Microsoft Dynamics GP Advanced Customization – Autoposting

If you are developer or application consultant, who customizes and integrates Microsoft Great Plains with eCommerce applications, you probably already come across the problem of autoposting when you already fed in and created working batch in SOP, POP, Payroll, etc. Typical eCommerce example – you can create SOP Order or Invoice and even apply deposit or payment against this document, however it is not clear how to post the batch automatically – eConnect leaves it to the operator for verification and approval. You can have many different customization approaches to do the job – in this small article we would like to share with you very elegant method, using GP Dexterity process server to do the job:

o Dexterity Engine. Microsoft Dexterity or former Great Plains Dexterity is currently the engine for so-called fat client, it processes according to the dictionary (DYNAMICS.DIC) and this dictionary (plus few so-called third party dictionaries) plays all the business logic of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

o Dexterity Posting Logic. Instead of trying to replicate pretty complex posting logic of Dynamics GP in SQL Stored Procedures, it is better idea to deploy Dexterity Posting logic directly. You simply “provoke” Microsoft Dynamics GP workstation to post at the certain event firing, provoking in the sense that Dexterity thinks that operator pushes Post button on the batch or master posting forms.

o Scenario. You use eConnect to create work documents and place them into the batch, you do not do any posting, you just “signal” in one custom table that this specific batch in AP is ready to be posted. Customized Great Plains workstation, running permanently, say on the processing server, checks every few seconds this signaling table and finds that batch is ready to be posted. It calls Dexterity Posting chain of procedures in AP module to do the job.

o Upgrade Safe Customization. If you try to implement posting logic in SQL Stored Procedure, every new version will require fundamental revision for your SQL scripts. If you call Dexterity procedures, you just verify that the interface is still the same and upgrade is pretty simple.

o Smart Integration. The described logic allows you to deploy auto posting in any GP module, where posting is applicable. We know examples when customer deploys this smart logic for the integration. Imagine, you can advance GP Integration Manager data import with auto posting to provide automatic on-going data conversion and feeding from your legacy or third party accounting or MRP system.

o For Web Developer. All you need to do is deploy eConnect or relatively simple SQL Stored Procedure to feed order data into work tables: SOP10100, SOP10200, etc. You do your job in Visual Studio.Net C# or VB and then Dexterity posting engine does the rest of the job.

Give us a call 1-866-528-0577 or help@albaspectrum.com if you need additional information or directions.

With Social Media Marketing, More is More

That which is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated than what is more complicated; simplicity is preferable to complexity; brevity in communication is more effective than verbosity. This came straight from Wiki dictionary, and I agree that at times, less is more. However, when it comes to social media marketing, less is less and more is more!

Today I was reviewing Garrett Pierson’s Building Social Equity 2.0 when I realized that understanding how to access Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough. There are twenty modules to increase our social marketing skills – not two!

Sites like Weebly, Scribd, gather, Zimbo, HubPages and Squidoo are just the tip of the iceberg! Technorati and StumbleUpon are also valuable sites to increase our visibility and the recognition of not just our brand, but also our products and services. And there’s more!

Think of the value of LinkedIn, for example. Your social marketing equity can go through the roof by joining with other professionals who have similar interests to you! First you’re linked with three or four other e-commerce or business entrepreneurs, but before long, you’ll have three or four thousand.

So, say you send an article about a sale you are having on your fantastic product or service to your Facebook fan page. That’s great! If you and your friends have lots of friends, you can attract a lot of attention that way. Many successful social media marketing campaigns have done incredibly well on Facebook.

You see, I’m not saying you don’t use Facebook, I’m saying that you should also look at combining tons of other social media sites to your advertising campaigns! Garrett Pierson’s Building Social Equity 2.0 can give you the tools to not only find those additional social sites, but also key and specific tools on how to best take advantage of those sites!

How about EzineArticles or PR web? Those sites are made for people who are looking for specific products or services or information. If you don’t give online consumers what they are looking for where they are looking for it, your competitors will.

Social media marketing is about finding people who don’t know how to find you, they just know what they need. If your business is among the list of options available when they type in keywords that relate to your site, chances are that they will visit your site and purchase your products or services.

So visit social media marketing sites like FeedBurner, MyBlogLog, reddit, and Delicious. Open a WordPress Blog and start writing articles for it. The key, remember, is to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to reach as many potential clients or consumers as you can.

Although the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a minimalism, coined the phrase, “less is more”, it’s hard to think that even he believed it was true. He not only never shorted his name to just “Lud”, but also left us all five of his names for us to try to remember.

Sure, a short story is more convenient than a novel, and as Ludwig noted, a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to social media marketing, more is more!

Microsoft Great Plains Integration Scenarios – EDI, eCommerce

Microsoft Dynamics GP, successor of Great Plains Software Dynamics and eEnterprise is very popular ERP platform, deployed as accounting back office and integrated with various business management system. Among the most typical scenarios of GP MRP integration are Electronic Document Interface EDI and eCommerce. Let’s consider and compare the methodologies, integration and software development tools, programming techniques and customization option

1. EDI. Electronic Document Interchange is relatively matured technology and typically it is realized in the form of fixed length text formatted files or text streams. Newer approach may consider new generation of similar to EDI in concept XML streams. When we are talking about GP, we should expect two types of EDI integrations – when you are vendor (in this case you receive EDI formatted either Sales Order Processing orders or invoices or Accounts Receivables invoices); and when you are customer (in this case you place EDI purchase orders to your vendors). From the technology standpoint, EDI is not really difficult in standard and even custom realization and programming. Microsoft Dynamics GP, starting with version 8.0, is supported on the only DB platform – Microsoft SQL Server. Current version of Microsoft Great Plains is 10.0, available on MS SQL Server 2005 or 2000. You program EDI streams with SQL select command, and you format text fields with cast or convert constructions. When you import external EDI streams you, it is when you create SOP Invoices, you should consider utilizing eConnect

2. eCommerce. If you are e-commerce programmer, please invest your time in eConnect technology learning. You probably heard about eConnect and about the fact that it was dedicated initially to e-commerce software developers. We would like to sort of popularize eConnect and say this – if you do eCommerce integration from scratch, you have to feed eCommerce orders and invoices into GP tables: SOP10100, SOP10200. However, you should know that eConnect already has this job done for you in eConnect business objects – encrypted stored procedures. There are several situations when you should break through eConnect restrictions. First one is the fact that eConnect replicates Dexterity business logic (DYNAMICS.DIC is Microsoft Dexterity dictionary, where all the core modules business logic is stored) and even trusting astonishing SQL Server performance, you can still have concerns that eConnect might be a bit slow, if you transactions volume crosses thousand records per session. If eConnect performance is in question, you may consider doing simplified integration in SQL stored procedures using insert into logic. The second eConnect limitation is absence of posting logic – in order to post SOP batches you will need to deploy Albaspectrum posting server.