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Master Your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration with the Right Framework

by Nathan Clouse
Technical Architect, enVista Corp.

Digital transformation is booming as organizational leaders need to compile and interpret large swaths of data and use it to create actionable insight. According to Gartner, CFOs say that 80% of new investment dollars are going toward digital growth.

Integrations can become one of the largest costs associated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance and Operations (F&O) implementations, but they don’t have to be. Which integration technologies you leverage and whether they align with your organization’s people, processes, and technology will determine the success and efficiency of your integration. When looking to integrate data or transactions into F&O, the answers to several key questions will help guide you to the specific technology that meets your needs without over-provisioning and driving up costs and complexity.

Who created the system you’re trying to integrate with F&O?

Is it a major label where you would expect some off-the-shelf options to be available to make F&O and this third-party system communicate? If so, there will likely be an official connector between the two systems that will integrate common data and transactions between the two systems.

What system are you integrating?

Are the two systems both Microsoft-based or are you integrating with a different technology stack? What you want to integrate with will also add some constraints around capabilities of the source system as well as F&O. The “what” question also ties into the “how” question later. Different platforms have vastly different data structures which may require middleware to assist with data translation as well as authentication.

When does the data need to be available?

Timeliness of the movement of data is the primary cost driver for most integrations. When looking at how rapidly data needs to be available between two systems, you also must review the cost versus the benefit. Are the requirements for real-time integration? If so, what happens when one system is unavailable? Is eventual consistency an option with a maximum of one-minute lag time? Or is daily synchronization enough to satisfy the business requirements? The answers to these questions help guide you on which technology to use. Selecting the lowest service level to meet the request typically results in lower delivery and on-going maintenance costs.

How are you going to integrate?

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About Nathan Clouse

Nathan Clouse is a seasoned and proven ERP manager and technical architect with a business and accounting background. During the last 14 years in the Microsoft Dynamics / AX ecosystems, he has been awarded MVP status by Microsoft for his technical and community leadership around AX 2009, AX 2012 and Finance and Operations for years 2020-2023. Nathan has helped clients in the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, and retail industries with new implementation and upgrades with cloud and on-premise solution delivery.

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