WooCommerce & Dynamics NAV 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 WooCommerce & Dynamics NAV 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 NAV
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 WooCommerce

WooCommerce 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 NAV

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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 NAV

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV 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 NAV into the WooCommerce storefront

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Inventory & Stock Quantites

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

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Invoicing & Payments

Pulling invoices from Dynamics NAV into WooCommerce 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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