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Great Plains ERP in eCommerce environment: combining hosted website with Business Portal

After seeing reasonable and multiple concerns, we would like to give you some directions for your homework, when you consider transitioning for your let’s say “legacy” e-commerce website to new totally data driven eCommerce. 

Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 has pretty advanced Business Portal, where we recommend you to research Order Management module, which in turn is redesigned version of former eOrder.  eOrder went to the history, the last version of the product was 7.5.  For version 8.0 Microsoft Great Plains redeployed and improved old eOrder logic on Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Portal platform, tightly integrated with MS Sharepoint.  After a bit complicated introduction, we would like to explain your options in simple language:

1.       Where to host: in-house or outsource?  Well, this question doesn’t have direct answer, in essence it depends.  Self hosting gives you complete control over the functionalities and future directions, as you do not have to “comply” hosting company requirements.  However it is not necessary to switch to total self hosting over night.  You can keep your website hosted outside and move its data driven portion to hosting internally.  If you have complete understanding on how to split your website across multiple IP addresses, then you can skip the hint, for the rest of the auditorium we’d like to say, the all you need to do is to login to your domain registrant website and add something like that:

Ecommerce.mycompany.com 11.11.11.11 – this would be the placeholder for your in house dedicated IP address.  Domain name and IP are fictitious here, you would need to provide real ones.

Then, assuming you have Microsoft Windows domain, you make the settings on your Internet Information Server to resolve e-commerce traffic by named header on your IIS

2.       Business Portal Order Management Module.  Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Portal 10.0 is too dependent on the technology layers, such as SQL Server, Sharepoint, Active Directory – so we recommend you disregard BP hosting outsourcing (maybe down the road in the future you can revisit the idea, but for 2008 probably it doesn’t make any sense).  What is good about Order Management – you are virtually sharing GP inventory control and Sales Order Processing modules with OM, including pricing updates, promotions, customer price levels (and of course secured customer logins on the Business Portal level)

3.       If Business Portal is too complex or simply doesn’t do the job for you.  BP is not something easy to install and implement.  If you need light touch to your existing e-commerce application, you should consider do this either in eConnect, which in essence is Software Development KitFree Web Content, allowing programmer create such necessary object in GP as Sales Invoice; or you consider Great Plains Integration Manager to do overnight transaction move from eCommerce to Great Plains

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev is consultant at Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, MS CRM, SAP Business One and IBM Lotus Domino Partner.  We invite you to contribute on http://www.pegasplanet.com, Taisia Karaseva is Pegas Planet CEO. We serve corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Non-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally



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