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B2B, B2C ecommerce for Dynamics GP notes for IT and consultant

If you are consulting, or programming for ecommerce oriented company, or you work in Information Technology department, and the organization has Microsoft Dynamics GP, formerly known as Great Plains Dynamics ERP implemented and now you are looking to either implement ecommerce from scratches or integrate existing ecommerce B2B or B2C application, this article is for you.  

First of all, you should think about dilemma to choose ecommerce product, of build ecommerce website internally or program it with software development partner firm.  In our opinion, if your are small ecommerce channel reseller, then you should stick to your franchisor ecommerce recommendation:  eBay, etc.  However, if you are trying to start up new technology selling business with ecommerce emphasis, and you have backing capital - you may find that your ecommerce requirements are too unique and existing shopping cart/ecommerce products are too simple to fit your business - the you consider assemble ecommerce in Microsoft Visual Studio C# or VB.Net web project (purchasing ecommerce libraries or SDK from trusted ecommerce vendors).  If you are large corporation, you should do your homework as the final answer depends on various factors.  Again, in our opinion, ecommerce at this time is not ready to be considered as simple choice, it is rather painstaking process of selection, reselection, implementation and reimplementation:


1.       Dynamics GP Business Portal with Order Management Module.  Here you are working with existing Great Plains company Inventory items, and you create orders that end up in GP SOP tables: SOP10100 and SOP10200.  You can have active catalog, which is outside of GP - in separate BP Catalog tables in your Company database.  In B2B scenario, you have BP module Electronic Document Delivery which enables Sales and other types of documents emailing to your business partners.  Outside of ecommerce, if you need to save on Payroll stub postage, you can implement HR employee self service (assuming that you are deploying GP Payroll module).  You should definitely review Business Portal and if it fits your requirements, perfect, we are happy to sell and implement it for you.  Some remarks we heard from our customers and prospects - Dynamics GP Business Portal is not very flexible in customizations, besides color schema and pictures or logos uploading.  We may agree and disagree with these comments, as you should probably be more open to adopt the technology of the future, as Microsoft is likely very committed to its Dynamics products Business Portals.  Good example is Microsoft CRM SDK, where in the initial versions 1.2 and 3.0 you had very slow customization interface and restricted programmability and now with CRM SDK 4.0 you can virtually do whatever you like as programmer.  We believe that Business Portal for Great Plains Dynamics GP will improve dramatically in the short future and third party ecommerce add-ons will have hard time to compete with it, however for now you may decide to implement third parties, as they are several steps ahead of Dynamics Business Portal


2.       OK, now to third party modules, such as Alba Spectrum Order Connector, Posting Sever or Autopost.  At this time we are launching multiple ecommerce GP dedicated products, in fact by repackaging our former customizable solutions to become out of shelf type of products, plus we are expanding our Microsoft Dynamics GP ecommerce Software Development Factory.  We assume that you already did research on the competition.  In B2C scenarios, we recommend you to consider our Order Connector product - it is for simplified ecommerce integration to Dynamics GP SOP module: Quotes, Sales Orders, Invoices, Returns.  We are writing these lines in August 2009, and we are in very rapid progress, so for current offering, please visit our website or call our office


3.       Direct eConnect programming.  If you have C#, or VB.Net software developers in stuff, we recommend this direction.  If your ecommerce web application is coded in house, then you should have complete control with eConnect SDK programming.  We do not discuss in this article specific eConnect objects, however you should expect as coder reasonable familiarity with Dynamics GP tables structure and object model.  If you feel that you need additional help, please install Dynamics GP SDK from GP 10.0 CD #2.  Talking about eConnect for GP versions 10.0 and even 9.0 we heard mostly positive opinions from third party programmers, Dynamics GP ISV and consultants


4.       Great Plains Integration Manager.  If you are OK with Great Plains operation initiated integration, or in advanced IM scenario with scheduled integration, this approach is worth to consider, as IM is rewritten in eConnect for GP 10.0.  If you are on older version of Great Plains, IM requires OLE Server to be running in integrating time, meaning that you have to consume open Great Plains User License if GP workstation is running 24-7


5.       Great Plains Dexterity in eCommerce coding.  Dex is initial architecture of Great Plains Dynamics.  This development tool has no limits in adding new or altering existing object in Great Plains.  In fact we use Dexterity Source Code programming to develop our products, that extend eConnect limitations (such as posting GP batches directly from ecommerce applications)


6.       eCommerce for older Great Plains Versions.  eConnect is in our opinion reliable for Dynamics GP 10.0 and in most of the areas for 9.0.  If you are on older versions of Dynamics GP Great Plains or eEnterprise: 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2 or Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or MAC, please consider upgrade to Dynamics GP 10.0.  If upgrade is exceeding your budget, and if you are already on Dynamics GP on SQL Server 2000 or 2005, we are ready to help you with Order Connector product


7.       Non Microsoft ecommerce platform.  If you are on Linux, Oracle, DBII, PHP platform, please review ODBC connections options to Microsoft SQL Server, where Dynamics GP is hosted.  If you are comfortable to create and support these connections (including JDBCODBC bridges), then we can help you to integrate you ecommerce application with Dynamics GP


8.       How to get help?  Please call us: 1-866-528-0577, outside of USA 1-630-961-5918, email us  We speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Filipino, Arabic.  Please, be aware that Dynamics GP is not UNICODE compliant application, and if you need help in having GP Screens to be translated to Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other hieroglyph based characters language, this is not possible.  We would be happy to create Chinese Crystal Reports out of your Dynamics GP system with the help of third party Dynamics GP ISV tools, such as NJ Star.  If you are trying to consider Great Plains for your Brazilian subsidiary, we would have to discourage you and ask you rather to consider SAP Business One, which is localized for Brazil.  Great Plains Dynamics GP is also not localized for Russian market, we invite you to call us to help you understand ecommerce and Corporate ERP options in Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Poland, SerbiaScience Articles, Uzbekistan

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Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum , 1-866-528-0577  Serving ERP and MRP community since 1994, local service in Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Atlanta, Los Angeles. Information portal:  We serve you USA and Canada nationwide from our SAP Business One call center: California, Illinois, New York, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Ontario, Quebec, Washington, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Oregon, New York, New England. International clients welcome from Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South Africa, UK, Brazil, Caribbean, Russia, Central America

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