Dynamics GP Electronic Commerce: Shopping Cart Selection, Implementation

Sep 6


Andrew Karasev

Andrew Karasev

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Ecommerce might be nowadays a must, especially for mid-size wholesaler (Business2Business ecommerce scenario) or retailer (Business2Customer). Ecommerce might be only one part of the whole solution, the second part would probably be Warehouse Management System, where ecommerce originated customer orders are fulfilled via barcode scanning on the warehouse floor

In this small publication we would like to give you some technical highlights on how ecommerce is typically mapped in Dynamics GP.  If you are business owner, Dynamics GP Electronic Commerce: Shopping Cart Selection, Implementation Articles please accept our apologies to be a little bit technical, feel free to read our other papers, dedicated to company executives on eCommerce, WMS, Supply Chain Management; or invite your IT specialist to read this paper with you.  Let’s begin:
1. Which Ecommerce Shopping Cart should we pick, or should we program our own custom shopping cart?  The answer depends on your comfort level in programming and existing products on the software market.  Based on our experience, dealing with real customers, who implemented ecommerce for Microsoft Dynamics GP and older versions of Great Plains Dynamics.  For the majority of Dynamics GP customers we would recommend to rely on existing shopping cart platforms, such as Magento (might be good option for Linux and PHP), ASP.Net Storefront (if your IT department is committed to Microsoft Windows).  Shopping Cart software development is really something very advanced, these products are sold in thousands every week and you should expect high level of reliability and rich functionality.  On the other hand for large ecommerce companies we often see the case of programming in-house ecommerce shopping cart, which is placed as a cornerstone of the custom ecommerce website.  We respect larger electronic commerce retailer desire to retain complete control over the source code and future programming of their mission critical tool – ecommerce website.  And if you are working for large publicly traded company, you may have the policy to develop shopping cart internally
2. How ecommerce is implemented in Microsoft Dynamics GP.  There are numerous Great Plains ISV partners, who have ecommerce add-ons to GP, one of them is our company.  Most of the Add-ons are transferring ecommerce shopping cart into Sales Order Processing Invoice with Customer Deposit.  Background technologies are eConnect (where you open SOP transaction to MS Visual Studio C# or VB.Net programming), some packages are matured and were available for earlier versions of Great Plains Dynamics – there you could expect either Great Plains Dexterity ecommerce integration code or SQL Stored Procedures to do direct data feeding to SOP tables: SOP10100 (Document header) and SOP10200 (transaction lines).  If you think that you could expert ecommerce documents into text files – then you may just consider Dynamics GP Integration Manager, without getting into ecommerce add-on implementation.  Integration Manager integration could be scheduled to run in quasi real time every ten minutes via Windows macro (to call Exe application with parameters)
3. If you would like to implement your own custom ecommerce shopping cart.  Perfect, if you have software development budget, please, consider one of the following Great Plains integration options.  The first would be creating direct SQL Server Linked Server or ODBC cross platform connection to your ecommerce database (likely to be MySQL in PHP/Linux, Oracle, Microsoft Access, Pervasive SQL, Foxpro, DBII, Progress or another DB platform).  The other approach is text file (CSV or tab delimited)
4. eCommerce for older versions of Great Plains Dynamics, eEnterprise and Great Plains Accounting.  We really advise you to consider upgrade to current Microsoft Dynamics GP version 2010/11.0 or at least currently supported versions 10.0 or 9.0 prior to jumping into ecommerce World.  We are happy to support you on Great Plains Dynamics on Pervasive SQL Server 2000 or Ctree, and even Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac, but we do not think that this is a good idea to invest into ecommerce being on that version
5. Microsoft Dynamics GP Warehouse Management System and Barcoding technology.  We would like to recommend Alba Spectrum WMS Server and Client Application.  WMS client runs directly on Barcode scanner operating system (either Windows mobile or Text compatible scanner).  WMS client communicates to Warehouse Management Server via Wireless or wired Ethernet and then WMS Server talks to Dynamics GP SQL Server via fiber optics, Ethernet, wireless (if the volume of transactions is low)
6. How to contact us.  Please call us 1-866-528-0577, or email us help@albaspectrum.com  How we support you?  Preferred way is remote support via web session and phone or skype conference – this way we serve you USA, Canada, Mexico nationwide and internationally.  Some customers prefer local walk in Dynamics GP consulting service, and we are ready to kick your door in Chicago, Western Michigan, Southern California, Houston area of Texas