Implementing SmartConnect: Configure GP Connector

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).

The next step in implementing SmartConnect is to configure the connector with Microsoft Dynamics GP; do this by clicking on the Setup tab and then on the Setup button on the action pane:

SmartConnect Setup menu

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Implementing SmartConnect: Console First Run

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).

Over the last few posts, I’ve stepped through the installation of SmartConnect and the GP Addin. With that done we can now log into SmartConnect itself and go through the final steps of preparing it for use.

SmartConnect is launched from the Windows Start menu; the first run should be using the account used to install it as this is the first administrator account. The server name will already be displayed, so click OK to login (login used Windows authentication):

SmartConnect Login

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Implementing SmartConnect: Update GP Cache

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).

With the SmartConnect GP Addin installed the next step is to use it to populate the GP Resource Cache.

To do this open the SmartConnect Maintenance window (Microsoft Dynamics GP menu » Tools » SmartConnect » SmartConnect Maintenance) and click the Process button:

SmartConnect Maintenance

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Implementing SmartConnect: Install GP Addin

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).

The next step in installing SmartConnect, is to install the GP Addin. This was in the zip we downloaded as part of the installation post; launch the SmartConnect GP Addin….exe.

Select the relevant version of Microsoft Dynamics GP from the list and click Next:

SmartConnect - Select which components of SmartConnect GP Addin will be installed

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Implementing SmartConnect: Assign SQL Login Security

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).

A couple of days ago, I covered the installation of SmartConnect, but there are a few additional steps required.

One of these steps is to configure the SmartConnect account with access to update mdgp. This account is the one used by SmartConnect when running the maps; it requires DYNGRP access to all of the mdgp databases in order to both select, insert and update information.

To do this, open SQL Server Management Studio, expand the Security and Logins nodes, find the SmartConnect user account created during the installation, right-click and select Properties.

Select User Mapping, select the DYNAMICS database (assuming you’re using the default system database name), scroll down in the bottom of the window and mark DYNGRP:

SQL Login Properties

Repeat the above step for all of the companies databases and then click OK to commit the changes.

Implementing SmartConnect: Configure Windows Service

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).

Once the core of SmartConnect has been installed, there are a few steps which need to be completed. The first of these is to configure the eOne SmartConnect Service to start with Windows. In theory it is configured to do so during the installation, but I’ve found that the service tries to start before SQL Server, but fails. This service needs to be running to allow maps to be scheduled to run automatically.

To remedy this problem, you have two options:

  1. Configure the service startup to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  2. Add a dependency for Microsoft SQL Server to the service.

Either one of these options, should be sufficient to remedy the issue and allow the service to correctly start and therefore allow maps to be scheduled.

Implementing SmartConnect: Installation

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).

The first step in installing SmartConnect from eOne Solutions, is to download the installation media. SmartConnect can be downloaded from here. I’d always advise downloading the latest version, especially as SmartConnect is backward compatible with many versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

SmartConnect Downloads website

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Implementing SmartConnect: Prerequisites

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 has certain prerequisites which need top be met before implementing SmartConnect; these are outlines below.

Microsoft windows components:

  • Windows Domain is required for integrating with eConnect for Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.1 or greater installed on all servers or clients on which SmartConnect will be run. The SmartConnect installer will install it if it does not present although it can be installed manually prior to starting the installation.
  • Microsoft IIS 8.0+ is recommended for machines running either the SmartConnect web service or SmartConnect WCF Rest services. and must be set up to allow the running of .NET applications. For WCF Rest installations the server must also be set up to enable WCF HTTP Activation.
  • Windows Identity Foundation is required to connect to a Microsoft CRM Internet facing deployment, or Online system.
  • SOAP SDK is required (http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=10747) for installations using the legacy excel templates downloaded from www.eonesolutions.com.

Windows user permissions:

  • For 64-bit machines Read / Write access to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Wow6432Node \ eOneSolutions \ SmartConnect registry keys
  • For 32-bit machines Read / Write access to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ eOneSolutions \ SmartConnect registry keys
  • Access to the SmartConnect installation (standard install path is C:\Program Files\eOneSolutions\SmartConnect\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\eOneSolutions\SmartConnect\ if 32-bit)

User requirements:

  • The Windows Domain service account used for eConnect needs to be able to log into the Microsoft SQL Server that contains the Microsoft Dynamics GP databases using windows authentication.
  • SmartConnect Web Service controls integrations coming into SmartConnect from Excel, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and third party applications that use the web service to connect. This user will need to be set up within SmartConnect after installation have been completed. This user may be the same user as the eConnect user.
  • SmartConnect Windows Service is used by scheduled maps to run integrations. This user must also be set up within SmartConnect after installation has been completed and will be used as the default user for all scheduled integrations (unless a user has been specified on the scheduled map) and as such should have security to access/run all SmartConnect integrations.
  • Salesforce Web Service is used to connect Salesforce real time data source maps to SmartConnect. This web service must be installed externally so it can be accessed by Salesforce. The internal user the web service uses to connect to SmartConnect should be restricted to only access required by Salesforce real time data source maps so as to reduce security issues associated with externally facing web services.

Microsoft Dynamics GP requirements:

  • eConnect needs to be manually installed on each server or client with SmartConnect installed.

With all of the prerequisites met, we can install the SmartConnect application.

Implementing SmartConnect: System Requirements

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).

Before starting to install SmartConnect, the following requirements should be checked to ensure compatibility; if procureing new servers or software, I’d generally advise to aim for the top of the requirements to ensure greatest longevity.

Processors:

  • 32 bit processor machines, 2 GHz or greater.
  • 64 bit processor machines, 2 GHz or greater.

Memory (RAM):

  • 1 GB of RAM is required, at least 4GB is recommended.

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