Implementing SmartConnect: SmartConnect vs. Integration Manager

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartConnect, an integration tool from eOne Solutions, which can take data from any source and integrate it into Microsoft Dynamics GP (and other systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Sales Force amongst others). It has a drag and drop interface to make creating integrations quick and easy for all users rather than just developers (as many integration tools target).

For providing clients with integrations, we’ve typically used Integration Manager, which is part of the Customisation Pack. Having recently taken a look at SmartConnect from eOne Solutions, I rapidly came to the conclusion that while Integrating Manager is easy to use and integrations are relatively simple to create, it lacks a lot of the features of SmartConnect.

Feature Integration Manager SmartConnect
Easy to create integrations
Schedule Integrations to run automatically  
Use Excel XLSX as a data source  
Connect to almost any datasource  
Integrate to any eConnect node  
Integrate with custom eConnect nodes  
Extend integrations programatically VBA VB.NET or C#
Chain integrations to run one after the other  
Schedule export of data to other systems  
Robust when integrating large datasets  

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Installing Notepad++: Adding Plugin When Plugin Manager Shows No Plugins

Notepad++I’ve tagged this post into the series I did a while ago on installing Notepad++’ as it came up after I received a new laptop at work and installed Notepad++ again.

I needed to use the Compare plugin, but when I opened the Plugin Manager, no plugins were listed (usually there would be a list of many available plugins):

Plugin Manager - no plugins available

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What Will 2019 Bring For Gutenberg in WordPress

GutenbergBack towards the end of last year, I did a few posts on Gutenberg for WordPress. Since then there’s been a bit more clarity around what 2019 will bring for Gutenberg in WordPress.

A post on the Make WordPress blog explains how phase 2 will be about introducing Gutenberg to the Customizer:

Gutenberg phase 1 and 2

This means that the sidebar, widgets, and menus will all be moved to Gutenberg.

Assurances that the Classic Editor will be supported until 31st December 2021 are largely worthless, as Gutenberg will be rolling out into Customizer in 2019 and this will fundamentally change WordPress.

Themes already need to be updated for Gutenberg as a post editor; entire new themes, or huge rewrites, will be required when the Customizer changes.

Click to show/hide the Gutenberg for WordPress Series Index

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Implementing SmartConnect: Introduction

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartConnect, an integration tool from eOne Solutions, which can take data from any source and integrate it into Microsoft Dynamics GP (and other systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Sales Force amongst others). It has a drag and drop interface to make creating integrations quick and easy for all users rather than just developers (as many integration tools target).

SmartConnect provides an alternative to Integration Manager, which is part of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Customisation Pack. While Integration Manager allows users to create and run integrations on an ad hoc basis, SmartConnect provides much more functionality, such as the ability to schedule integrations, poll a folder to load all files within and load data from many different data sources including Excel spreadsheets, transform data and provides a web service which can be called from any application.

There are three types of integration which can be created in SmartConnect:

  • Bulk Data Sources – Bulk data sources are configured to look at fixed data locations (such as a particular file or folder). The SmartConnect Scheduler can be used to define a schedule on which bulk data source integrations should be run.
  • Change Data Sources – A change data source will track all data changes since the map last ran successfully; based on the schedule, it will execute a SmartConnect map to integrate the data.
  • Real Time Data Sources – Data is integrated in real time from any Microsoft Dynamics GP window or direct from Dynamics CRM to any destination.

Continue reading “Implementing SmartConnect: Introduction”

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ClassicPress/WordPress Usage: Add Page Breaks In Blog Posts

ClassicPressAdding page breaks to a blog post came up in discussion the other day, where someone thought it was done by adding <!--more--> to a post.

However this tag is actually used to add a break to a post in the blog index or archive pages, resulting in something that looks like this:

Blog post with more tag

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Implementing SmartConnect: Who Are eOne Solutions?

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartConnect, an integration tool from eOne Solutions, which can take data from any source and integrate it into Microsoft Dynamics GP (and other systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Sales Force amongst others). It has a drag and drop interface to make creating integrations quick and easy for all users rather than just developers (as many integration tools target).

I’ve done a small number of posts before on eOne’s SmartList Builder previously, but this is the first series of posts I’ve done on one of their products.

I’m sure everyone using Microsoft Dynamics GP is aware of who eOne Solutions are, but in case you don’t, eOne are a Microsoft Dynamics GP ISV (Independent Software Vendor) based in Fargo, North Dakota, and with offices in Texas and Australia.

They have created a number of products which either install into Microsoft Dynamics GP or which integrate with it:

  1. SmartConnect – the subject of this series is an integration tool which allows you to integrate lots of different systems with Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  2. Extender – allows you to create new windows and forms for Microsoft Dynamics GP, without needing the services of a developer.
  3. SmartView – provides an alternate, fast and flexible interface to the existing SmartLists.
  4. Node Builder – allows easy creation of new eConnect nodes to be created without the need for a developer.
  5. Flexicoder – allows you to automatically recode Sales transactions with configurable rules and references.
  6. SmartPost – automates the posting of Microsoft Dynamics GP batches.
  7. SmartList Builder – enables both the creation of new SmartList objects or modification of existing ones. Up to 32 tables can be linked and tables can be standard GP tables, any Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.

I’ve worked with many clients using SmartList Builder and it has proven to be a very popular tool with them for the ease and flexibility of creating new SmartLists. In more recent times, I’ve also done work with Extender, SmartConnect and NodeBuilder. In this series, I am going to be focused on SmartConnect, but over the coming year, I’ll also be taking a look at some of the other products.

Click to show/hide the Implementing SmartConnect Series Index

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WordPress/ClassicPress Plugin Development: Checking If Function Exists In Namespace

WordPress PluginI’ve been developing my own plugins for WordPress and, more reently, ClassicPress. At times it’s been necessary to check if a function exists.

It’s fairly straightforward to do this check:

if (!function_exists('azrcrv_get_breadrumbs')){
	// code here
}

I also use a few plugins developed by other people. One of the ones I’ve been reviewing recently is Estimated Read Time by CodePotent.

John uses namespaces in his plugins which means the check also needs to include the namespace. You can check for this using the following syntax (the highlighted section is the namespace defined in the plugin):

if (function_exists('CodePotent\EstimatedReadTime\process_shortcode')){
	// code here
}

I’m posting this as a reminder to myself as it took me a few minutes of searching before I found the right answer.

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Implementing SmartConnect: Series Index

eOne SolutionsSmartConnect is an integration tool from eOne Solutions which can take data from any source and integrate it into Microsoft Dynamics GP (and other systems such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Sales Force amongst others). It has a drag and drop interface to make creating integrations quick and easy for all users rather than just developers (as many integration tools target).

I’ve known about SmartConnect for quite a long time now, but have only just started working with it and thought a series of posts on the installation and configuration process might be useful to do.

The index below will update as each post goes live if you are reading directly here (if you’re reading on a syndicated version, you will need to check back to the original post).

Implementing SmartConnect
Who Are eOne Solutions?
Introduction
SmartConnect vs. Integration Manager
System Requirements
Prerequisites
Installation
Configure Windows Service
Configure Windows Service
Assign SQL Login Security
Install GP Addin
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How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2017: Download SSRS 2017

Microsoft SQL ServerIn this short series of posts, I am going to be covering the installation of Microsoft SQL Server 2017; the installation process for this version is somewhat different to previous ones, in that SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Reporting Services have been separated out from the main installer.

The series index can be found here. I am not a SQL expert and this series of posts is intended only for use on demo or test environment and not production ones.

This is a very late addition to this series of posts; I recently came to install SQL Server 2017 on a new machine which did not have an Internet connection and so needed to download the installer and copy itto the new machine.

In the installation post I used the download option in the installer, but didn;t include the direct download link.

Well, to remedy that, here is the download link to the latest version of SSRS 2017.

Click to show/hide the How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Series Index

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