Microsoft Dynamics is a powerful system that allows businesses to collect, organize, share, and manage data at all stages of the business life cycle. However, if you want to have a broader set of capabilities in one place, making your processes even more seamless and functional, customization is the best option. There is always a way to extend the platform’s standard capabilities through integration with all sorts of useful business applications. Our team has gone through many integration projects that varied significantly from one industry to another. With all the expertise we’ve gained, we can say for sure that ERP expansion opportunities are truly limitless as long as there is a connecting API.
Microsoft offers a tremendous amount of efficient APIs for its product. Using the in-house APIs can make the integration process cost-efficient and highly scalable. Take a look at how Microsoft Dynamics AX integration looked like years ago, in 2012. Back then, the system could offer a number of data management solutions such as Data Import/Export Framework (DIXF), MS Excel Add-ons, App Integration Framework (AIF). Today, the next-gen MS Dynamics 365 offers an all-in-one concept where the Data Management Framework and Data Entities combine all of the above solutions.
The Benefits of Dynamics 365 Integrations
Seamless data management is one of the key benefits of ERP integration. As practice shows, if all the departments of the company import operational data into a shared database, managers make quick and effective decisions. It is no longer necessary to enter the same information into different systems – once entered, it will be immediately updated on all connected platforms. The fastest and easiest integration is possible with other Microsoft apps such as Outlook, Skype, Office 365, PowerApps. There are also options to connect third-party software and implement custom code. This is your opportunity to expand your business with unlimited functionality and tools. If the business integration process is handled right, your system can easily be scaled up and down depending on the current situation.
What Are the Ways to Integrate MS Dynamics?
The first thing to remember is that third-party apps are mostly integrated using the application programming interfaces (APIs) built by Microsoft. Among them are REST-based (Representational State Transfer), Web-based, and SOAP-based (Simple Object Access Protocol) APIs. Businesses can use them to manage various types of business operations and provide quality service at most stages. However, it is not that easy to pick the right API. Be prepared to hire an experienced Dynamics integration services expert or an entire dev team to supplement your system with new business software and achieve their flawless compatibility.
The “Restful” APIs are flexible and easily implemented by default. In spite of this, you’ll still need to work on the architecture and code to integrate third-party software in a proper way. As for app coding, here developers use languages such as JSON and XML.
Web APIs help integrate the system based on data obtained from HTTP requests. In the case of the Web, the Open Data Protocol is used as a standard, which is a common feature with the restful APIs. It is possible to use the API with all languages and platforms, as well as connect to any third-party library. Integration with silo systems is possible too, as long as you choose a professional company to carry out the integration services.
Older than REST-based, SOAP-based APIs are mainly geared towards messages and processes, not raw data. XML is standard for this category of APIs. You have every chance to experience the benefits of SOAP-based APIs as they are among the most popular and effective options.
API for Online Management
This is yet another solution that allows businesses to achieve better customer service, sales, and service automation through Office 365.
Custom Integration for Microsoft Dynamics
While on the subject of integration, there is a set of useful Dynamics 365 integration tools that can help streamline the integration process. Not every integration boils down to manual coding of processes, as some tools make it easy to connect different platforms. Of course, customers can try to deploy such useful integration applications on their own, and this is an advantage. On the other hand, this integration path requires a paid subscription or a heavy one-time charge.
Speaking of true customized integrations, you might need more complex solutions. The nature of your business may require non-standard integrations for which no appropriate tool has yet been created. Developing such tools takes more time and effort, but they will be precisely tailored to your business model and routine operations within its framework. On the other hand, there is an option of developing new applications from scratch specifically for Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration. The built-in integration properties would ensure the best possible compatibility and reduce implementation time.
Some enterprises seeking to unify internal business processes also use custom code. The idea may seem quite reasonable, but it is not completely true. As your business scales up and down, it becomes more difficult to maintain connections between disparate systems. Point-to-point connections will undoubtedly grow into complex interdependencies between some services. As a result, it could be difficult and expensive to manage, modify, and maintain the entire business ecosystem.
If you like none of the above options, you can always try manual integration. Here we don’t play with code and applications at all. All information from databases and spreadsheets is imported into Microsoft Dynamics by employees. Thus, you save on development costs but burden your employees with another difficult procedure that must be kept in mind.
Dynamics 365 Integration with Other Systems
As mentioned above, you can easily supplement your MS Dynamics with a limited number of Microsoft apps or put some effort into expanding your functionality with no limit through third-party applications. If we talk about Microsoft products, these are some of the most effective and frequently integrated ones:
- Power BI. A great business analytics tool for managing data coming from business processes, competitors, and customers. With Power BI (stands for Business Intelligence) integrated with MS Dynamics, it is easy to create dashboards and reports on multiple devices. It is also possible to extend ready-made reports, observe and visualize marketing & service data in real time;
- SharePoint. This application will help you store and work with documents covering all activities and operations. You can always upload, manage, view, and analyze information within the MS Dynamics environment;
- Outlook. Manage your emails in a single system. Outlook emails will be automatically linked to corresponding activities and records in the system. Schedule tasks and access all your data from Outlook;
- Yammer. A tool aimed to improve communication between the teams. There is no need to exchange information by e-mail or make multiple calls – it is enough to update the information in a single system and stay abreast of all events anytime, anywhere;
- Office, Exchange, One Note, and other Microsoft apps would also be incredibly useful in performing routine business tasks.
Companies often use APIs of other systems to achieve the most efficient environment within MS Dynamics. Third-party applications are not limited in their capabilities, so they can be integrated to enhance all sorts of functions. You can always get yourself the following systems and tools:
- Delivery and planning services;
- IoT Ecosystems;
- Warehouse management apps;
- ECommerce platforms;
- Order management systems;
- Point of Sale systems;
- Whatever you want to see in MS Dynamics!
MS Dynamics is indeed a powerful platform that enables businesses to collect, manage, and share data in all sorts of ways. However, it is impossible to foresee all the challenges that businesses across all industries might face. That is why the i-Neti team works on the platform’s customization so that it can meet all of your business-specific needs. We help our customers empower business operations at different levels by integrating MS Dynamics with Google services, cloud-based Salesforce solutions, ServiceMax management tools, SAP products, Sage accounting services, popular social media, and other third-party software. To achieve the most efficient compatibility, we can use Microsoft Dynamics APIs or some proven custom tools and apps. We can’t wait to find out the optimal integration concept tailored to your business model and leverage the platform to make your updated system easy to scale, manage, and maintain. Just contact us to receive an expert consultation.