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Dynamics GP Shopping Cart Integration in B2B and B2C ecommerce scenarios

If you already have eCommerce website with popular ecommerce shopping cart platforms, such as ASP .Net Store Front, or Magento/PHP in Business-to-Business or Business-to-Customer models, we would like to give you highlights on shopping cart integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP or Great Plains, how this mid-market Corporate ERP application was known initially

First of all, we would like to stress, that in our believe popular ecommerce shopping cart platforms have quite a large number of installations in USA and internationally (they are pretty solid with most of the bugs detected and fixed with direct customer support from the original software development companies) and we discourage you to do custom shopping cart programming.  We also believe that customers with existing ecommerce web application do not like the idea to trash the ecommerce website and redeploy it on another product base – we respect that position and we would like to help you on getting existing ecommerce site integrated with your ERP application, in our example it is Microsoft Dynamics GP:
1. Where shopping cart goes in Dynamics GP?  The most natural way is to transform shopping cart into Sales Order Processing Sales Order or Invoice.  If you are mid-market or large ecommerce wholesaler (B2B) or retailer (B2C), we recommend you to select SOP type for ecommerce integration with manual line items allocation, as you would likely need to fulfill the Order on the warehouse floor with Picking and Packing with Barcode scanning, please see Warehouse Management System section below on details.  If you are selling with full or partial prepayment (customer credit card) – it is Customer Deposit against Sales Document
2. eCommerce module from Alba Spectrum.  Here you have wizard driven installation and setup, our goal is to open ecommerce integration for you in the matter of few hours, where you pick ecommerce shopping cart platform from drop down list, select default ecommerce warehouse, SOP Type and reasonable number of additional settings.  Ideal solution for B2C ecommerce, in B2B scenario you need more control over Customer specific discounts and pricing – we have features in the integration for B2B as well, but you may expect additional programming and modifications
3. Alternative low budget way of eCommerce integration.  If the number of ecommerce transactions per day is low or moderate (let’s say less than twenty or even one hundred) and ecommerce customer doesn’t need immediate access to the order status, we suggest you to consider ecommerce shopping cart integration to Dynamics GP in Quasi real time (every hour or another small time interval).  If this is acceptable in your ecommerce B2B or B2C trade – consider doing shopping cart integration to SOP Sales Document via Great Plains Integration Manager.  We have case study when computer parts ecommerce retailer deployed IM with custom PHP/MySQL based shopping cart to fire every 5 minutes, where Integration was called by one of the scheduled freeware Windows macro type of programs.  If you do integration manager, we can call us for help, and if you do it on your own, we recommend you to consider IM Source to be chosen as Advanced ODBC, where you can pull transactions directly from ecommerce website database (you are not limited to Microsoft SQL Server, MS Access, XML or Text file – Advanced ODBC is possible in cross-platform scenarios, where shopping cart data resides in Oracle, Ingress, IBM DBII, Lotus Notes, Pervasive SQL, Ctree, MySQL and other ODBC open DB platform)
4. Warehouse Management System add-on for Dynamics GP.  WMS opens Dynamics GP Sales Order Processing, Purchase Order Processing and Inventory Control (with additional components also Bill of Materials and Manufacturing Suite of modules) for Barcoding technology.  Typical Warehouse Management System business logic includes Customer Order Fulfillment, Inventory Restocking and Inventory Transfers and Adjustments (including also Cycle Count, which is in essence mass adjustment).  Alba Spectrum WMS has Server and Client components.  WMS client runs directly on your Barcode scanner operating system and LCD screen.  The client talks to WMS Server via wireless connection or RFID to pull info about existing Sales Orders/Invoices, POP Purchase Receipts and Inventory transactions.  WMS Server is typically Windows computer, connected to your wired network (Level 5 Ethernet cable, Fiber Optic or even wireless, if the WMS transaction level is low) and talks to Dynamics GP DB Server via ODBC connection
5. Second Opinion on failed Dynamics GP implementations, ecommerce integrations, Warehouse management Systems and other Barcoding technology based projects.  We are Dynamics GP, eCommerce and Barcode scanning people.  If somebody from Great Plains resellers community screwed the implementation, please be patient, do not burst out in blaming, seek for second opinion.  As our experience indicates, failures might be attributed to too aggressive telemarketing sales techniques, where local or regional Dynamics GP Partner tries to push through GP software licenses sale (giving you “of course” answers on industry specific questions).  Please, do your homework and check references, be sure your prospective Dynamics GP VAR or ISV has your industry expertise, or sufficient exposure to such technologies as Dexterity, eConnect, Integration Manager, VBA with Modifier, SSRS, Crystal Reports
6. eCommerce for Legacy versions of Great Plains Dynamics and eEnterprise.  If you are committed to older no longer supported version of GP, such as 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0 we recommend you either to review Integration  Manager route (if you are on old version, chances are high that ecommerce transaction level is moderate or low – IM is covering Microsoft SQL Server 2008, 2005, 2000, 7.0, 65. As well as Pervasive SQL 2000 and Ctree based Great Plains versions) or upgrade to the current version of Dynamics GP 2010 (sometimes referred as version 11.0), if you think that business is picking up and you are ready to allocate Great Plains Upgrade Budget.  If you are still on Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac: 9.5, 9.2, 9.1 or earlier versions we would like to discourage to invest in ecommerce integration for this archaic Corporate ERP platform – consider upgrading all the way to Dynamics GP 2010/11.  We do not want you to do Software investments into the ERP which is only compatible with 32-bit platform
7. How to get further info?  Please, call us 1-866-529-0577 or internationally 1-630-961-5918 or email us help@albaspectrum.com  If you have specific requirements, we encourage you to submit your case via email – we will try to answer with case studies and recommendations.  The nature of our servicing module allows us to serve you with ecommerce, warehouse Management System and generic Dynamics GP support USA, Canada nationwide and internationally via Sales presentations via Web Sessions and Phone (or Skype if internationally) conferences.  If required we travel onsite for initial implementation, especially when hardware setup is required (Barcode Scanner, WMS Server Computer installation, etc.) with following remote support.  We also carry Great Plains Dexterity Software Development Factory and ready for Dynamics GP customization projects from small ones to the Dex projects with unlimited scope.  Local walk-in consulting service is available in Michigan, Illinois, California, Texas

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com  Informational portal http://www.pegasplanet.com  Andrew is Dynamics GP Certified Master and specializes in challenging customizations, data conversions, integrations, reporting.  As an announcement, Alba Spectrum is opening the location in Benton Harbor/ Saint Joseph Area of the state of Michigan, where we are welcoming Dynamics GP customers, who need second opinion, barcoding, failed implementation recovery, version upgrade, challenging data conversions 



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