Microsoft provides several ways to pull in data from other databases or apps into Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Microsoft Great Plains). Microsoft Integration Manager, which is a separate module for Microsoft Dynamics, is one of the easiest options. It gives users a lot of power to import and map external data to the appropriate fields in Dynamics’ own database.
Why would you need to bring data into Dynamics Great Plains? Many companies use external payroll service such as ADP or Paychex. With Microsoft Integration Manager, you can bring key payroll fields into Dynamics’ General Ledger.
But there’s more financial data than just payroll that typically will need to be accessed. This data varies by industry, but think of all the external databases, such as vendor lists and product reference information, that are likely maintained in other systems or applications throughout your organization.
With Microsoft Integration, the set-up is straightforward. You’ll need to create a separate integration object that will contain your source and destination information. A source can be a comma- or tab-delimited text file or an ODBC database–in other words, you have a lot of flexibility on what can be brought in.
For the destination step, Integration Manager provides built-in adaptors with pre-defined information for Receivables Management, Payroll, and Inventory. If you do not find an appropriate one, you’ll have to create a new adaptor, which is not difficult.
The last step is to set-up the mappings from destination to source fields. You’ll do that through the easy-to-use Integration Manager interface. For more complex processing, there’s even the ability to write VBScripts for special field translations.
Most of the time, though, the mapping configuration will require minimal effort.
To run the integration, you can invoke the process manually from within Dynamics GP.
However, there’s a command line option that your system administrator will likely want to use. This will allow them to automatically schedule a data import based on when the data is available from the destination system.