Microsoft Great Plains – Microsoft RMS Integration

Microsoft Great Plains and Microsoft Retail Management System (Microsoft RMS) are originally developed by different software vendors, who had no idea that in the remote future (now) these two applications will be owned by Microsoft and will need to be tightly integrated. Current integration between the two is not an easy thing. At this time MBS has RMS integration on the General Ledger and Purchase Order level into Great Plains out of the box. This integration has some advancements in comparison to old product: QuickSell, but it is still GL and PO only. We do understand the need for midsize and large retail companies, structured as clubs and selling on account to their members to have more adequate integration when you can synchronize your Sales information and have robust Great Plains reporting.

There is the product on the market, which is integration on the Receivables Management and Purchase Order Processing level from RMS to Great Plains, written by Daniel Sionov and Andrew Karasev and maintained by the alliance between LightEdge Solutions (www.lightedge.com) and Alba Spectrum Technologies (www.albaspectrum.com). In Alba Spectrum Technologies we actually do coding and product tuning for specific client needs. This product allows you to map multiple RMS stores to one or multiple Great Plains companies. We usually have to tune it for specific needs of the customer, but in general words – it is based on SQL insert into statement and so can handle hundred thousands transactions per day – maximum of what RMS can handle. Integration is usually setup on RMS Headquarters database. However we can set it for Store Operations database.

Overview of out-of-the-box Microsoft RMS integration. This integration is currently available for Great Plains version 7.5 and Microsoft RMS 1.2. MBS is in process of subcontracting Nodus Technologies to write new integration for version 8.0. The weak points of the out-of-the-box 7.5 integration are:

1. It is for integration into one Great Plains company only. If you have multiple stores as multiple companies in Great Plains – then you have to remember which batch should be posted into which Great Plains company.

2. It is on GL and Purchasing level only. So, if you have to reconcile checkbooks / Bank Reconciliation module in Great Plains – you can not do it with standard integration

If you are developer you can end up with your own custom solution, we would like to give you directions.

1. Great Plains Integration Manager – if the sales volume is very low, say 100 transactions per day – then you can do data export from RMS and import it into Great Plains via Integration Manager. This is rather end-user tool – it is very intuitive, it validates 100% of business logic, brings in/updates master records (accounts, employees, customers, vendors. etc.) brings in transactions into work tables. The limitation of Integration Manager – it does use GP windows behind the scenes without showing them – so it is relatively slow – you can bring 100 records – but when you are talking about thousands – it is not a good option. By the way you can program Integration Manager with VBA.

2. eConnect