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BDO Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Next Generation Integration

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Starting this article with a title that rhymes compliments the smooth rolling transition of steps, on the topic of integrating data, that I wanted to write about today.

Recently working with a client who had a SQL based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and a requirement to present some ERP data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, we were tasked with some R&D to assess how feasible making use of the Scribe Online product offerings would be.

When I found the rarest of hours in my busy schedule, I began to look through the website sales screens for Scribe Online. Being a hands on person, I quickly switched from literature to digging in with a rolled up sleeves approach – “15 day free trial please”. From previous experience with the Scribe Insight platform – I know that the documentation you can read up on is no match for the battle scars you earn from actually doing the integration (true of many products and platforms, not just Scribe).

I was incredibly impressed with how intuitive and generally straightforward the approach is with connecting up the Scribe Online services. I have no ulterior motive with this blog posting sounding like a sale pitch, moreover I wish to express a new found faith in data hopping being as simple of a task as it really should be.

Let me explain the scenario addressed...

The ERP system was on an internal company network - firewalled, intranet, locked down, licensed users only etc. Making use of Scribes SYS product, you make an agent on the on-premise deployment that tunnels a connection out to the cloud. You configure your Scribe Online solution to make a connection with this agent, and that’s all there is to bridging the ERP system to the cloud. The connection with CRM Online is even simpler – CRM Online connection with a username and password…we now have our source and target.

There are many more options available, around SQL Server user permissions to limiting what elements of the ERP system can be visible from this bridge to the cloud – it’s not a public floodgate that’s just opened!

The next thing to be done is specify the items in a solution of what needs integrating. Very simple screens to allow you to pick a source, and gather the metadata of what is inside that source. All wizard driven, in fact, ignore the fact I mentioned metadata…swap it for “Click click click”.

A little bit of field for field mapping, from the ERP source view, to the CRM entity. “Click click click click” ...

For the more adventurous, there are a bunch of familiar Scribe functions for field level formulae, for the less adventurous – don’t click that option.

Within these steps was an option of how to fire the engine up. Events linked to updated records via modified date field values…or just bulk processes in batches, scheduled accordingly.

We did an on demand sync, clicked the Go button, and waited for a wheel to fall off…it’s been less than an hour and a half (I’d previously mentioned having an hour in my schedule…but this was going too well to stop!)

“All records processed” – too good to be true? Nope, too true and way better than good!

A quick refresh of the CRM entity screen showed 400+ records, with all the fields we’d hooked up with the click click clicking.

Scribe Online SYS : http://www.scribesoft.com/onlineSYS

BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

By Benn Wood, CRM Consultant with BDO Solutions

 

 

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