Navision / BizTalk Connector / Adapter

Hello - I am working with a client on a real-time Siebel integration, and we are leaning towards using BizTalk to help with the communications. In the first phase, we will by Syncing things like the customer and contact tables (addresses, etc.) We have been researchign BizTalk and have taken an intro-to-BizTalk class. They talk alot about Adapters or Connectors to other systems (i.e. SAP, etc.) in their materials. I get the impression that these are canned / boxed setups of BizTalk that make it much easier to talk to another system. Does Navision specifically have a BizTalk connector / adapter? I read about the Commerce Gateway which works with BizTalk in order to share EDI / XML documents (i.e. purchase orders, etc.) Does this mean that Comm Gateway has a connector / adapter included? Is it that modular, even though we are not moving documents specifcally? Any input on any of the points above would be most helpful. Cheers, Michael

I think when vendors talk about biztalk adapters, it could mean many different things. It could be a tightly integrated component, or it could be something as simple as a folder drop which the adapter (as a standalone programme) polls for text files (and where Biztalk does likewise). I have not personally gone too far into how Navision communicates with Biztalk, but essentially, Navision talks to a tool called “Commerce Gateway Request Server”, which in turn talks to Biztalk server somehow. Its quite a close knit integration compared to some adapters that I have seen. During the setup for example, it creates channels for incoming and outgoing data and tells Biztalk what kind of data it should expect to receive (via xml schema documents). Oh, and in answer to your last question, yes you can use the existing biztalk setup to pass your own data, however, it will involve custom code to extend it for your purposes. I think codeunit “99008517 XML Document-Create” function “send” does the actual sending. edd

BizTalk and Commerce Gateway communicate by sending and receiving XML documents. The integration pretty much begins and ends with the Navision specific XML schemas that are designed in the BizTalk Server repository. What’s supposed to happen: BizTalk generates an XML document according to the schema, sends it to Navision and Navision parses it, and inserts the document into an Inbound Table from which it can then be accepted or rejected. In reality, Navision’s parser doesn’t always do the job right. As I remember, there it doesn’t handle dates quite right. XML Document Transform is the most problematic Navision codeunit.