Microsoft AX and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations have a long history of providing ERP functionality for customers. We have a growing list of customers that utilize these solutions for managing the finance and procurement operations of their manufacturing business. Whether you use their older on-premises solutions or their newer cloud deployments, you have a number of options available to integrate with the L2L Dispatch Smart Manufacturing Platform.
Below is a list of general use cases for integrating ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365. This information contains the general workflow and best practices we have discovered while working with our customers.
General ERP / EAM / CMMS Use Cases:
- Spares / Inventory Management
- Asset Management
- Master Data Management
- Allocation of Labor & Spares Costs from Shop Floor Activities
- Production Orders and Status
- Labor and historical record retention in the EAM / CMMS system
Supported Versions Details:
We support all recent versions of Microsoft Dynamics. Whether your deployment is on-premise or in the cloud, an older Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, or Dynamics NAV, or the newer Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or Dynamics Business Central, we've had customers successfully integrate using various integration methods.
Integration Methods and Best Practices:
When it comes to Microsoft Dynamics, L2L DISPATCH integration API endpoints and use cases are well known and documented. Depending on your specific Dynamics spare parts reservations, ordering, receiving, and issuing procedures you will likely need to customize where the data is accessed to match your business needs. This is normal and average for this industry. Dynamics is a powerful financial system that allows for advanced customizations that meet industry and company-specific policies, requirements, and regulations. Based on this you should plan on customizing and tailoring our best practices to fit your needs and business rules.
Dynamics Connectivity Options and Considerations
A typical Dynamics Integration has a couple of moving pieces. A method of collecting and extracting the data from the Dynamics Platform and a method for transforming that data and sending it to L2L. The good news is that the Dynamics 365 Data Management Framework provides mechanisms to do both within the platform. you also have several additional options for doing some or all of this work using third-party middleware platforms or custom-developed code.
There are a couple of items to consider based on the business goals of this integration. First, you'll need to decide if this is a batch job that moves a lot of data and runs less frequently or a more frequent query with fewer records each time it runs. For the batch job scenario, you'll want to use the Data Management Framework to create a scheduled job to extract the data. This job scan can be scheduled to run on a schedule anywhere from every few minutes to every few hours depending on your use case and how often the day changes. For more direct query capabilities, you can also use the OData APIs to get only the updated records. Be aware that the OData APIs may be throttled and limit the amount of data you can transfer per day if running in the cloud.
Once you have a method for extracting the data, you'll need a method for transforming that data to push up to L2L via our APIs. This can be done in a number of different ways as outlined below. It really depends on what technologies your team is familiar with and uses as a company standard. The Dynamics Data Management Framework has capabilities to schedule and run custom code solutions for exactly this use case.
For more information on these methods please review the following links:
Depending on your established Dynamics integration standards, instead of using the built-in Data Management Framework, you might develop this integration using an existing middleware solution. We have customers that have successfully completed this using some of the following middleware solutions:
L2L API Code Examples
You might be asking yourself, I'm technical, can't I just do this myself? YES! Based on how easy it is to use our API, a lot of customers jump right in and write custom Dynamics integrations using the tools, programming languages, and platforms they are most comfortable with. If this is you, we've created a number of API code examples in all of the most popular programming languages. Check out our GitHub repository at:
Use a Partner
If you have deployed Dynamics then you most likely have an existing Dynamics Systems Integrator or Partner that you use for this type of work. We have had great success partnering with existing System Integrators to deliver ERP integrations with our platform. Please contact support or your account rep about introducing us to your preferred partner. Together we can help make this integration painless and quick.