Using Linked Server to Connect Dynamics with your SQL Server Databases

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It is sometimes frustrating to have data that would be interesting for CRM purposes, but that is not inside Dynamics. It is even more frustrating if the data happens to be in one (or more) Microsoft SQL Server databases and not in Dynamics 365 where you would like it to be. It should be easy to connect Dynamics with your SQL Server databases, right?

The data is yours. You keep it in Microsoft software, maybe even in the same domain or the same machine. God, it is so close and, at the same time, so out of reach!

Fortunately, there are two possibilities for getting that data in Dynamics and solving this problem for good. You can:

  1. Migrate the data from SQL Server to D365
  2. Synchronize the data between the SQL Server and D365 regularly

For the latter case, you can actually sync in one direction only (SQL Server to Dynamics) or both directions (bidirectional synchronization ensures data is the same on both systems).

How do I Connect Dynamics to SQL Server?

The key to making this integration work is a third-party software developed by Connecting Software, Connect Bridge, together with the Microsoft SQL Server Linked Server concept. Using these two items makes the procedure straightforward and speedy.
Linked server
Here are the summarized steps:

  1. Connect Bridge – Install, activate and configure Connect Bridge
  2. Microsoft SQL Server Linked Server – Create one that connects to Dynamics 365 CE using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
  3. Business logic – Incorporate your rules and specificities into the solution

Using these steps, you end up creating what you could call a Dynamics Linked Server. Let’s see it in action!

In the demo video below, we are going to see a Dynamics database integration example. Following the example, you will see how you could sync your database and your Dynamics 365 CE (Customer Engagement, formerly Dynamics CRM) without coding and in a couple of minutes.

Linked Server Demo Video

Using Linked Server this way, you can connect Dynamics to your database in SQL Server or your bespoke software, without learning any API and without coding. You’ll use SQL and T-SQL only. This strategy also works well for legacy software modernization or legacy databases.

Using this technique, it is as if you can access the Dynamics365 database without the problems you could cause if you actually went straight to the database. As you are going through the API, everything is perfectly safe.

What is Connect Bridge?

Connect Bridge is a software integration platform that enables this connection to Dynamics with no code. With Connect Bridge and the Dynamics 365 connector, you can either not code at all, as we saw above, or use the programming language of your choice (C#, Java, Python, or many, many others).

Either way, the time necessary to develop the solution you need to get data to or from Dynamics is reduced by up to 90%. After all, you are doing a Dynamics integration using the REST API… without touching the API yourself.

Wondering how this would work in a real-world situation? Check out the following case studies with integrations with Dynamics developed in a week or less by companies across the globe!

Iperal (Italy) – Getting data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 automatically

Swenex (Switzerland) – Leading Swiss Energy Service Company builds advanced data exchange based on Connect Bridge

Fesworld (Mexico) – Getting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service, SAP and Gmail to work together

Do you think this might be useful for your company?

Get in touch with Connecting Software’s experts, and they will be glad to analyze your specific case and even provide you with a personalized demo. If you have questions or feedback, please click on Ask the Author below, and I will help you out.

Ana Neto - Connecting Software

By Ana Neto, Connecting Software. Connecting Software creates integration and synchronization software. Connecting Software is a 15-year-old company, with 40 employees spread in 4 different countries.

We are also a proud “Top Member 2019” at CRMSoftwareBlog.

Top Member of CRM Software Blog 2019

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