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⏩ Problem: Getting existing data into Dynamics
⏩ Solution: CB Linked Server – Connect Bridge with the Dynamics 365 connector
⏩ Provider: Connecting Software
⏩ Customer: Iperal Supermercati S.p.a. owns and operates over 40 supermarkets and hypermarkets in Italy.
⏩ “In just a week, we had the solution we had in mind up and running.”
Ing. Filippo Besana (Business Intelligence Specialist & Data Manager at Iperal Supermercati)
The problem – How to Get Data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Automatically
It all started when Iperal installed a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution for customer relationship management. They began tracking each contact with a customer in Dynamics. Unfortunately, they soon realized this involved manually inputting the data when it was not already in the system. All this data was entered manually by using the Dynamics web interface. This was very inefficient and time-consuming.
Moreover, customer data was initially stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database. What sense did it make to move it manually when there was new or changed data? To make matters worse, several possible reasons caused such changes. First of all, the customers themselves can edit their data at any given moment, using the many channels available to them, namely the mobile application, the web site, and an interface that is available in every shop. Furthermore, every time the customer makes a purchase, other data relating to the customer changes.
Iperal wanted to make sure all these changes went from their Microsoft SQL Server databases to the Customer Service based on Dynamics.
They felt this was the best way to offer quick and full support to customers if they had any issues. The question was how to get the data there in an efficient, automatic way. “We knew we had to fill in the CRM data in another way. We wanted a way to do it efficiently and in real-time, from SQL Server to Dynamics”, Filippo Besana explains.
Looking for an efficient solution
Once their goals were clear, they started what could have been a long quest for the perfect solution… Filippo Besana goes on to tell us their original ideas for this project: “At first, we thought about developing a data import procedure on the CRM side that would be file-based. We would have to build a massive export of modified data to a file like .csv, send it to CRM and run the import on the CRM side. This would take a long time, and it would be expensive. Plus, the final result would not have the real-time performance we wanted.”
Finding Connect Bridge
After considering other ways they could do it themselves, it was on a quick online search that they landed on Connecting Software’s web site and found the D365 / database sync solution based on Connect Bridge. Filippo Besana says they immediately knew Connect Bridge was what we were looking for: “a middleware software that using a linked server could translate all TSQL queries from/to the CRM Webservice, in a way that is transparent to the developer.” They felt they had found the missing puzzle piece.
From that point onwards, everything was straightforward. Iperal asked for a demo and checked if a Connect Bridge linked server could handle the few hundred thousand rows they wanted to input. They moved right on to implementation as soon as they confirmed it did. Their main difficulty ended up being how to connect to a server outside their network. “Dynamics only provides a webserver to interact with from the outside”, Filippo Besana details. Nevertheless, they ended up reaching their goals in a short amount of time.
Looking back on the project, Filippo Besana is happy with the results. “From the SQL developer point of view, the operational tasks are the same as other heterogeneous databases connected by Linked Server. This kept our development times short”. Moreover, it also meant they reached their first goal.
Moreover, “by using a trigger on the main table, we can update or insert new data in real-time“. This meant that they reached their second goal. The project was successful “we are now very happy with the end result”.
How short was this short amount of time to implement the solution? Filippo Besana reveals that “In just a week, we had the solution we had in mind up and running”.
In this case, Connect Bridge enabled an integration project for getting data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 automatically and in real-time. But, in fact, this is a super flexible integration platform, and it can meet any integration challenge.
“More than ever, we are proud to support our customers and bring trust in times of turbulence.”
Mag. Thomas Berndorfer – CEO of Connecting Software
This might be useful for my company!
Why don’t you start by seeing it in action? Check out the demo video that shows how 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.
Do you want a personalized demo or an analysis of your specific case? Get in touch with Connecting Software’s experts.
For any questions or feedback, please click on Ask the Author below, and I will help you out.
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.