Recovering SAP Business One Unsuccessful Customization, Integration and Reporting Projects

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Second opinion works in Corporate ERP implementation similar to how it does in healthcare. Custom software development has some risk potential by its nature. Plus original reseller has to promise a little bit more than they currently have under their belts. However modern consultant should be optimistic and expect learning curve to be reasonable. And still coding is often underestimated by its complexity. Let's review typical limbo examples and how they could be cured. This publication is intended for IT manager or company owner rather than programmer:

1. Customizations. They are typically done in Microsoft Visual Studio with Software Development Kit libraries and code samples. The programming by example is not a rocket science and seems like a good way to try. What is often underestimated is code efficiency and natural performance limitations. Let's open the hood for a moment and take a look at what is going on. First of all you have to login the company database via License Server. Then if you are pushing into Business One something like Sales Invoices with customer credit card payments from in-house programmed eCommerce portal shopping carts – transaction doesn't go directly to SQL Server database tables. Invoice header is created initially in computer memory with full business logic validation. Then lines or purchased items with cost, price and quantity info are attached to Invoice header. Next step is to attach credit card deposit. And finally you are ready to save invoice in the system. Please, remember that saving is not just restricted to Invoice header and line tables, it also creates GL distribution, updates Business Partner summary and does several other chores. These processes might take several seconds per just one invoice or even half a minute if the number of purchased items is significant

2. Data Migration. Consultants are trained to use CSV templates and import data into B1 via Data Transfer Workbench. It is possible to deploy DTW in ongoing integrations. However CSV file creation is not the best way to go, as these files might be difficult to produce automatically for every migration cycle. It is easier to swap CSV with direct ODBC connection to something like custom SQL View, where you reproduce exact CSV template file format, including column headers row. You have to provide columns for all required fields and plus optional fields that you need in your integration logic. Data Transfer Workbench seems to be only accepting CSV template format. Another way to do the job is to purchase third party tools, or do SDK programming. In our opinion Data Transfer Workbench has better performance optimization, comparing to SDK DI API or DI Server out of the box. It is possible to optimize programmed modules, however it requires broad experience from SDK programmer

3. Reporting Pitfalls. The majority of unsuccessful reports were initially based in all kind of report creation wizards. The problem here is the fact that wizard is expecting you to come through all the steps in report designer, including picking tables and linking them by picking fields. If what you are trying to accomplish is not a trivial report (the list of customers would be trivial report to create in Crystal via wizard), but rather something reasonably complex, consider Sales Commission report, based on unique formula, not available in SAP B1 out-of-the-box business logic. Reports with moderate or high complexity should be initiated in SQL View or Stored procedure. As developer you can test and debug the result set prior to even opening Crystal Report designer tool. If you do it that way – you block such possible wizard related issues as records duplication or omission. And then you can do what report designer is for: nice layout, graphical parts, such as company logo, page number, footer, header

4. The way second opinion works. If you are located in the area where you can only locate few consulting organizations specializing in SAP BO it is probably unlikely to find somebody who is too advanced and specializing in SDK programming for example. All these folks are likely competing for new customers with license sale and initial data conversion and user training. We recommend you to appeal to nationwide SB1 software developing firms, who are ready to work with you via web session and teleconference
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Andrew Karasev has 1 articles online

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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Recovering SAP Business One Unsuccessful Customization, Integration and Reporting Projects

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This article was published on 2011/07/25