The newest version of Dynamics GP has introduced or expanded several new features such as approval workflows and intercompany processing. If you've read a lot of online commentary about the new release you have probably also heard about Service Based Architecture. When listening to developers you’d think Service Based Architecture (SBA) was a kind of miracle weight loss pill. You frequently hear SBA touted as a “game changer” – and it is!
Until now Dynamics GP was stuck in the unenviable position of having to support two code bases for the same product. There was the core business logic used in the desktop client and there was similar though not complete functionality in the eConnect code base. This meant that the same features had to be coded and supported in two different ways. This lead to inconsistencies that frustrated users and developers alike. Microsoft has moved to a Service Based Architecture that eliminates the need for two separate code bases thus simplifying support and in turn lowering end user costs in terms of integration time, money or both. The benefits of SBA don’t end there. With this new approach comes new opportunities that Dynamics GP can now take advantage of.
This new functionality isn’t just for developers, mere mortals can also take advantage of SBA. For some time now Microsoft Excel has allowed users to use a web page as a data source. With SBA you can now publish queries as a universal resource indicator (URI). The Smart List Builder from eOne Solutions makes it dead easy for anyone to build and publish a query as a web service using SBA. This means that any SmartList can be passed over the internet into Excel for further manipulation and analysis. Because the data is coming from a live GP instance it is always current. Any refresh of the Excel document will automatically update the data – wherever you are and whatever device you are running the Excel report on. No more need to create frequent exports that you then import into excel or Excel reports Finance needs to refresh and email to users. You can now use Excel and PowerBI to create your own dashboards, report or other presentations of data directly from Dynamics GP.
Here is an example of what a published web service URI looks like:
As you can see a published service looks like a webpage URL. You can in fact put a service URI into a web browser and it will return content in either XML or JSON format depending on which option you set in the URI. You don’t know what that means? No worries! Throw an apple out of your window and you will likely hit a developer that can help you build it in about 5 minutes.
In summary service based architecture is kind of boring to talk about but very exciting to imagine! By making it easier to get access to data and perform actions on that data Microsoft has opened up more creative ways to access Dynamics GP. This also means that it will be easier and faster for us geeks to build robust solutions for our clients thus reducing implementation costs for similar solutions on older versions of Dynamics GP.
Need faster access to your data?
Please contact me to discuss how easier access to your critical data will make you and your business more productive: [email protected], 844-BRIWARE (844-274-9273).
By Briware Solutions,