GP 2010: Configuring Microsoft Connector with CRM Online

Author: 
John Earle
Category: 
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics GP

In this article I will go over briefly some things I learned during a recent installation and configuration of Microsoft Connector between GP 2010 and CRM Online that were not obviously explained or apparent.

Most will know by now that the Connector by Microsoft is free to existing end users who have an active Microsoft Dynamics ERP Enhancement/Maintenance plan.  In order to download and install Connector and receive registration keys for the software the connector must be purchased through PartnerSource as a $0 transaction. The Connector formerly required the use of Microsoft products on both ends but has since changed to only requiring it to be used with a single Dynamics product.

The documentation that you will need to pay attention to is:

  •      MSDynConnectorGP_KnownIssues
  •      MSDynConnectorGPConfig
  •      MSDynConnectorInst

The design of the GP Config and Connector Install documents are not organized all that fantastic and it constantly has you referring back and forth between the two. It can also be confusing what exactly you need to do in each section, so I will try to simplify as much as possible.

Before you begin installation you will need to have the correct user accounts set up that will be used to set up Connector.

Installation Account – This is most likely your account that should already have admin rights on the machine where Connector will be installed and rights to the SQL server for dbcreator and securityadmin roles.

GP : Integration Account – This account will run the web services and connect to Dynamics GP. Needs to have the ability to authenticate and send notification emails.

CRM: Integration Account – This must be a unique windows live id with organization read level privileges for System user on the applicable organization(s).

CRM: Configuration Account – This is a separate windows live ID that has CRM admin rights.

Once you have these accounts set up there is a fantastic step by step video created by the Connector team to walk you through the process of installation and configuration, this is designed for CRM 2011 but is very close to what you need to follow for CRM Online. The video is roughly 20 minutes long and I have broken it down into sections.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EqpPXcZ78M

The video will walk you through:

  • GP Web Services Installation and Configuration
  • Microsoft Dynamics Security Console
  • eConnect requestor setup
  • Connector Installation
  • CRM/GP 2010 adapter setup
  • CRM configuration utility
  • Dynamics GP configuration utility (Picklist Sync)
  • Creating an Integration
  • Initial Data Synchronization

The video gives great instructions but there are some minor additions to the dialogue that will help you along the way.  I will address these tips in the related section pertaining to the video.

Microsoft Dynamics Security Console

When performing setup for the Integration user in the MSDSC he mentions that there are two roles you need to put this user in for connector to work. This is true for normal environments but for companies’ with extra modules there is more security to be given or you will run into errors while using the picklist utility later on.  For those who do not care for locking down the security of the Integrationuser account you can simply add the user to the ‘superuser’ role and you will be fine.  For others who want to lock this account down you may need to add up to two extra roles in MSDSC that are not mentioned in the video:

Microsoft Dynamics Integration – All Companies (mentioned)

Microsoft Dynamics Integration – Integrated Company (mentioned)

Account Payable Coordinator (not mentioned)

HR Manager (not mentioned)

CRM Adapter Setup

The CRM Online setup is actually found under Microsoft Dynamics CRM and not the 2011 area shown in the video. This may or may not be obvious to you depending on how badly you tunnel installation videos.

CRM configuration Utility

When you get to his point in the installation you need to pause the video and do a few steps in CRM Online.  These steps are found in an obscure “Upgrading to CRM 2011” section of the MSDynConnectorInstmanual  on page 12, but I will list them below for you:

a. Log on to an organization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an administrator.

b. From the navigation pane, click Settings > Customization > Solutions. Click Import.

c. Browse to the Connector installation directory. By default, this location is \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\Microsoft Dynamics Adapter.

d. Select the .zip solution file for your Microsoft Dynamics ERP system. Click Open.

e. Click Next. When the Solution Information is displayed, a message might be displayed that warns of a version mismatch. Click Next.

f. Select Overwrite customizations.

Note: This will overwrite any unmanaged customizations that were made in your system.

g. Select Activate any processes and enable any SDK message processing steps included in the solution.

 

Note: If you do not select this check box, the steps to install the plug-in will not be activated and the process cannot be completed.

h. Click Next. When the solution customizations have been successfully imported, click Close to exit.

 

After doing these steps you can log back in to connector to run the CRM configuration utility and follow the video again.

Dynamics GP configuration utility (Picklist Sync)

While running the picklist sync if you encounter any error similar to the below:

ERROR: Unable to retrieve Reference Key PaymentTermsKey using the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Adapter.  Exception: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.

Or
ERROR: Unable to retrieve Reference Key ShippingMethodKey using the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Adapter.  Exception: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.

 

Then there is some setup missing in the Dynamics Security Console and you should go back to that section above and review the roles setup. 

Note: If you make any changes in the MSDSC you should stop and restart the web service for the changes to take effect.

Once you can run the Picklist Sync without errors then you can move on to the next section.

Creating an Integration (Importing Maps)

As you will notice during this part of the video there are no templates for CRM or CRM online. So it will be necessary for you to create a blank integration.  This is as simple as matching the GP Company database to the CRM organization and you are finished. However, since there is not a template currently for CRM online you will have to import the maps manually from file.  The maps that would come in a template are:

 

Customer to Account

Sales Order to Order

Account to Customer

Kit to Product

Sales Item to Product

Misc. Charges to Product

Salesperson to ERP System User

Order to Sales Order

Service to Product

Price Level to Price List

UofM Schedule to Unit Group

Sales Invoice to Invoice

Flat Fee to Product

 

Some of the maps did not seem to import correctly when I tried them (lacked columns to map) but I had the best luck with the folder at the path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\Microsoft Dynamics Adapter\Templates\CRM4Maps\GP2010Maps

Initial Data Synchronization

You should follow the steps in the manual closely regarding the initial data sync as it gives you the order of maps to run in order to achieve an optimal sync.  This can be found starting on Page 20 of the MSDynConnectorGPConfig guide. 

Note: I did have to close connector and reopen it in order to get the first maps to kick off.

Note: Initial data sync can take a substantial amount of time based on how much data you are syncing between the systems.

Wrap Up

I hope this short article on installing and configuring Microsoft Connector with GP2010 and CRM Online was helpful.  This is a great and free tool that can be leveraged by organizations of all sizes in order to sync data between their ERP and CRM entities.

Awaiting the next Google…….

 

Tags: 
Microsoft Connector
Microsoft Dynamics ERP Enhancement/Maintenance plan
Connector
CRM
GP 2010
Configuration