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SAP Business One Integration in EDI Scenarios via Data Transfer Workbench

There is popular opinion that Data Transfer Workbench is sort of great tool for initial data migration but when you need ongoing import then you should probably look at SDK programming or ISV tools such as iBolt.  We would like to give DTW some credits and in general describe the way of building quasi real time integration.

Such great tools as iBolt are respected but Business One is often implemented in small organizations where they cannot afford additional software licenses and technical consulting hours cost.  At the same time these organizations might have IT enthusiast in staff ready to do additional homework and deploy native tool such as Data Transfer Workbench.  Let’s take a look at details:

1. CSV templates.  DTW is pretty trivial when you are filling up CSV file in Excel and then move data in initial conversion.  Workbench likes template structure and we recommend you to review the file which is intended to be filled up in order migrate your document type.  Of course we do not advise you to export EDI documents in CSV format but keep reading

2. ODBC data source.  When in data import wizard you are on the step two in Select File Type drop down list choose ODBC.  At this point you are opening the door of SQL querying through Views.  Let’s speculate about opportunities.  Let’s probably assume that you have external database in MySQL or maybe Oracle.  You can now create custom SQL View which pulls data from non-Microsoft platform via Openrowset or Linked Server

3. How to program SQL View?  Documentation is limited and it mostly concentrates on CSV templates.  We found the solution via empirical way.  SQL View should contain not only data rows but it also has to replicate column names exactly as they are in the template.  In some cases we had to provide two rows in column names which was a bit strange but did the job

4. Quasi real time integration via scheduling.  We tried it for version 2007A and it didn’t work.  SAP technical support indicated that ODBC integration is not supported in scheduled scenarios.  So it had to be initiated by operator.  Currently we have 8.82 version and we had no chance to test scheduled ODBC data migration.  If somebody had success please share your experience

5. Workbench advantages.  First of all it is free with software purchase.  Second point is SQL programmers are generally available on the job market and you can even hire one as recent college graduate.  Such great platforms as iBolt could cost you about the same comparing to SAP B1 licenses and plus you have to invest into programmer training or probably outsource to consulting firm with high hourly rates

6. Some additional ideas or exporting data from Business One.  We recommend you to review simple method to get information about table and field by login user interface and then open document in question and in menu View mark System Information.  Field and table name when accessed by cursor will be shown in the lower left portion of the application window

7. Beyond DTW or Software Development Kit.  It is an introduction paragraph and if you are certified consultant then please do not read it.  Here you can program integration in Microsoft Visual Studio and code samples are available in C# and VB.  It validates business logic so in order to code you have to be familiar with data workflow and business processes

8. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904,  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West MichiganArticle Search, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA and Canada nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed)

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Andrew Karasev is SAP BO consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 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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