MICROSOFT DYNAMICS INTEGRATION

Considerations when integrating with Dynamics +

How Cloud Elements reduces the pain for developers

What You Should Know About Microsoft Dynamics APIs

Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM offerings—multiple products under the Dynamics umbrella—have strong market adoption due to several acquisitions, notably Great Plains in 2001 and Navision in 2002. The suite includes cloud-based and on-prem deploy options and a range of APIs from the Dynamics GP SDK to the Dynamics 365 Business Central REST API.

For application developers, integration with Microsoft can open new markets and automate your users’ experience. Dynamics products are typically highly-customized for each customer. Before you begin building an integration, here are a few things you should know:

Eventing

Microsoft Dynamics system admins (SA) can choose to publish events or not, meaning your integration will need to manage event queries via a polling framework as well as be prepared to consume events. For the polling scenario, you will further need to manage polling calls and other activity against the service protection limits mentioned above.

Concurrency & Service Protection Limits

Dynamics APIs typically return a 429 error when the combined execution time of incoming requests per user exceeds 1,200,000 milliseconds (limit) over a rolling time window of 300 seconds. Integration developers will have to design around these limits in many scenarios and may need to architect “gating” of API calls for a given user account.

Bulk Framework

Many Dynamics versions offer the ExecuteMultipleRequest
function that must be invoked explicitly for bulk operations like mass data migrations. However, there are still limits: no recursion is allowed, maximum batch size is 1000 by default, and there is a limit of 2 concurrent ExecuteMultipleRequest executions per organization.

Authentication

Dynamics GP and older NAV versions support Basic (username and password) authentication, though Basic auth can lead to concurrency and security issues. More recent versions of the NAV SOAP API and Business Central REST API also support OAuth token-based authentication flows. The method to use will depend on your use case and you may need to support both.

On-Prem Deployments

Many enterprises and medium-sized businesses run the Great Plains ERP (Dynamics GP) on-prem and Microsoft has continued to make updates and release new versions; the latest was released in October 2018. Integrations with on-prem solutions present developers with the added complexity of working with clients’ existing middleware and/or establishing secure connections amid fireways.

.NET Specialist

Optionally, if you standardize to REST, when integrating to your customers’ Dynamics GP applications you’ll likely need to hire/contract with an experienced Visual Studio .NET developer in order to leverage the web services SDK.

SDK vs SOAP vs REST

Integrations for Dynamics GP products require learning a Java SDK, whereas older versions of Dynamics NAV may work best with the SOAP API. Recent versions of Dynamics NAV (now Business Central) offer a parallel OData API (e.x., 2018 version). The user experience, the customer’s Dynamics product, and endpoint resources all factor into how to design and build a specific integration. You may need to support multiple methods. Note: for on-prem deployments, REST programming is not natively supported in C/SIDE (the programming language of Dynamics NAV/Business Central) and must be enabled by your customer or system admin.

Why Using Cloud Elements Beats Coding Directly to Microsoft Dynamics APIs

You can spend months learning the Dynamics endpoints’ unique methods, error codes, etc., and creating necessary functionality on top of that, like polling for events. Instead, Cloud Elements removes much of the complexity for you, such as:

  • Normalized REST methods—we’ve done the conversion from SOAP/XML for you
  • Standardized auth experience for developers—more secure integrations with less work
  • 100% API-accessible & one-to-many—for app developers integrating to multiple ERPs
  • Eventing and Bulk frameworks out-of-the-box—why reinvent the wheel?
  • Discovery APIs & standardized query—write one query, use many times
  • Targeted resources—different Elements for Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, and Dynamics 365 CRM

Cloud Elements Microsoft Applications

Cloud Elements’ platform lets your teams develop and deploy Microsoft Dynamics integrations faster, bringing new functionality to market sooner and dedicating more resources to your core product. Here’s how other Cloud Elements customers leverage integration to streamline processes for users and surface valuable insights.

See Our API Docs

Order-to-Cash

Seamlessly integrate closed-won opportunity data from CRM or ecommerce orders to streamline fulfillment and avoid duplicate data-entry tasks. Empower sellers with up-to-date product catalog data and drive greater productivity for the accounts receivable team.

Popular Endpoints

  • Docusign
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • Oracle JD Edwards
  • Magento
  • Square
  • SugarCRM
  • Recurly
  • Zuora
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Reduce clicks and busywork for sellers and avoid human errors
  • Ensure more accurate quoting by syncing product catalogs to CRM systems
  • Surface customer invoice and ticket status for sellers to generate upsell opportunities
  • Enhance inventory, materials, and vendor status insights with real-time data

Procure-to-Pay

Sync vendor management, requisitions, and bill processing to drive productivity gains for the AP team while also improving financial controls and visibility for the CFO. Cut down swivel-chair data entry, reduce errors, and cut file-based payment initiators.

Popular Endpoints

  • Tipalti
  • SAP Concur
  • TeamPay
  • Coupa
  • Tungsten Networks
  • SAP Ariba
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • Sage 200
  • QuickBooks
  • FreshBooks
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • Square
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Reduce swivel chair/dual-screen data entry to avoid human errors
  • Reduce manual rework when file-based batch payments fail due to data errors
  • Provide real-time visibility to the CFO and improve financial controls
  • Streamline expense management for a better employee experience

Lead-to-Customer

Stand out among the competition from awareness to purchase by delivering a cohesive customer experience. Activity integration powers dynamic content customization and triggers action by sellers on new leads from any channel. Cross-channel data aggregation deepens insight for marketers and sellers alike.

Popular Endpoints

  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • SAP C/4 HANA
  • Infusionsoft
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce Pardot
  • Marketo
  • HubSpot
  • Oracle Eloqua
  • Constant Contact
  • SendGrid
  • MailChimp
  • Act-On
  • SalesLoft
  • Terminus
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Reduce CRM clicks and populate reliable data for dashboards and reporting
  • Enrich marketing leads with data from CRM/third-party services
  • More granularly segment and nurture leads with insight engagement and content downloads
  • Generate ROI reporting in marketing platforms by syncing deal opportunities in your CRM

Real-Time Business Analytics

Quickly generate robust reporting by aggregating data across dozens of applications and Dynamics modules. Move beyond static, dated reports by automatically exporting the abstraction layer on a defined or event-driven schedule.

Popular Endpoints

  • SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Snowflake
  • Salesforce Applications
  • Marketo
  • Oracle Eloqua
  • Google Drive
  • Sharepoint
  • Jira
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Bring together sales, service, and marketing data into a single data warehouse
  • Synchronize analytics services and replicate data to take pressure off of back-end systems
  • Create an event-driven data lake to serve real-time analytics

Issue-to-Resolution

Customers expect to deal with organizations and brands as a whole, not as isolated groups. Integrate customer data, orders, and support tickets across your entire customer footprint to quickly resolve issues and avoid embarrassing interactions.

Popular Endpoints

  • ServiceNow
  • Zendesk
  • Freshdesk
  • SAP Cloud for Customer
  • Jira
  • Oracle Service Cloud
  • Salesforce Service Cloud
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Sync tickets across multiple applications, creating cross-departmental customer support
  • Notify sales teams in real time for issues affecting their accounts
  • Create enhanced views for support agents and gain a 360-degree view of the customer
  • Automate capturing Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and customer feedback cycles

Hire-to-Retire

HR pros know that creating a seamless employee experience helps recruit and retain top talent. Automate onboarding tasks for new hires; smooth payroll, benefits, and expense management to remove day-to-day friction for employees; and unify data to better engage a global workforce.

Popular Endpoints

  • SuccessFactors
  • Workday
  • ServiceNow
  • Oracle Taleo
  • ZenDesk
  • Sage Intacct
  • HireRight
  • Bamboo HR
  • Cherwell
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Seamlessly integrate recruiting, applicant tracking, and offers for target candidates
  • Automate routine onboarding and offboarding tasks, reducing manual HR efforts
  • Generate requests for internal IT to provision licenses and troubleshoot problems
  • Easily capture and share exit interview information back to leadership

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