Microsoft eCommerce Web-development: Great Plains eConnect .Net ? Highlights for Programmer

In our small article we'll consider Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains Sales Order Processing module as eCommerce backend. Plus we'll cover what is possible and impossible in eConnect and why. Microsoft Great Plains is one of the most popular ERP in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Latin America, UK and South Africa. Due to the MBS strategy ? Great Plains Dynamics was pulled from other markets, such as continental Europe (Germany, France, Russia) ? where Navision and Axapta are the promoted and recommended solutions. If you have Navision or Axapta ? please read our publications on these products on Alba Spectrum Technologies publication site.

? Great Plains Platform ? Great Plains Software Dynamics is written on GPS proprietary platform in Dexterity program language. Dexterity is based on very shrewd application development philosophy ? ERP application will stay decades if it is independent from the graphical computer environment and database platform. Back in 1992 C programming language was believed to be the rescuer and be cross-platform.

? Great Plains Architecture. Here we need to give you highlights on Great Plains Dynamics initial design. General Ledger (GL) was intended as core module, then you see modules, posting directly to GL: Receivables Management (RM), Payables Management (PM), Payroll, Inventory Control. The next level ? modules, posting to GL through other modules: Sales Order Processing (through Accounts Receivable), Purchase Order Processing (through Accounts Payables), etc. The second principle ? Great Plains would never allow you to post the batch of transactions behind the scene ? only via the user interface ? checked and approved by the user.

? eOrder ? this IIS ASP application was initially available for all the platforms: MS SQL Server, Ctree and Btrieve (later on Pervasive SQL 2000), in 1998 Great Plains Software made it available for MS SQL server only. eOrder was predecessor of modern eCommerce sites and all the attempts to customize eOrder were dubious in the version upgrade.

? .Net paradigm. Instead of inventing and making you use standard eCommerce solution - .Net gives you the choice to select from variety of products available on the market. This means that no more eOrders ? you just need the connector which will allow you to address Great Plains objects from your eCommerce application. As usual you are free to use your language of choice: VB or C#

? eConnect. Yes ? exactly ? it was initially developed for eCommerce programmers. Later on eConnect was extended on the majority of Great Plains modules, including distributions

? Restrictions. As you see above ? Great Plains allows you to address work tables only ? this means that you can not post transactions using eConnect. Other reported issues were related to Sales Order transfer to Invoice/Backorder

? Custom Stored Procedures. Right ? you have to use these custom SQL scripts to post transactions, created with eConnect.

If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577! [email protected]

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ? USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Australia, UK, Canada, Continental Europe, Russia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK

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