Welcome to my first Rose Business Solutions blog post. For my first series of postings, I thought I would cover a topic near and dear to every developer working with Great Plains: Integration.
Software is now an integral part to operating a business, and many companies are tracking information in multiple systems, each with its own purpose. Much of this information has a dollar amount associated to it, which means it should probably end up in the ERP system.
There are many tools to choose from when implementing an integration; each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the solution choice is made based on the project budget, but what are some of the other factors that impact our choice of tool, and ultimately solution?
The answer: Requirements.
Over the course of implementing several integrations, I have compiled a list of requirement topics that are evaluated whenever an integration project arises:
1) Logistics: How exactly will the information get from point A to point B?
2) Security: Who has access to the integration? How sensitive is the information being transferred?
3) Tool Availability: Does a tool exist to help perform the integration, or are we starting from scratch?
4) Division of Labor: What are we responsible for? What is the client responsible for? What are third parties responsible for?
5) Automation: User driven, scheduled (how often) or real time?
6) Integration Points: What types of transactions are we integrating?
7) Integration Process: Where does the process begin? What happens with the data in GP before feedback? When does the process end?
8) GP Module Complexity: Are we integrating to the GL? Simple...Or are we integrating to Project Accounting? Not as simple...
9) Integration Volume: How much data will be transferred?
10) Field Mapping and Translation Logic: How many fields are mapped between systems? How difficult is the system translation?
Whew...I better stop before this gets too wordy. There are probably other factors to consider when deciding on an integration tool, but I think this list of ten is a good start. In my next few articles, I plan on drilling in on some of the tools and discussion some of the common mistakes. Until then, take care!
"Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War