Opening Up a World of Possibilities with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 and Services

Alice Newsam - Click for blog homepageOn 13th August in Fargo the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team delivered a hands-on workshop to our Collaborative Development partners around the new Service Based Architecture (SBA) that will be available in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015.  Throughout the day the team went over various pieces such as .NET Interop, changes to the current toolsets and implementation considerations.  They also provided hands-on learning time with the ISV Preview VM for the partners to work with the new code.  In this post I'd like to highlight Kevin from EthoTech, Inc. and his experience creating a service procedure with the new functionality. 

EthoTech, Inc. specializes in automated commission management systems. As such they have very close ties into Dynamics GP today.  However when looking at their future feature list many of them require some type of action to be taken within the system before the automated jobs can take over. After attending the workshop and getting some hands on time with the architecture Kevin had this to say "We’re excited about the service-based architecture, as it affords us the opportunity to provide some of the most-requested features of Commission Plan" .  Now when things like sales documents are created outside of the Dynamics GP user interface, the associated commissions can be automatically created.  They can also envision running tasks such as commission updates and reports as scheduled jobs now that they will have access to the system via the Service Based Architecture feature set.

After returning to the office from the workshop Kevin was able to create his own service procedures in his dictionary and successfully make an external service call to his new procedures and run the existing business logic that had been only accessible through the UI previously.  Below are some observations and recommendations around the process from him.

How easy was this process for you?

"This process was very straightforward. Within a short time, I was able to interact with the major Commission Plan calculation routines via a web service. We're now reviewing all our products to determine which features to make available as web services. EthoTech's Next Numeric Collection is an obvious choice – when master records are created outside the UI, calling the procedure will return the next master record number, with validation."

What things did you like most about the feature set?  

"With a small amount of code refactoring (primarily logging error states rather than popping error messages), I am now able to expose my existing Dexterity procedures as web services. This provides tremendous benefit to our clients with no additional development overhead (i.e., I don't have to rewrite my code outside of Dex)."

What recommendations would you have for others preparing to do the same thing?

  • Learn about REST services to gain base knowledge around things like REST verbs
  • Download the Service Based Architecture Developer Preview now available on PartnerSource
  • Walk through the examples and samples provided
  • Think about what abilities you would want exposed externally as a service to solve your customer’s problems or allow for even great functionality with Dynamics GP
  • Give thought to how you can leverage the creation of GP documents now in Sales Order Processing, Receivables, GL, Payables, etc. along with the actions around these documents such as transferring, posting, and so on. Especially consider the actions that don’t currently exist in eConnect like posting inventory transactions.

As a development team we are working to create more examples and build out the documentation surrounding these features.  We also have a series of blog posts coming that will reveal more about the various pieces that will be available to you and Service Based Architecture will be greatly featured in the upcoming reIMAGINE 2014 event planned for 10th to 12th November in Fargo, North Dakota, USA.  The powerful possibilities being enabled through the developer toolset via the tight .NET Interop integration and service based architecture coming in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 are vast.  What scenarios will you be able to light up for your customers? 

Happy coding!