Dynamics GP Integration Manager Data Conversion and Migration Cases by hkksew3563rd


									?If you are Microsoft Dynamics GP functional of technical consultant, you probably
had to deploy such tool as GP Integration Manager in one-time initial data conversion
or even as setting ongoing integration with legacy data applications. However, as we
were speaking with numerous Great Plains customers and consultants, IM is often
considered as something, limited to working with just text files. Through our Great
Plains consulting practice we were able to help customers to do such state of the arts
as e-commerce quasi real time integration, bring over several years of GL transactions
in in initial data migration, alter integration logic for Collection agency (where
customers are reversed in their nature and could be viewed as vendors), deploy IM in
EDI data channel and other titanic integration scenarios. Lets go down to the

1. Shifting from Text only Integrations paradigm. Imagine the situation, where you
have no control over what is coming from your legacy system and you have report in
pretty complex form in the text file. The only thing you know for sure is the fact that
each data line (which needs to be integrated) has the same pattern (begins in the same
position and has several fields, separated by fixed number of empty space characters).
This puzzle might seems as really complex and not resolvable in such end user
friendly tool, as Dynamics GP Integration Manager. Well, lets try the following
technique. Create Advanced ODBC data source, base your ODBC query on Microsoft
Text driver (there are few known issues about the driver, but it should do the job, if
you got specific problem, we published resolutions in previous papers) and then
create SQL Select statement, where you are weeding out irrelevant lines (coming
typically from report header, footer and space lines in the body). To give you more
flexibility you can even use union SQL construction, especially when your report
body lines have several repetitive patterns. If you try these techniques, you will see
how powerful is Integration Manager even when you are working with simple text file
(coma or tab delimited, or even you can specify records delimiting character this
option is available in IM)

2. And now to SQL compliant data source. As we demonstrated in above paragraph,
even report-style text file could be parsed in SQL queries. Lets go beyond the concept
of text file. Microsoft Dynamics GP is obviously restricted to Microsoft Windows
platform, including MS SQL Server. However, ODBC concept allows you to cross
Windows borders and pull data from such non-Microsoft platforms as Linux/Unix,
PHP, MySQL, Oracle, Pervasive SQL/Btrieve. In Microsoft SQL Server Management
Studio you can create linked server to the mentioned databases via ODBC connection.
If you are done with linked server, next step is to create cross-platform SQL view
(sometimes OPENROWSET construction is required). To give you more flexibility,
IM can even mark row as integrated in event driven VBA scripts this is especially
helpful in EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) scenarios

3. Integration Manager and challenging data conversions. Often you may see the
situation, where customer tells you please convert everything from my legacy
Accounting (MYOB, Quickbooks, PeachTree, GPA for DOS, SAP Business One, and
sometimes in the case of downsizing Oracle Financials, PeopleSoft, Accpac, etc.). As
general wisdom it is good to say this is not recommended way for the new Corporate
ERP system implementation (common sense recommends you to convert only master
records, such as GL Accounts, Customers, Vendors, Employees, Addresses, Inventory
Items). These recommendations should be honored, but when customer says No I
have no way to do it like that. Here are your options with Integration Manager. Bring
all GL transactions into monthly batches, have your customer review Batch Edit list
and when they are satisfied post the batches (of course you should have fiscal periods
open for posting). If Sales and Purchasing history is also required, be sure to disable
posting to GL (in Posting settings) integrate historical customers and vendors invoices
and post them just in the modules (without posting to GL)

4. Quasi Real Time integrations. Normally Great Plains Consultant recommends
you to initiate Integration Manager integration manually by opening IM user interface
and click on run integration. In modern IT infrastructure you may need more control
over integration timing. Microsoft Business Solutions has IM scheduling module,
where you can call your integration every exact number of hours or even minutes. In
our opinion, you may deploy shareware or even freeware software available on the
market to schedule IM integration via DOS command with parameters. By the way
this strategy was successful with ecommerce shopping cart quasi real time integration
via IM integration call

5. IM technology excurse. eConnect as new technology was introduced back in
2003 or earlier 2004. The idea was simple to open Great Plains objects and
transactions for eCommerce programmer. Few years later eConnect (especially in the
time of Microsoft Project Green) was sort of recommended for non Microsoft.Net
compliant technologies (such as Modifier with VBA and Dexterity, and even
Integration Manager VBA scripts) to be phased out. As we see it right now after
president Bush and even current Obama slow down the stick to traditional Corporate
ERP technology might be crucial. Our future stakes are in XML technology and
integration possibilities

6. Remote connection and web session obsession. This is noticeable trend in the last
years. We are not really the drivers in this trend, we simply follow the public offer to
see if web sessions are good for our customers. Some of them prefer to isolate their
computer network from the outside World, meaning internet (all the computer viruses
malware, service pack issues could be resolved by that approach). We respect that
kind of the decision. However in that scenario we have to drive onsite to support the

7. OK, now as we could record too much public protest in Washington, Chicago,
Los Angeles, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, Miami, Houston,
Seattle, Reno. Please, feel free to call us 1-866-528-0577, or email us

8. As the last flint. As I am trying to register Dynamics GP implementation
internationally. At this point, October 2010, MBS sends us a signal that GP is only
localized for English speaking countries, plus for Spanish speaking Latin America.
Please, be advised, that Dynamics GP is not localized for such markets as Brazil,
China, Russia, Western Europe. According to David Musgrave, one of the Microsoft
Dynamics GP future architects, Great Plains is not really a candidate in the list to
support Unicode characters (Great Plains Dexterity was introduced at the time, when
English ASCII based alphabet was a dominant standard and such exotic alphabets, as
Hieroglyph based Chinese, Japanese, Korean were not really in radars)

Andrew Karasev, Great Plains Dynamics GP and eEnterprise Certified Master,
Microsoft MVP and consultant with 10 years and plus experience and expertise. Alba
Spectrum, 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com. If you are thinking to
implement Dynamics GP in challenging environment, we recommend you to give us a
call. Our information portal is Pegas Planet

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