Integrating ERP data into Microsoft Dynamics GP

There are several options for integrating your ERP data into Microsoft Dynamics GP.  The data integrated into Microsoft Dynamics GP may include setup records such as General Ledger accounts, customers, vendors, and assets.  It also may include current transactions, historical transactions, and daily transactions.  The three most common tools used to integrate ERP data are:  Microsoft’s Integration Manager, Scribe, and eOne Solutions’ SmartConnect.  Choosing the right system to meet your needs can be difficult, as they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Microsoft’s Integration Manager

Microsoft’s Integration Manger is the default integration tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP and can easily accomplish the prime objective – integrating your ERP data into Microsoft Dynamics GP.  The software for Integration Manager is included with the Microsoft Dynamics GP installation software, but does need to be purchased and registered to use its functionality.

Even though Microsoft’s Integration Manager is the default integration tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP and can achieve the desired objective of importing your ERP data, it does have its drawbacks.  One drawback is Integration Manger uses a macro technology, which has its problems.  The first drawback is that the user must be logged into Microsoft Dynamics GP on the base screen with no additional windows open for the macro to successfully run.

They must also be logged into the desired company they wish to import the data into or the integration will fail.  The second drawback is the integrations are quite slow since it mimics the data entry pattern of a normal Microsoft Dynamics GP user.  This can cause the integration to take a very long time to process and large integrations can be difficult.  A third drawback to using Integration Manager is when the ERP data is being integrated. The user’s Dynamics GP software is dedicated to the import and the user cannot use Microsoft Dynamics GP until the process is completed.

Microsoft’s Integration Manager can integrate ERP data into Microsoft Dynamics GP for basic data loads to initially setup the system or integrate periodic data loads, but the other options detailed below can provide enhanced functionality depending on your organization’s needs.

Scribe

Scribe is a powerful integration tool developed by Scribe Software with the ability to integrate ERP data directly into and out of Microsoft Dynamics GP providing both one-way and two-way integrations.  Scribe provides robust functionality to make your operations run smoother and more efficiently.

Scribe has several advantages over Microsoft’s Integration Manager.  Integrations with Scribe are multiple times faster than Microsoft’s Integration Manager since it uses current technologies versus the Macro technology, which is inherently slow.

Scribe can be used to not only to import your ERP data into Microsoft Dynamics GP, it can also pull data out of Microsoft Dynamics GP allowing you to synchronize data between different databases such as Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM have similar entities that can be shared to minimize the need for duplicate entry.

Synchronizing of your ERP data is not only limited to the Dynamics GP family of products, but can be utilized with many different data sources and destinations allowing you the full flexibility to create relationships between your different systems used to run your operations.

Another advantage of Scribe is that you can schedule integration to run at specific times or create a trigger based on a specific operation to keep your data up-to-date and accurate.  An example of where this could be helpful is with an eCommerce site.  You may want to update the eCommerce site with your current items available based on your current inventory levels along with the current price list from Microsoft Dynamics GP at specific times during the day or after a specific operation is triggered, such as a price change or inventory availability changes.  At the same time, when a customer places an order utilizing the eCommerce site, you may want the order details to be imported back into Microsoft Dynamics GP.  This automation can allow your systems to function as one, creating a more efficient organization, reducing data entry time, and minimizing mistakes.

Scribe is a Powerful integration tool that provides maximized functionality for integrating data into Microsoft Dynamics GP and synchronizing data into other data sources to allow your different systems to work in unison.

eOne Solutions’ SmartConnect

A third option for integrating your ERP data in Microsoft Dynamics GP is eOne’s SmartConnect.  eOne’s SmartConnect is also an easy to use powerful integration tool with a lot of flexibility for your integration requirements and is the top choice for many companies.

Similar to Scribe, SmartConnect has many advantages over Integration Manager. SmartConnect is based on the current technology of eConnect and Web Services, which enables much quicker processing than Integration Manager.  It has been estimated that the processing time is fifty times faster.

Utilizing internal testing between SmartConnect and Integration Manager, eOne had the following results:  With a test importing 10,000 Customers into Dynamics GP from the same source file using SmartConnect, it took 1 minute and 30 seconds.  With Integration Manager, it took 4 hours and 40 minutes.  In another test with 100 Customers using SmartConnect, it took 2 seconds.  Using Integration Manager, it took 2 minutes and 51 seconds.

Speed is not the only advantage of SmartConnect.  Utilizing Microsoft Excel templates with SmartConnect mappings and Web Services, data can be pushed directly into Microsoft Dynamics GP with the push of a button on an Excel sheet to automate the integration process using a tool most people are familiar with.  Default templates are available or custom templates can be created to use these services.

Another advantage SmartConnect has over Integration Manager is the ability to schedule integrations from various data sources into various destination based on a schedule or an event trigger and provides the ability for one-way and two-way integrations with limited data sources.  This makes SmartConnect equally powerful as an export tool as it is as an import tool allowing you to accomplish similar tasks but not as robust as we identified with Scribe.

Other Advantages of SmartConnect that should be noted are the integrations can lookup data directly from your current SQL data to enable auto filling of imported data.  Email notifications can be sent for both successes and failures of a SmartConnect integration. SmartConnect integrations can be run against multiple databases simultaneously to synchronize multiple databases at the same time.

SmartConnect is an easy to use powerful tool that can be used for Integrations into Microsoft Dynamics GP that is much faster than Integration Manager, but not quite as versatile as Scribe.  SmartConenct further has many additional features providing a robust framework for most companies integration requirements.

When it comes to picking the right software for your integration needs, it can be quite difficult to determine the correct fit as each has their own advantages and disadvantages.  In this case for integrations, we have looked at the three primary integration tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP:  Microsoft’s Integration Manager, Scribe, and eOne Solutions’ SmartConnect.  Each can perform the primary function of importing the required data into Microsoft Dynamics GP, but some have more robust features that enable you to perform additional tasks that may help your operations be more efficient.

 

 

 

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