In my company we are running Dynamics NAV/Navision 4.00 SP3. We are also running Dynamics CRM 3.0.
NAV and CRM is currently integrated using a proprietary connector developed by our implementation partner Tectura, using Celenia’s Integration Framework.
The issue is that this solution doesn’t give us exactly what we are looking for.
We have a setup, where many countries are sharing a global database. Each country is “merged” into a “linking company”, so that all customers are “shared” per country (amoung the different legal companies per country). The CRM database interfaces only with this “linking company”. The issue is that the current solution doesn’t allow us to interface to more than one linking company per Navision database. Add to this that the setup feels very technically and difficult to support.
So I would like to hear if you have experiences with other solutions? We are really only integrating the customer data. No orders or contracts is synchronized.
The solution I would really like to hear more about is Microsoft’s own “CRM Adapter” for Microsoft Biztalk Server. We are planning to use Biztalk for other projects, so in my mind it would make the whole “interface thing” a lot easier, if we go for just one interface.
You can build a Biztalk connector in NAV pretty easily, by using MSMQ (directly, not using the MQBA because that won’t accept messages from Biztalk). If you base your design loosely on Commerce Gateway it would even be officially supported.
The MQBA is the Message Queue Bus Adapter, one of the standard NAV components that you can use to connect to a message queue. Search the product CD for a file called ‘devguide.chm’. This help file has code samples for this, as well as other communication type stuff that you might want to give a try. The BA chokes on double byte characters, and Biztalk 2006 can only send double byte characters (or… I haven’t figured out howto send single byte in Biztalk 2006). So the only way I could make that work is to program the message queue object model directly in C/AL code.
So is what you’re say that MQBA only works for Asian double byte characters? Or?
I’m not really the most technical NAV expert (anymore?) - my specialty is really getting the overall picture etc… So I’m sorry for asking these stupid questions!
I’m not ure if it doesn’t work for double byte Asian character set. Logically you’d think that Commerce Gateway works in Asian countries, and that the BA would work there too, but I can’t help you there. I had my problems with Biztalk sending XML out encoded in Unicode, and NAV not being able to pick it up. By using the MSMQ object model directly, and an XMLDOM object, that is not a problem anymore.
One of my customer has decided to implement Dynamics CRM 4.0 and he has already Microsoft NAV 5.0
Erik, may I ask you why did you decide to use Dynamics CRM and not Navison CRM Navision module (was it too light out of the box ?)
I’m also wondering if Microsoft has release a standard connector between Dynamics NAV 5.0 and Dynamics CRM 4.0 ?
If not what are the best connector available in 2008 ? Celenia add-on ? create your own custom interface using BizTalk ?
Many companies don’t need all Navision features only need a CRM system. In those companies Microsoft CRM feet’s quite well. For example: I know a customer that is using CRM for Marketing activity, and then only transfer generated sales to Navision. This company can live without everything being 100% integrated.
For a connector I recommend using an existing connector. You will find out a lot of problems by build your own.
Well well well. As with everything then it depends. I would first analyze the reason for requirering the CRM system and what the specific requirements were. IMHO then the Dynamics NAV CRM module is a great module, if you’re already a NAV user! And if my primary requirement was to get a sales support system, then I wouldn’t look anywhere else.
But you either need a system were most of your users are not based in the office (ex. visiting the customers/prospects) (and you want them to use Outlook) or you have a lot of campaign interactions (coming from ex. the www) or if most of your users are NOT Dynamics NAV users already, then I would surely say that Dynamics CRM is likely to be a better choice.
A few years ago I was very unlikely to recommend Dynamics CRM to anyone, simply because it wasn’t a mature product. But with the release of Dynamics CRM 4.0 (Titan), then you now really have a very good product which can compete in almost all CRM market seqments. In my company (of almost 500000 employees) we have choosen Dynamics CRM to be the preferred CRM system in our countries ranging from 5-10 uses up to 150+ users in each country.
As for the connector betwwen Dynamics CRM and NAV then this is IMHO Microsoft’s biggest pain in the Dynamics area. I really cannot understand why they have not come with their connector yet.
But we have looked at many different connectors. When we first started our project we were using Tectura CRM Connector. This was for the most parts developed by Celenia together with Tectura and is today known as the Celenia CRM Connector (but in a newer version). We didn’t have good experiences with this connector. Just to solve IMO simple technical problems took them very very long time. Basically we never succeed in getting it to work as we wanted.
Instead we have now selected Scribe’s CRM-NAV Connector. Scribe has for many years already been known as “the standard Dynamics CRM connector” and is used by most CRM consulting companies not only as a connector, but also for data migration. And recently Scribe has also release an adaptor for Dynamics NAV (they had one for Dynamics GP for many years). In my company we were also using Scribe already in some of our CRM projects (not NAV related - but Oracle and SAP).
We have yet not installed Scribe’s NAV adaptor, as we are still just preparing our technical proof of concept project. But as soon as it has been completed, then I would be happy to tell you more.
any updates on this? Also Can you explain the technical detail on the integration for scribe and how it communicates with NAV? Thanks.
The project has actually been postponed, so we have not even arrieved at the proof of concepts yet. It will most likely not be until Q3 this year.
I would be nice to have feedback from this project. Several connectors NAV / CRM work well in small environments when trying scaling it all most CRM they start giving problems.
My customer went live with the Celenia Connector, it’s rather straight forward and seems reliable.
However implementing customization in Dynamics CRM does not seems as straight forward as in Dynamics NAV
Doing or implementing customizations in CRM isn’t as straight forward as in NAV?
I think that actually doing the customizations is easy, just as easy as in NAV - but done in a little different way. But what I’ve never done is a CRM upgrade project. I wonder if it’s “just” as easy to upgrade as NAV?
any updates on using Scribe? Also Can you explain the technical detail on the integration for scribe and how it communicates with NAV? Thanks
I’m sorry but I no longer work for that company and we never completed our NAV to CRM integration.
I am not very sure about technical details mentioned here in this post [:#], but you can have a look at VisionConnector. Developed by a Danish firm Vision People.
Both Celenia and VisionPeople’s CRM connector are to what I hear very good.
The reason why couldn’t use neither was that our requirements were rather complex (different companies pr country → one crm database per country). Only Scribe could support that.
we tried to use the Scribe but it not working properly (it stop after tranfer few record). Do you know any Scribe Customer and Scribe Case study?
We already have the Vision connector, but we do not have any documentation or guides as to how to customize the vision connector. Can you point me in the right direction?