Despite the fact that it might be quite rare, but there are certain cases in which you need to integrate data into Dynamics GP with no eConnect schema available to accomplish such requirement. The challenge is to fulfill such requirements when it is business critical and might definitely be the bottleneck of a complete data integration.

At SIROCo, we have recently been working on an integration project. The client receives an invoice through email including the shipment details including the quantities, cost, landed cost, item number and all the associated important details. They used to do manual entry which required not less than a day to get data into GP which was absolutely time-consuming and inaccurate. Afterwards, they have looked for some in-house development in order to automate the process and the result was not much satisfying (less than a day, but still requires human interactions and not less than four hours of work). The developers used Excel and VBA code in order to get the data into SQL … and then manipulate the data into GP through SQL procedures.

Eventually, we have been introduced to the client, and the resolution was simply to get Smart Connect in order to automate the following:
– Receiving Transaction Entry

– In-Transit Integration

The end result which we’ve thought of is to have the excel file saved in a specific folder, and then run the Smart Connect Map which will handle the whole integration. Although all went well, starting from the excel import into GP to the receiving transaction entry integration, the challenge was to create the In-Transit Integration.

Smart Connect has an interesting feature called, Node Builder, through which you can build custom integration nodes without the need to have much knowledge of SQL and GP tables. As quoted from eOne website;
Node Builder is easy to use interface that is a lot like SmartList Builder. It allows you to choose the tables you want to populate and then choose the fields that will be available to be populated with this node. It also lets you define your own rules about data validation. For example, you could check that an inventory item exists before you create a specific in transit inventory transfer.

You still need to be a Microsoft Dynamics GP expert to use Node Builder and have a good understanding of the table structure and the business rules from the front end. You do not need the ability to write code, however, it helps to think like a programmer without being one.

Although node builder is a great method, we’ve decided to follow a different approach and build an integration bridge for In-Transit which can be used not only for this client but also other clients. The integration bridge includes the logical steps following GP standards in Data Entry: