SAP Business One Integration – Advanced Workbench Techniques

Russell M. Angelo

SAP B1 is dedicated to small and mid-size businesses. This ERP and MRP enriched accounting application becomes more and more popular, especially since the release of SB1 version 2007A. The intuitive and very simple SAP BO interface often comes with the fact, that SAP Business One certified consultant comes without solid technical background in data conversion, customization, SDK programming and also in making ad-hoc SQL queries. We should mention here, that you can always go and deploy SAP Business One SDK programming in integration creation, however here we will concentrate on “low profile”. Let’s begin:

1. SB1 Data Transfer Workbench: CSV file and Excel templates. Through our practice, large number of Sap Business One functional consultants recommends you simply to follow template Excel files filling up and saving them in CSV format as preferred way to do integration. Plus, they also recommend it for one-time integration only in the initial data conversion and migration. If you don’t need additional discovery and looking for second opinion in SAP Business One partners community – this advise is good and very reliable. However – what to do if you need ongoing and even scheduled integration?

2. Simple ODBC queries. Let’s make step aside and try ODBC in Source Data Type. If you are IT professional, SQL DBA or programmer, you know, that ODBC connection opens the whole new world of such nice tools as MS SQL Server linked server, SQL View to break through the restrictions of text files

3. SQL Views Scenario. Now imagine, instead of depending on CSV files, created by hand, you create SQL view, which will be the base for the integration. If you have to integrate SB1 with front end legacy database (including SQL linked server constructions to such platforms, as Oracle, DBII, Ctree, Pervasive SQL), you should lookup required SQL view structure in Excel templates for the intended SB1 objects and simply create them on Microsoft SQL Server level

4. Scheduling Workbench ongoing integration. Workbench help suggests you to save integration structure in XML format (you do it on the step 5: Run the data import – click Save button and you will be able to save integration in XML schema). Create -bat (DOS batch) file. Then schedule it in Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Scheduled Tasks. This would be sample line in BAT file: C:\Program Files\SAP\Data Transfer Workbench\DTW -s C:\Program Files\SAP\Data Transfer Workbench\config.xml.

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