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SAP Business One Integration with Custom Ecommerce Portal

Small Ecommerce merchants often use popular shopping cart platforms such as Magento where integration is available.  However in B2B scenarios larger organizations might prefer in-house software development and support.

And this is understandable as in B2B ecommerce scenario you like to be unique and your customers should feel the quality or your services versus Google search and walk-in in the case of small merchants on Ebay.  First of all we would like to say that if you are large organization with long term plans to develop integration take a look at popular integration tools, such as iBolt.  In our publication we will give you initial information on how the job could be done in Software Development Kit in Microsoft Visual Studio:

1. How SDK integration works.  Popular way is to trigger shopping cart transfer in the form of AR Invoice with Payment by the time when order is submitted.  If you are selling on account then you might like the way to transfer into AR Invoice without payment and apply payment later when check arrives in mail.  This is real time integration and customer could be notified via email immediately.  It would be also cool to send order for fulfillment on the warehouse floor if you have your Business One integrated with Warehouse Management System.  WMS friendly to Barcoding or RFID is separate topic and outside of the scope in our paper

2. Technical side.  SDK is helper with code samples in VB and C# and this is why the job could be done in Microsoft Visual Studio.  If your ecommerce portal is hosted in Linux on PHP and MySQL platforms then it is good idea to implement the integration in the form of SOAP XML web service as this way will resolve cross platform issues as SAP B1 is hosted in Microsoft SQL Server and Windows platforms.  Sometimes programmers are asking questions like the following: ‘why don’t we just create several stored procedures to do ecommerce shopping cart import job?’  The answer is in B1 architecture.  It is three tiers application with database, application server and user workstation layers.  Feeding data directly to SQL database is not recommended as it is potential data inconsistency culprit.  Watch Dog service is supposed to be active and reporting to SAP data intrusion bypassing application server.  When you are programming your data transfer in SDK then you are in fact logging as user and talk to application server the same way as user workstation does.  As code snippets are in C# and VB.Net it is good idea to program in one of these two but it is possible to code in your favorite .Net compliant language for example Delphi

3. What if real time is not required?  Good question and in fact large ecommerce retailer often send you notification in batch mode half an hour after order placement and payment.  Let’s think about such native tool as Data Transfer Workbench.  You can pull data directly from ODBC compliant data source but we have seen issues in scheduling such transfer to fire automatically every twenty minutes or another interval but this was for version 2007A and we have not had a chance to retest it for 8.8X.  If you can export newly processed shopping carts into text file then it is possible to deploy DTW in scheduled scenario.  In order to deploy Data Transfer Workbench review CSV templates for the document that you plan to use as destination and imitate it in SQL View in the case of ODBC method or produce CSV file similar to template in the case of text export

4. Providing Second Opinion.  Well if you are not a programmer but rather IT manager the chances are high that your ecommerce import project was screwed up by one of SQP BO technical consultants.  Feel free to contact us for second opinion.  We prefer remote support via web session but local service is available if you are in Atlanta, Chicago or Southwest Michigan Saint Joseph Benton Harbor area or within reasonable reach from there

5. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, help@efaru.com.  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West MichiganPsychology Articles, 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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev is SAP BO consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space



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