Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Power of the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem

The following question was posted to Experts Exchange recently:

We currently use Solidworks for CAD modelling.  Initial BOMS are created in Solidworks, and we would like to be able to import a BOM from Solidworks into Dynamics GP.

Hmmm.  That's a good one.  I checked the eConnect documentation, but BOMs are not a supported import.  You could reverse engineer the tables and try and import the data, but that isn't the most desirable solution--and that's just the GP side of things.  Since I'm not familiar at all with CAD software or Solidworks, it didn't occur to me to look for a third party add-on that might import such data into GP.

Well, the author of the question did some research, and believe it or not, there is a solution called Agni Link designed to provide a real-time, bidirectional integration between three major CAD software solutions and all four of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions.

This is an example of the power of the Microsoft Dynamics "ecosystem".

First, products like Dynamics GP have been around for a long, long time, starting with its many years as Great Plains.  Second, the Dynamics ERP products are used by tens of thousands of customers, providing a large installed based that makes it economically viable to develop relatively niche products like a CAD to Dynamics integration.  Third, Dynamics ERP products have development tools and APIs that facilitate the development of third party solutions.

And last, because they all run on common Microsoft technologies like Windows and SQL Server, both of which are ubiquitous in the business world, third party solutions have the option of integrating with multiple Dynamics ERP products, providing a larger customer base for those ISV solutions.

I thought this was a great example of how all of those things come together to help customers use Dynamics GP to integrate their business systems.

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.

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