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SAP Business One Integration Design and Programming

We would like to feature here two native integration tools such as Data Transfer Workbench and Software Development Kit.  There are also various instruments available via ISV channel and if you like to review them we suggest you to do your homework but it is outside of the scope in this paper

As a preliminary observation we would like to note that SAP B1 is typically sold and implemented through small consulting firms where they might be excellent in initial sales job and general implementation however they might be limited in technology meaning such things as custom programming, integrations, interface modifications and Crystal Reports.  Let’s begin with Data Transfer Workbench:

1. DTW is familiar to each certified SB1 consultant however they often associate it with CSV templates and initial data conversion phase only.  We would like to mention that Workbench could be deployed in ongoing integration from external databases or text files.  There is no need to fill out templates in Excel as instead you can use ODBC connection and imitate template file structure in SQL View.  The only trick you need to know is to use Union construction where the first select statement simply imitates CSV column headers names.  DTW might be all you need and if so it should save you programming budget and you can avoid software development hours.  If this is not an option let’s move on to SDK

2. Software Development Kit has code samples in VB and C# and this is why we recommend you Microsoft Visual Studio and coding in these programming languages as modern software development is often done by following code samples and program blocks.  In order to compile project with SDK libraries you should have SAP BO client interface installed on your development computer.  There is hidden future cost to support customization in version upgrade projects as you will have to recompile it with new client application installed – DLL libraries will be new.  If you subcontract SDK programming please be sure that you have access to source code as it will be required in future recompilations

3. Integration and User Defined Tables and Fields.  When you are integrating your Small Business ERP application with external database chances are high that you need custom tables and fields.  Business One is flexible and it allows you to create these objects directly in settings and without SQL surgery.  Please review custom tables and fields creation option in user interface where follow the menu path: Tools -> Customization Tools and then follow either User Defined Tables Setup or User Defined Fields Management

4. SQL Data Feeding.  SBO has three tiers architecture and we do not recommend you direct SQL Insert statements into native tables.  There is Watch Dog service and if it is running it is supposed to report direct SQL intervention to SAP.  However if you have the chance to create custom table it is probably OK to insert records in it via SQL query.  Then these records should be available for SDK programmed logic

5. Second Opinion.  If you feel that your integration project was screwed up by initial programmer then we recommend you to seek second opinion from nationwide firm with emphasis in technology consulting.  Modern ERP support works via web sessions and phone conferences making local visits onsite optional and not really required

6. Advices if you are expanding internationally.  When you are crossing USA borders you have to face such issues as targeted country language support as well as compliance to sovereign country business related legislation and tax code.  Business One is localized in key countries and regions including Brazil, China, Russia, Mexico, Canada and Eastern Europe

7. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904 (for international customers, where our representatives pick up the phone in Naperville and St. Joseph, MI call centers).  We have local presence in Atlanta, Chicago, Southern California, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed). Our consultants speak English, Spanish, PortugueseFeature Articles, Russian and Chinese.  One of our experiences is international Corporate ERP and Consolidated Financial reporting

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Andrew Karasev is SAP Business One consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, MCSE and MSDBA, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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