Its only Monday and I have already been asked by two clients about integer values in tables and the best way to integrate to them without using Integration Manager. Add to this the couple of calls I had last week on the same subject I thought it would be worthy of a blog article.
The first question that gets asked is “what is the best way of integrating?”.
Well that depends on what you’re integrating. If you’re integrating static data (addresses, debtors, accounts) then SSIS and other such tools are fine. However if you are integrating transactional data I would suggest it is best to use a tool that will use the business logic of Dynamics (GP) and thus prevent you pumping rubbish into the system. These tools will usually use eConnect to access that business logic, tools like Scribe, Integration Manager and Smartconnect can all use eConnect.
The next question tends to be “what tables do I need to integrate to?”
Well there are several ways of finding this out and a combination of them will provide you with the best results.
• Install the SDK from additional products on your Dynamics (GP) CD. This gives excellent help on integrations and will advise you on tables and the values required for integer fields etc.
• Use the Direct to table import. Open the window in which you would normally enter the information manually, then in that window select Tools > Integrate > Table Import. This will then display a list of tables that this window accesses and therefore would be updated if you entered information.
• Resource descriptions. These can be found under Tools > Resource descriptions > table definitions. Here you can find all the tables within Dynamics (GP) and their structure. It will also show you their physical name (The one used in SQL) and their display name as well as their technical name (Usually the one used in error messages).
Using a combination of these you should be able to get all the info you need. This is a very basic look at integrations and does not cover all the options, it is more of a pointer in the right direction.
And always integrate into a test database first when you’re developing your integration.