Fed-Ex Integration ???

Has anyone integrated the Fed-Ex shipping system into Navision using ODBC connections? We currently have a UPS shipping system that pulls data from the Posted Sales Invoice table and displays it to the UPS shipper in real-time so UPS labels can be printed. The system is lighting fast and with nearly 0% downtime. We attempted to integrate the Fed-Ex system into Navision using the same approach and the data transfer speed from Navision to the Fed-Ex system were extremely slow. Even at times when there is NO activity on the system. We currently have (3) Fed-Ex terminals - (1) Fed-Ex Tracer X software system and (2) Fed_-Ex cafe software systems. The only one connected to Navision is the Fed Ex Tracer X software system. It appears that is system is old ,running on a Win NT 4.0 machine and uses sql statements to query/retrieve the data. QUESTIONS 1. Anyone else have better results with data retrieval speed in the Fed-Ex Tracer X software system? 2. If you currently have this running, are you using the Cafe or Tracer X software? We were told the cafe did not function in a odbc environment. 3. Any suggestions on improving the speed? Keeping in mind the UPS systems retrieves the same data in under 1 second where as it takes Fed-Ex Tracer X almost 5 seconds. The seconds really mater when you are a HIGH volume shipper as we are. Steve Florko NCPS,NCSD,NCDS,WSSD,WSWD, NASQL Senior Developer

Hi Steve. I just finished integrating Fed-Ex Cafe (Powership). I did not use odbc to do this. Instead I created a codeunit that made some winsock.dll calls to send the package data to the fedex server via tcp/ip. The only problem I have is Navisions little 1024 limit on text fields. (gimme another week!). In short, you are right … cafe does not work in an odbc environment, but tcp/ip is better! I have never heard of their Tracer-X software … something I’ll ask my rep about this morning. Fedex Cafe/Powership for those that aren’t aware is a server provided by fedex that sits on your network. It listens for package data and returns tracking numbers, as well as prints an official fedex label. At the end of day its send the manifest to fedex via modem. It’s a sweet system … and I hear that fedex is building a net based version to be released very soon. We use it right from the sales shipment area to dynamically get the tracking no’s, send the customer an e-mail and assign the freight to the order. It’s very quick and efficient. Anyway - Steve I assume that as a high volume shipper you can get the new version of cafe and I’d be happy to guide you through some of the steps we took. -john

Hello John, I am very interested in the your process and would like instructions on what is involved in the process. We are also working with UPS and there ODBC system. It is extremely fast, but if your process is more efficient, I am willing to change. How is the client lic. handled when you are using hte winsock.dll connection? Could you send me the files / FOB’s needed to implement this so I can do some testing. What version of Navision are you using also? I would also like to discuss this by phone or e-mail. stuff@florko.com Maybe we can use these tools to integrate both types of systems (FED-EX & UPS). Thanks in Advance

Steve, I’d be happy to chat off-line, but for the benefit of the group, I’ll explain the solution over view here. In a nutshell, I created a table called packages, where for each sales header you can add packages (describing their weight, size, fragility, etc.). Then our shippers click the fedex button and a little function builds a transaction string (text message) which is sent to the fedex tcp server on out network. The specifications for this are detailed in the manual provided by fedex. I wrote a codeunit that makes socket calls using the http://www.dart.com powertcp sockets.dll – They have a 30 day trial version. I found this to be a better interface for navision to use that winsock since it need not support events. (I know that Attain has support for single instances and events, but in this case the requirements are to wait for the response via function call). A string is returned from the fedex powership server which is parsed to find the tracking numbers, which I then assign back to each package. Labels are printed as well from the fedex system to a shared thermal printer on the network, which was provided by fedex. The process is fairly straightforward, except for all the little shipping flags/detalis that must be set … like duties and cod etc. That stuff is fairly unique to each situation. we ship to the States, you might be shipping to Canada! I’d suggest that you call your fedex rep to get you onto the powership system. You can get the dll (or one of your choice) and I’ll share the socket call code (very simple). You can test sending messages to any echo server until the fedex system is setup. Note that I take the assigned freight and add that back as a sales line with some extra charges! We made (Freight = Shipping + Handling). I made Handling = perordercharge * (perboxcharge * no. boxes) … and these fields are on a setup card. An e-mail is sent to the user on posting the shipment of all the tracking numbers. It’s nice to have a real-time system … in the end we went from about 5 minutes a shipment down to less that 1 minute. Time is money! Talk to you soon, john

I downloaded the powertcp winsock.dll for the 30 day trial and I put a call into the Fedex rep for information on the powership server equipment. Could you please foreard me the call code. Our current process ( business) flow may require some modifications to the process. In your situation it seems like an event in Navision is taking place to queue the codeunit to ask Fedex for information. In my case the shipping department will be scanning a package (NO.) before it leaves and I need Navision to supply the information from the Posted Sales Invoice Header and send it to the fedex screen for the shipping clerk to reveiw and/or print the label. Hopefully this process can be triggered by the fedex system and not just within Navision. Thanks

Hi Steve, I created a codeunit that had the following code; Function SocketCall(HostName:Text60,HostPort:Int,Data:Text1024):Response:Text1024 Response = ‘’; IF ISCLEAR(Socket) THEN CREATE(Socket); Socket.Timeout := 5000; // Forces Connect to Block Socket.Connect(HostName,HostPort); IF Socket.State <> 2 THEN BEGIN // Didn’t Connect Socket.Abort; CLEAR(Socket); EXIT; END; Socket.Send(Data); Socket.Receive(Response); Socket.Abort; CLEAR(Socket); EXIT; Then I called the function with the server ip,port and the transaction string as detailed in the manual. You can use this code to test with an echo server. Sounds like you are moving quickly. That’s great. As far as initiating the call outside of Navision … that’s up to you ! -john

Hi Steve, I tried to connect UPS WorldShip with Navision using ODBC half year ago. It was very slow. What vertion have you used?

Hi, Thanks John. Valentin, We are using worlship version 4.1 and build 16.

All I can say is: http://www.lanhamassoc.com/e-ship.htm I know, I have mentioned it a lot, but I do NOT get any commision :frowning: It integrates with UPS and FedEx. AirBorne is comming, if it’s not allready in!

I think you all would save yourselves and your customers a lot of grief if you would install Lanham’s E-Ship. Speed is great since it’s inside Navision, plus a huge amount of additional functionality.

Thank you, John Thompson. I’ve integrated Nav with UPS WorldShip for freight billing, but haven’t integrated FedEx PowerShip with Nav yet. You’ve given me some great tips to get started. Michael Heydasch VIC International

Hey Michael, I’m sure you’ve got a great NSC that can help you out in a crunch as well. Just give them a call with any issues you might have and I’m sure they can help you out. I hear they specialize in integrations… [:D][:D][:D] No really, feel free to give Daniel a call and he might be able to help you out with this since we’ve got some other customers that are using this type of functionality. Talk to you tomorrow.