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The future of data integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations

by Don Riggs
Sr. AX Applications Architect, Business Process Improvement, Inc.

The Microsoft Dynamics AX world changed with the release of Dynamics 365 for Operations (formerly known as AX 7). The traditional methods of data integration are no longer the only way to approach today's challenges across the supply chain. Dynamics 365 for Operations creates new challenges: the whole integration layer needs to be re-written using a different tool set. But it also creates an opportunity for a level of standardization that we have not seen before.

In this article, I hope to give the reader a better appreciation for the challenges we all will be facing and some of the ways in which businesses will choose to meet them. I believe successfully navigating this transition is crucial to the success of small- to mid-size companies and to Dynamics 365 itself.

What is data integration?

Data integration is the process of communicating with the outside world. Whether it be other ERP systems, warehouse management (WMS) systems, messaging systems, or any other system managing a process that can provide and consume structured information. The primary purpose is to provide information that either 1) initiates a process or 2) reports the results of a process. These integrations vary in complexity, which makes each integration unique in its requirements.

This definition is particularly true when it is used to support automation. The process of establishing automation within a business takes into consideration the devices which send and receive the information, and the transposition of outgoing messages to a format that can be consumed by the receiving entity. The process also needs to provide for information that is needed, but which may not be in the message proper.

We typically call this effort process mapping. This information is then consumed and provides the information needed for ...

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About Don Riggs

Don Riggs is a well-seasoned veteran with 25+ years of implementation consulting and 13+ years of Microsoft Dynamics AX experience. In his career, he has been involved in anything from helping design ERP systems, developing and marketing ISV solutions, to delivering a number of successful AX ERP implementations. As a regular participant in AXUG, he has delivered many courses and presentations. Don is considered by many to be an AX expert, particularly in the areas of inventory costing, manufacturing, AX project module, and implementation processes. Having attained APICS certification in the early 1980's, Don considerers himself a manufacturing consultant by trade and his love and enthusiasm for the industry has never waned. Always interested in new challenges, his branching out into other areas of the product has allowed him to become very knowledgeable in many areas. 

After a long and successful career, Don would like to share some of his hard won knowledge and experience, thereby giving back to an industry that has been very good to him. MSDynamicsWorld represents a most excellent vehicle to do that.

To learn more about Don and his company Business Process Improvement(BPI) visit their website at

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