eCommerce Programming for Great Plains Dynamics GP – Introduction

If your organization deploys Microsoft Dynamics GP Great Plains ERP and you are thinking on connecting it to your eCommerce site, we would like to give you initial introduction – where to start digging GP, tools, integration options, limitations, pluses and minuses and others typical FAQ. Current version of Great Plains is 10.0, we assume that it is reasonable to be at list on version 9.0, prior to begin ecommerce connection project – otherwise you will be reprogramming your integration with version upgrade. If you are on older versions, especially on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree/Faircom (this might be the case if you are on GP 7.5, 7.0, 6.0 or earlier), we recommend you first upgrade to MS SQL Server based version (you should contact you MBS VAR and they will provide you with the migration tool and it is recommended that professional Great Plains consultant does the conversion)

1. Sales Order Processing module or SOP. This module is typically integrated with your e-commerce application. In eCommerce you create either SOP Order or SOP Invoice. The easiest scenario is to create order or invoice without inventory items allocation, this is especially recommended if you are trying to program integration in SQL stored procedures

2. Great Plains tables structure. This is one of the first questions, which we hear from developers. You should login GP, depending on version, we will give you the path for version 10.0: Microsoft Dynamics GP->Tools->Resource Description->Tables. Tables are grouped by GP series: Financial, Sales, Purchasing, Inventory, etc.

3. Microsoft Dexterity technology. You should be aware that if you populate GP table records, you should treat GP business logic accordingly. The most important is treating GP Dexterity business logic, which is validated when Great Plains client application tries to read records, populated by you – if business logic is violated and could not be validated, Dexterity interface will error out and you will make GP ERP inoperable

4. eConnect. Yes, this is what you should consider to use whenever possible in e-commerce. eConnect core is set of SQL stored procedures, which allow you to create, modify, delete GP master records (customer, vendor, inventory item) and work transactions (such as SOP invoice, or SOP order), plus eConnect allocates invoice or order lines, so the limitation of topic one is not a problem here. What eConnect can not do is post individual transaction or SOP batch – this routine is left to GP operator by GP architecture

5. Posting Server. Alba Spectrum Posting Server allows you combine eConnect with autoposting directly from eCommerce application. Posting server is GP Dexterity application and should be installed on separate GP workstation (or your GP server, where you keep GP workstation with Posting server running). When deploying posting server – you will need to place approved batches to custom tables and posting server will take care of posting process