I just fielded an eConnect question on the incredibly busy Microsoft Dynamics GP Community Forum about an issue with an eConnect vendor import.
The user was trying to set the Vendor Status field on imported vendors, but was unable to set the Status to Temporary.
I opened a .NET eConnect project and checked the properties of taUpdateCreateVendor object and I quickly found a likely suspect for the problem.
In eConnect 2010, the GP documentation and help team did a great job of restructuring the eConnect Help file to make it much easier to navigate. However, for some reason, they also eliminated one small part of the help file: the lists of the "serialization flags".
If you open the eConnect 10 help file and pull up the taUpdateCreateVendor record, you will see that some fields have little cross symbols next to them. Those marks indicate that those fields have separate serialization flags.
At the bottom of the eConnect help page, there was a list of all of the serialization flags.
Once you knew about the serialization flags and knew to be on the lookout for them, this information wasn't terribly important. Which might be why the serialization flag list was dropped in the eConnect 2010 help file. But for those poor souls who were creating their first eConnect project in GP 2010 or 2013, this detail would not be at all obvious.
So what is a serialization flag and how to you use it?
I don't know the back story for why serialization flags were used in eConnect, but my guess is that it was to help reduce the complexity of the eConnect serialization code. By having flags to indicate which less-common fields were being sent in, the code didn't have to evaluate certain values and could skip certain chunks of serialization by default.
In short, it's just a boolean property that you must include if you are setting the value of a corresponding eConnect field.
In this example, if you send in a value for Vendor Status, you must also send in the corresponding vendor status serialization flag.
Whenever you develop eConnect integrations, you need to pay attention to the intellisense to see if a property has a corresponding "Specified" property. Since those properties are no longer indicated or listed in the eConnect help file, Intellisense is the only way that I know of to be aware of such properties in eConnect 2010 and 2013.
Steve Endow is a Dynamics GP Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles. He is also the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.