Are you looking for a way to achieve simple or complex data integrations without needing to use any code or hand-keyed data between systems? If so, SmartConnect could be the solution you’re looking for.
In this 30-minute webinar, eOne Solutions take us through their integration platform that allows you to migrate, synchronise and integrate the various data sources across your business. Particular features include:
- A consistent, user-friendly interface
- Simple and intuitive data mapping experience that is easy to use, even if you’re not technical
- Choice of destinations for the new data generated
- Multiple options for triggering and automating integrations
- Easy to use data transformation tools, both before and after integration
- Ability to add scripting and/or connect to custom applications
- Capability to monitor integration progress as well as review and fix any issues that arise
Click here to watch on demand.
My name is Danusia Joliffe
and I am the Marketing and Customer Services Director here at TVision, and in conjunction with our speakers today, we’re going to be telling you all about their solution.
We’ve got Madalynn here on the line also, and Ethan.
Thank you Danusia for the introduction, and everyone for joining us this morning. For today’s agenda, we’ll just give you a little background on who we are…
and then we’ll go into an introduction to SmartConnect, and then I’ll hand it off to Ethan’s to demo. If you have any questions, just feel free to drop them in the chat or question box.
So, we are… Sorry, Madalynn, so yeah, I’ll be monitoring the chat today. So as Madalynn and Ethan are taking you through, if there is anything that you’d like to ask do let me know, and I’ll ask the question at the appropriate time, so I’ll switch my camera off now, and let you two go – sorry for interrupting again. Thank you.
All right, yeah, a little bit on us. So, we’re eOne Solutions. We were founded in 2001 in Sydney, Australia.
I am located here with Ethan in our Copenhagen Denmark office while we do have other offices in the US.
And Australia, meaning you’re going to be supported no matter where you’re located, and then we do maintain data centres, including here in the EU, UK, and around the world.
And we are very passionate about providing low code solutions for integration, migration, and reporting.
So, we have two products in our integration platform. Today, we will focus on SmartConnect.
SmartConnect is our traditional data integration tool that will allow you to reduce manual data entry, automate processes, and improve efficiency.
Whereas popdock is a system where we gather data, build lists on that data, and then display it in the system you work in such as displaying ERP invoices inside of CRM.
If we were to break down SmartConnect and Popdock into three words, SmartConnect would be moving the data and popdock allows you to share the data.
So, going into data integration, our SmartConnect tool.
SmartConnect is our no code integration tool that can be delivered in two different deployments. Are online version, smartconnect.com, or an on-premise version. These integrations can then be automated, scheduled, or manual. Whether that’s needing your e-commerce shop orders immediately pushed into Business Central in real-time, or scheduled.
This will allow you to always keep your sales team and finance teams in sync.
SmartConnect also includes an Excel add-in.
This will allow for our direct push, from an Excel sheet into an ERP system, allowing accountants to stay in the application that they love.
And, lastly, we have a generic REST API connector, and this allows you to connect to any REST based web service. Madalynn?
We’ve already had our first question. Someone has asked. You said that you’ve mentioned Business Central. Do you also work with NAV and also which versions?
Yes, we do. We work with Dynamics NAV and we work…
All the way back to the 2010 R2 version, I believe. Ethan, you can…
correct me if I’m wrong there, but yeah, so, we do work with that all the way back.
Then, here’s an image that’s going to give you a great summary of what SmartConnect does. At the top, here, we have our data sources, which is the system that you’ll choose, you want your data to come from.
So, again, whether that’s Business central, older version of Dynamics NAV, D365 Sales, Salesforce, Woocommerce, Xero, or a REST based web application, such as Ship It. And then next you need to tell that data where to go, which will be your destination or target. And, again, whether that’s Business Central, Excel, a helpdesk system, SQL, and more.
Then once we have our data sources and destinations chosen, we now need to transform that data.
So, whether that’s a date formula, translations, or a simple calculation, and then lastly, you need to choose when you want your integrations to run otherwise known as triggers.
So, whether you want to hit a button and it merrily runs your integrations, you could schedule your integrations to run every five minutes, or you can have them running in real time.
SmartConnect is going to allow you to be flexible of choosing when you want your integrations to run.
And in the end, you’re able to draw a line from any data source to any destination, allowing you to create integrations that fit your business’s needs.
And now, I’m going to hand it off to Ethan.
Thank you, Madalynn.
OK, so, I think now is a good time to jump right into the product and take a look at how the interface looks and understand how simple it can be to create integrations with NAV Business Central and many other applications.
So, here I’m using the cloud version of our application, which is what most of our customers are moving towards because everything is managed the same way other Microsoft products are being managed. We have the same ability here. So, there’s no install. It’s very quick and easy to get up and running.
On my screen, I have a list of my different integrations in my environment and these are allowing me to integrate Business Central not only with other Microsoft products like CRM or the Dataverse or FNO.
It gives me the ability to integrate with outside products. So, it could be an e-commerce system like Magento or Woocommerce. It could be flat files like Excel or XML documents, allowing me to take data from anywhere and get that into Business Central or pull it from Business Central and share it out into other applications.
So, I’m going to use the Magento one as my example today. But everything that I’m showing is using our standard platform, so it’s going to feel and work very much the same, no matter which two applications you decide to connect together.
The first thing that I’ll do is configure my connections and think of these as the logins to the different systems that you’re going to use.
So, I would configure my connection to Dynamics NAV or Business Central.
And if I were to just take a look at one of the ones I’ve already configured, in here, I’m connected to my environment, and then I can build integrations off of any company in there. So, if you are using multiple companies in Business Central or NAV, that’s not going to be a problem.
We understand how to dynamically work with those, which I’ll show a little bit more later. Then I’ll decide, whatever else does I want to connect to. Is it just a flat file? Is it another web application?
Is it, in this case, Magento. So, I have an e-commerce platform that I want to connect to and I just gave it my store name to allow me to connect to that particular Magento environment. You can add as many connectors as needed to all of the different applications that you’ll be using. one of the really big strengths of SmartConnect is the ability to connect to all these different platforms.
So, it’s not a hard coded, limited opportunity for a single 1 to 1 relationship. It really becomes flexible, allowing you to connect to a lot of different applications that your business is using today.
Next step, moving down, my left hand, sidebar here, I can go down and configure my data source. So, as Madalynn said, the data source is a combination of the query. So, what data do I want to pull out of there? And then the trigger, that will cause it to run.
So, the most simple would be our basic Bulk Sources. So, these allow you to either take a file, like an Excel file, or a folder. So, it could be an FTP folder that has new documents being dumped in daily, hourly, or every minute. So, we can decide where that data’s coming from, and then we can query it out.
So, I’m going to give an example that I’m going to use in our little demo today, which is pulling completed Magento orders.
Let’s take a look at this data source.
I can select which fields out of Magento I want to work with. There are a lot of them.
And we can do this with any source that we have for allowing me to quickly select exactly which fields are important for my integration, then I can validate and preview.
And I can see that there is currently one transaction sitting out there. It looks like it’s order number one, and it has only a single line on it.
So, if I were to go into my Magento store, the one we were looking at was this one, so I’m going to modify my order number three, so that that will also be picked up by the integration.
So, to do that, I’m just going to go into the order, and I’m going to invoice it.
So, now, the status has been updated to complete.
So, now, when I preview, I can see that there are multiple transactions waiting to push across.
And, if I scroll over here, we can see that we have duplicated lines. So, the first order only had a single item, and now, we’re getting all three items.
For this one, allowing me to scroll over and find my individual skews.
And I can quickly view the data and know what I’m going to be processing, so I can see all of the items that are coming in from my Yoga store.
With all of that, set and ready to go, I can save it.
Next, I’ll be able to link that to an integration process. Before I do that, I just want to briefly touch on the other two options here that I’m not using, but they would allow me to set up either a change or a real-time trigger.
So, in this case, I’m just looking for any new orders that are in the completed status to send those over to Business Central. But you could be saying, I want to do this based on a trigger every time that a customer is updated. I want that to process it, either right away, using the real-time web hook. So as soon as that customers saved, start the integration, or I could do change Trigger.
And Change trigger allows me to set up more of a queue processing step. So, I can say, I want to schedule all recently updated customers to process every 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or once a day.
So, these just give you a little bit of flexibility on how you pull the data out. But then once that data is extracted the process is going to be the same as I’m showing now.
For each integration process, I define where I want it to go. So, the example we’re looking at here is my import of Magento orders to Business Central.
I’ve chosen to import all of these orders as open Sales invoices.
But if I wanted to do my shipping directly out of Business Central, I could import them as a sales order, and then the warehouse staff, or whoever it was that needed to interact with, they can do that directly from BC.
So, in this case, I’m going to go to my source, which I’ve just linked to Magento, incremental completed orders.
Again, if I preview from here, I can see those same datasets that are waiting to process through.
On the target, I’ll decide where I want this to go. So, in this case, it’s going into Business Central, but if I hit this drop-down, we could be going into any other application that I’ve configured. So, I could just as easily be importing this into a CRM system, into an on-premise NAV installation, or just a generic SQL Server somewhere, so you can really mix and match your connectors at any time.
Ethan? Yes. Yeah, we’ve had a question saying is there a limit to the amount of data that can get pushed on a, on a daily, weekly basis, et cetera?
Yes, that is a good question. So, we don’t put any limits on the amount of data. So, that makes it very simple when building the integrations, because you don’t need to worry about how much data will be processed, how frequently it’s running.
SmartConnect takes care of running them asynchronously. So, using a scheduler, which I’ll show in a bit, and then you can run those integrations as many times as you want. So, you can build as many of these integration processes and they can be scheduled to push as much data as frequently as you need.
Lovely, thank you.
From here, I’m telling this to just go into a single company in this case, my Denmark company, if I wanted it to be a little bit more dynamic, which we commonly see if your data source is a CRM system. And then you want to say our sales team works with one CRM. But we have multiple Business Central companies.
Maybe we have a company for the UK, Mainland Europe and North America, so we might have multiple companies and only one source, one CRM system.
When that happens, I can go into companies here, and I can make this a little bit smarter, so I can say rather than going into one, I want to say create this order in all three.
So, this would be a realistic scenario if you had maybe, one product catalogue. And you’re creating new products in the storefront like in Magento. And then I would want to make sure those products are created in all three companies because we don’t know which products we’ve purchased for transactions in which regions. So, this allows me to kind of do master data management directly from popdock.
The other option is to unselected every option, go to Custom.
And from here, I can say based on my source data, I want to dynamically send it to individual companies.
So, this is a great example when working with a CRM system, where, I might say, if the territory is UK, then send it to UK. If the territory is EU, then send it to that company. So, I can dynamically switch between my different companies here, based on my dataset. So, this is one integration flow. But that could be connecting to multiple Magento stores to multiple Business Central environments.
So, a lot of flexibility here to handle those more complex scenarios where you have multiple companies.
Next, I’m telling it what to process. In this case, I’m just creating a sales invoice, and sales invoice line.
If I wanted to make it a little bit more dynamic, I could add something like customer card, and then using the arrows, I can change the order that this processes.
So, maybe I don’t know if when an order is placed in Magento, if that customer exist in Business Central yet.
So, by putting it like this, I’m telling SmartConnect to create or update the customer, if one exists or doesn’t.
Then create the sales invoice header, then, sales invoice line items, all of the line items. And then, finally, I wanted to add some additional, additional shipping detail for our Warehouse team to review. So, I’m able to call multiple tables within Business Central directly from one integration. So, this can handle the more complex scenarios where you have lots of related detail coming in in one process.
Next, I move on to the Integration.
So, from the Target lines I’ll decide which one of these I want to focus on first. So, in this case, I’m going to focus on the invoice header mapping.
On the left, these are all my PC fields.
So, if I change this to just show the map fields for now, we can see all of the fields that I’m mapping. And these would be standard fields and custom fields in your Business Central environment. So, if it’s a customisation that TVision is made or if it’s a customisation from another ISV or app that you installed off of app source, it doesn’t matter. They’re all going to show up in here.
I also have the ability to quickly map fields based on what’s in my data source. So maybe right now, I’ve left number blank, which means that the document numbers going to default in Business Central. If I wanted to change this to maybe the increment ID, I can map that, like this and now that increment ID will be set as the document number in BC. So, it’s going to be be very easy to quickly add a mapping and then if I just click the blank space, it removes it so quick mappings between different applications very easily.
Once I’m done with my header, I can switch to the lines and it’s going to load in all of the line fields from Business Central, and then whatever I want from my sources to be mapped over.
If I filter this down to just the fields that I’ve mapped, you’ll notice that there is one line here that’s a little bit different than the rest, and that’s the line type. And it’s set to a local constant instead of a source column.
What I can do is handle transformation here, directly on the integration process.
And what I mean by transformation is taking that data from Magento, CRM, wherever it’s coming from, and cleaning it in some way before sending it to the destination. So, there’s a lot of applications out there. They’re naming won’t be the same for fields, their data structures will be different. It might even be something as simple as the wrong amount of decimal places. So, with SmartConnect, I can create data or manipulate data while it’s processing, to make sure that it meets the requirements of an ERP.
So, in this case, a line item in an ERP could be multiple types. It could be a comment line, a GL line, item line or a resource.
So, what I want to do is tell SmartConnect to ensure that every line that we create is set up as an item line. Because we know that these are inventory items that we’re selling on our storefront and I want to map those across.
If it was going to be a bit more complex, you could set up some sort of logic to say, look at the line item type in a Magento to figure out, if this is a service item or a un-shippable, non-inventory item, is this an item and which bin do I want to ship it from?
So, we can really add a lot of layers of complexity here using these additional columns.
If I were to add a new one and we look at the different types, local constant is always just hard coding. We have Lookup columns allowing me to look up a value from Business Central.
So, the use case might be: I only have the e-mail address for the customer in my data source, so I could ask Business Central what customer has this e-mail address and then map that directly into Business Central again, allowing me to lookup data on the fly.
We also allow you to have translation tables. So, if an option set doesn’t match, or another common example I see is countries.
Where you might have a list of countries with two-digit character codes like Business Central, but maybe my other application has the three-digit character codes. So, I need to be able to translate those values, and I can easily do that by just uploading an Excel file, saying this is what I want to translate based on.
The final option that I’d like to touch on is calculation.
So basically, anything that you could do in tools like Excel, you can do here directly in SmartConnect.
This one is just taking a look at the currency code. If it’s USD, which is my Operating currency, replaced it with blank. Otherwise returned, whatever the currency code was for my source.
So, this is going to give you that, flexibility to handle data type mismatching between the systems.
Once I’m happy, with all of my setup, I can go to the Options tab.
From here, I can define, if I want to track errors, which is a good time to mention how we handle error handling. So, I’m going to give a little bit of a demo here by trying to process some of this record into Business Central and we’ll see if any of it fails. And then how would I capture those errors with SmartConnect and then reprocess them?
So, if I were to run the integration now.
And click yes.
It found two records.
So even though when I previewed I saw all of the line items, it’s now group those into only create two invoices, one invoice process successfully and one failed.
If we look in here, we can see that I have a very long item number or which is too long to fit in Business Central, so there was no way that that particular item is going to make it in.
If we switch over to BC for a moment to take a look at what was created.
So, I’m going to switch this sorting.
So, we have the invoice one and invoice three. So, invoice one is the one that process successfully.
Creating my header, up here, at the top.
And then I told it to save the Magento ideas external document number, so we can always tie back to my source. It brought in the items, defaults of the description, based on the item set up in Business Central, and then, the price from my Magento store.
Then, at the bottom, it put in an additional contact detail so that I can tie it back to who actually placed the order on the Magento shop.
Now, for the one that failed, what I can do at the bottom here is Select Fix Errors.
This will take me into error processing.
If I were not logged into Business Central…in SmartConnected when the integration ran, usually you have this on some sort of schedule.
Someone’s on always running it, then I can go to Error Processing, and find a list of every time that the integration failed, in this case, only once on run number 10.
And I can get back into that error processing here. So, you don’t have to run it manually to get that air processing functionality.
Here, I can see all of the source data for the rows that failed.
And then, if I look at this, I can see that same error message that we saw earlier.
So, if I were to scroll over to wherever that item was, that was failing, just should be able to find the SKUs.
Here in the item Details section.
So, I can see that that first one is very long, and that’s not going to work. So maybe I know that that was supposed to be this item ID. So, I’m just going to replace it with that. Without having to change it in the real source, I can change it right in SmartConnect on the fly.
And then reprocess based on my changes.
So, this allows you to quickly handle invalid data, correct it, and reprocess. And you’ll notice that it’s now only processing the one record that failed previously rather than processing both.
So, this allows you to quickly handle when something goes wrong, and then this will work for any of your integrations.
So, this was just one scenario, but other integrations like integrations with Dynamics, CRM, integrations with Woocommerce. They’re all showing up here in the same interface, giving me one way of handling when something goes wrong.
The last thing that you would configure in here, is the schedule’s because these integrations are set up to run. You want them to be flowing all day long.
You’re collecting orders throughout the day, and we need to get those into Business Central. We need to get payments out of Stripe into BC. So, getting that data into the ERP when and where you need it, is handled through these schedules.
So, if I were to create a new schedule for our newly created integration, then I could find my ongoing agenda orders.
Then I can tell it how often I wanted to run. So, in my case, I’m going to tell it to run maybe weekly, because no one’s working on the weekends anyway, so I’ll just have it import those on Monday.
And I’ll have it start at midnight and then repeat every 10 minutes, all day long, five days a week.
Then, I’ll select who the run as user is. Whoever you select here is the user that will automatically be notified if it fails. So, if for some reason, it fails, because the item didn’t exist like we saw before, then Ethan will automatically be notified, the integration has failed. Here’s all the details that you need and make it easy for me to resolve those issues in the future.
So that is a very quick overview of SmartConnect.
So, it’s all about having one standard way of building integrations and using that not only for Business Central but for NAV and any other application that your organisation may be using.
So, we’ve done a lot of work to make this a very standard process, so that you learn the tool once, and then it can be used across everything.
And with that, I will hand it back to Madalynn.
And with that, are there any questions?
We did have two more come in. And so, one of them was, and forgive me if I missed you saying it, presumably, you can use this with Shopify as well. Is that right?
Yes, you can. Yep, thought so. Wonderful.
And also, where, the question was, where is the data stored when you’re working the SmartConnect?
I can answer that. So as Madalynn mentioned at the beginning, we do have two deployment options available. So, they can use the on prem version or the online version that I’ve been showing. If they choose to use the online version, all of their data will be stored in our environment.
Which is, for the UK, is in the UK, and we store that data distinct and separate from the data from any of our other data centres. The only customer identifiable information would be from that error processing. So, if we successfully processed all of those orders, we wouldn’t save any data locally. It would only be for the ones that failed. And then that data is automatically deleted after 28 days.
If they want to have even more control over how their data is processed, they can opt to use our on-premise version. And if they do that, all of the data will be stored on their own SQL Server and processed all locally. And then, with that on prem version, they can still connect to other cloud applications like Business Central or Shopify.
Wonderful. Thank you.
And then, the last question we had was, um, obviously you’ve shown us how it works. And it seemed really quick as you’re going through the demo, how long would it take an organization to sort of work out the scope, how long it would take, sort of the end to end to actually be live and running. Obviously, it was very quick because you’re demoing it. There’s probably a bit more behind the scenes.
Yep, yep. There’s always a little bit more to it, especially because I had most of it already pre-setup so that could do it quickly. But if you were to start, we provide a lot of quick start templates for standard scenarios that we see. So even the one that I just showed is based on one of our quick start templates.
So, we have that for all of those e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento, integrations with HubSpot, other things like that, allowing you to get up and running very quickly.
Building out the integrations themselves is relatively quick.
Most of our projects that we do, and that our partners with the TVision do, only take about a week to implement and then training someone on the customer staff to be able to manage that. So, it’s going to be quickly done. Bulk of their time is spent on just testing and tweaking because the toolset itself makes it very easy. It’s just trying to figure out what does your use case, your business case require, is really where the bulk of the time can be spent to make sure that it meets your specific needs.
All right, wonderful, um, that’s all the questions we’ve had so far. So, thank you, everyone, for your questions. Thank you, Madalynn and Ethan, for giving us that demo. And I know, as with all things IT and software solutions, we could go into a lot more detail. But this half an hour was a very short introduction, so we’d be very happy to arrange a further call, do some more in-depth work. And I know that one of my colleagues will be reaching out to everybody who did attend with a summary with some further information and contact details. So once again, thank you very much Madalynn and Ethan for presenting today. And thank you everyone for joining us.
Thank you for having us. Thank you.