March 19, 2021
Integration Hub solves Dynamics 365 Business Central challenge
Our Dynamics 365 team recently developed the Integration Hub, a plug n' play solution growing in popularity amongst our existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central customers.
ERP integration challenges
If you're running an ERP system, you may have faced the challenge of getting your ERP to 'talk to' other applications and systems, including those from vendors, banks, 3rd party logistics or e-commerce platforms.
Typically, these EDI style integrations require you to buy integration software/solutions and enlist a technically skilled intermediary, aka "middleman" to convert this data across systems. With dollars being charged per message, the costs soon add up.
Not only that, these types of integrations are pull driven, meaning they cause delays and unnecessary load due to the “chattiness” of someone else's system. They can't deliver critical messages in real-time, and errors during this process are only visible through a technical admin tool (accessible mostly by IT staff).
To solve these challenges and put the control into our customers' hands, we created the Integration Hub: a configurable, file-based integration tool for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
How does it work?
Integration Hub enhances the general functionality of Workflows and Data Exchange Definition.
- You subscribe to an event with a common Business Central workflow, and this passes a record onto a Data Exchange Definition.
- The data is then transformed into the desired format. This file is inserted into the Integration Messages.
- From here, it can be picked up from another system via a Web Service or directly pushed to an Azure Logic Apps workflow via our Business Central to Logic Apps integration in real-time.
Better error handling
For data from other business partners, you can setup a workflow and data exchange definition to handle the message in the format in which it's sent. This isn't always as expected, though. Errors happen and need to be dealt with. However, these errors shouldn't end up on the IT department's desk as they're almost always business-related.
To combat this, our error handling approach uses Azure Logic Apps workflow notifications via email, allowing the business user to make decisions and action the correction right there in the email – no need to open an admin portal. They can also retry the process again with a click of a button in the same email.
Relevant integration points can be set up and demoed right away, removing the fear that many organisations have regarding integration. By seeing the solution, the messages and the process, we've found that many customers feel more confident that the tool does the job well.
In the quest for time and cost savings, streamlining processes has many benefits. Integration Hub will help with that. It has other benefits too:
- Deployed in seconds.
- Easily configurable.
- Error management workflows prevent inaccuracies.
- Real-time messaging keeps users up-to-date.
- Easily managed from a central "hub".
Solving industry-related challenges
We've used Integration Hub for a wide range of industries, including insurance, training/education, distribution and food manufacturing. We can help with more specific industry-related challenges too - our team would be happy to listen to your needs.
To make it easily downloadable for fellow Microsoft partners and customers worldwide, we’ll have Integration Hub added to Microsoft's AppSource in the future, where it'll join our Excel Importer app. For now, get in touch with us to arrange a demo.