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

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.

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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.

Hands On with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2: Integration Manager First Run

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2 was released on the 2nd October. In this series of posts, I’ll be going hands on and installing the majority of the components; some of them, such as Analysis Cubes for Excel, which are little used, I won’t be covering.

The series index will automatically update as posts go-live in this series.

Now that we have Integration Manager installed, we can run it.

Running Integration Manager as administrator is required to ensure that relevant permissions are correctly set; the license key also needs to be installed.

Launch Integration Manager from the Windows Start menu by right-clicking and selecting Run as Administrator. Once it has started, a Register Now/Later dialog will be displayed. Click Register Now:

Integration Manager - Run Now

Continue reading “Hands On with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2: Integration Manager First Run”

Hands On with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2: Install Integration Manager

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2 was released on the 2nd October. In this series of posts, I’ll be going hands on and installing the majority of the components; some of them, such as Analysis Cubes for Excel, which are little used, I won’t be covering.

The series index will automatically update as posts go-live in this series.

In the last post, I installed eConnect on the client to make the eConnect adaptors available to Integration Manager; in this post, I am going to install Integration Manager.

To do this, launch the setup utility and select Integration Manager from under the Additional Products heading:

Integration Manager

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Integration Manager Bugs Fixed in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018

Microsoft Dynamics GPEarlier in the year we added a new ERP Support Analyst to our support team and we’ve been doing training to bring him up to speed. While I was doing Integration Manager training, I was giving him some cuationary advice about error messages and tried to reproduce some of the annoying errors I’ve encountered in the past, only to find out that three of them have been fixed without me realising.

The fixes are:

Debugging Integration Manager Crashes

Microsoft Dynamics GPWe’ve had two separate clients recently log calls where Integration Manager was crashing while performing an integration.

The first client was doing an Inventory Items integration on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 and the other was doing a Sales Transaction integration on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 R2.

Both of the integrations had been running fine for quite a long period of time before starting to crash; no changes had been made to either system and I’ve not been able to determine why Integration Manager (IM) has started crashing.

However, by the use of two ini file switches, we were able to determine what error was being encountered by IM resulted in a crash.

The two switches are already present in the ini file (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\Integration Manager nn/Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.IntegrationManager.ini by default) where the False value needs to be changed to True:

[IMGPPrv]
ShowDynamics=False
DoUIRedraw=False

When these switches are set to True, the Microsoft Dynamics GP windows are not hidden when the integration runs.

We found that for the Inventory Items integration, accounts either didn’t exist, didn’t allow account entry or were inactive; for the Sales Transaction integration, Analytical Accounting (AA) had been enabled for one of the accounts and the integration didn’t handle AA.

I created a VB script for the Inventory Items integration to check the accounts in the Before Document script and cancel the document if the account was going to be a problem.

Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM: Integration Manager First Run

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 RTM has now been released. In this series of posts, I will be stepping through the installation of Microsoft Dynamics GP and additional products and then will move on to taking a look at the new functionality which has been introduced.

The series index for this series of posts is here and will automatically update as posts go live.

With Integration Manager now installed, the final step in it’s installation is to run it and enter the license key.

It is important that the first time Integration Manager is launched, you do so by right clicking and selecting Run as Administrator; this ensures that Integration Manager has sufficient privileges for writing the necessary registry entries.

When Integration Manager starts, you will be presented with a Register Now/Later window; to use Integration Manager, a licence key must be entered, so click Register Now:

Integration Manager: Register Now

Continue reading “Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM: Integration Manager First Run”

Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM: Install Integration Manager

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 RTM has now been released. In this series of posts, I will be stepping through the installation of Microsoft Dynamics GP and additional products and then will move on to taking a look at the new functionality which has been introduced.

The series index for this series of posts is here and will automatically update as posts go live.

If you are going to be using Integration Manager with eCOnnect Adaptors, make sure eConnect has been installed on the client before following the steps in this post.

To install Integration Manager, launch the setup utility from the installation media:

Depending on server settings, you might receive multiple security warnings during the installation; click Run on each one as it appears:

And, under the Additional Products header, select on Integration Manager and click Install on the popup menu:

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 setup utility

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Integration Manager Sales Order Integration – “The Sales Intrastat Entry window is open”

Microsoft Dynamics GPJust before Christmas I was creating an integration for a client in Integration Manager which would integrate Sales Orders, but unfortunately I was receiving an error message:

Integration Log
Integration: Eriks SO Integration (ID: 8)
Action: None
Start Time: 23/12/2016 11:05:38

  23/12/2016 11:05:38 Source: IIntegrationEngine_Run, Status Code: 0    Opening source query...
  23/12/2016 11:05:38 Source: IIntegrationEngine_Run, Status Code: 0    Initializing Source...
  23/12/2016 11:05:38 Source: IIntegrationEngine_Run, Status Code: 0    Establishing source record count...
  23/12/2016 11:05:38 Source: IIntegrationEngine_Run, Status Code: 0    Beginning integration...
1:  Order  Insert Failed 5. Seconds 
    DOC 1 ERROR: The Sales Intrastat Entry window is open. - The Sales Intrastat Entry window is open.
  23/12/2016 11:05:43 Source: FinishIntegration, Status Code: 3    Integration Failed
  23/12/2016 11:05:43 Source: FinishIntegration, Status Code: 3    Integration Results
    1 documents were read from the source query.
    1 documents were attempted:
        0 integrated without warnings.
        0 integrated with warnings.
        1 failed to integrate.

Finish Time: 23/12/2016 11:05:43

Source Total: 1
Successfully Integrated: 0
Integrated With Warning: 0
Failed: 1

Completion Status: Completed
Integration Status: No Documents Succeeded

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