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Distribution Front End Integration With Microsoft Great Plains – Technology

Distribution Front End Integration With Microsoft Great Plains – Technology Notes

If you are Nationwide distributor and you are accepting sales orders via established and legacy Sales Order Processing application, which you will need to integrate with backoffice ERP, in our scenario with Microsoft Dynamics GP, then we would like to share our Great Plains implementation, customization, programming, report design and business processes mapping experience as well as integrating technology options:

1.Sales System. It is often the case that your sales order processing application sits on Linux or Unix platform and is implemented in Java/EJB, Oracle, Sybase, or PHP/MySQL/Redhat. We assume that you are comfortable in supporting this Unix box, including ongoing data fixes, business logic changes, required in MRP lifecycle

2.Purchasing System. It is often integrated with your legacy Sales system, described in the first paragraph. If you are reseller or integrator, you may utilize vendor drop ship purchase order scenarios, where vendor invoice or shipment notification or bill of lading trigger customer invoice issuance

3.The reasons to implement Microsoft Great Plains. Typical reason is company growth, where you invite outside investors or grow internally – when you formalize your management – typical recommendation is to implement strong ERP application for accounting, and financial reasons

4.Integration bridge. To give you the most typical scenario – GP Integration Manager allows you to integrate text files, exported from your front end business system. IM also can read ODBC data sources, for example if you are on Oracle, you can implement ODBC call to Oracle from IM directly. Another option of integration bridge is Web Service, which in turn deploys eConnect technology to feed and edit records in Great Plains. An obsolete version of web integration is popular in the past http request/response mechanism

5.EDI. If you order goods from large manufacturers, you may need Electronic Document Interchange integration with their ordering systems. As EDI rules are typically simple – fixed length text fields in the text file, consider simple way of formatting SQL select statement output with convert and cast commands

6.Sales Tax. If you sell to all 50 states, Sales Tax calculation accuracy and tax filing should be addressed. In Great Plains it is reasonably straightforward routine and you may deploy Sales Tax web service from various vendors: Avalara would be one of them

7.Reporting. You should be ready to face cross-platform DB queries to address reporting requirements. From MS SQL Server you can create Linked Servers to create distributed queries: SQL Views and Stored Procedures. Then you deploy standard reporting tools: Crystal Reports or Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services – SRS. In the case of strictly financial reports, including consolidated financial statements, you should consider FRx reporting. FRx is proper tool for Balance Sheet, P&L, Statement of Cash Flow, it allows you to pull GL data from GP databases as well as combine budgets and simple balances from Excel

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