Integration

Data integration is the process of importing and exporting data to and from your Dynamicweb solution, either on an ad-hoc basis, on a schedule or in real-time.

Dynamicweb contains the following integration tools and features:

  • The Data Integration module lets you create integration activities which accomplish a particular task, such as exporting or importing user data, exporting orders, etc.
  • A Batch Integration uses scheduled tasks to import and export data at intervals (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.)
  • A Live integration retrieves data from a remote system in real-time, and uses it to show for instance live prices or stock states, or to create orders in a remote system as they are placed

Integration Framework v2 is a collection of components for transferring data and maintaining data consistency between a Dynamicweb solution and a remote system. This is typically an ERP, but in principle all remote systems can be handled.

Integration Framework v2 contains standard plug-in units for the following ERP systems.

For integration to older systems – NAV 2009 and AX 2009 – please see the documentation for Integration Framework v1.

Fundamentally the data flow of both batch - and live integrations work in the same manner:

  • The Dynamicweb solution makes a request for data in XML format
  • The request is relayed to the remote system by the Dynamicweb Connector service
  • The plugin/code unit reacts by extracting data from the remote system
  • The data is wrapped in an XML format understood by Dynamicweb (or - for passive plugins - returned as is, and transformed using XSLT on the Dynamicweb side)
  • The XML is returned via the Dynamicweb Connector service to the Dynamicweb solution as a response

 

The architecture of the Dynamicweb integration framework is as illustrated below for any integration setup with an on-premise ERP system.

Figure 3.1 The architecture of an integration between Dynacweb and an on premise ERP system.

A note on data integration with a cloud based ERP:

Data integration between Dynamicweb and a cloud based ERP relies on a somewhat different architecture since it is not possible to install the connector service directly on the perimeter network. The specific architecture may vary depending on the ERP but generally it relies on installing a connector application directly on the cloud based ERP instead. 

 

The Data integration module of Dynamicweb is a tool for importing and exporting data to and from a Dynamicweb solution.

The module can be used to create, run and edit integration activities as well as to set up notifications. All of these tasks are managed with integration activities that utilize integration providers.

An integration provider is a piece of software for moving data between Dynamicweb and an external data source, like an XML file, a CSV file or an SQL database.

An integration activity consists of:

  • A source provider matching the data source - either the Dynamicweb solution (export) or a file (import)
  • A destination provider matching the data destination - either the Dynamicweb solution (import) or a file (export)

Visit the integration providers article for an overview of the built-in providers of Dynamicweb. The article also presents a list of scenarios that might help you choose the right provider for your integration activities. If the long list of built-in providers somehow does not suffice it is also possible to create custom providers.

There is no significant technical overhead when running the Integration Framework – it has been built for speed, security and robustness after all – so if you can run a Dynamicweb application you can use the Integration Framework.

However:

  • You must be able to install the DynamicwebConnector in the environment where the remote system resides
  • The web service exposed by the DynamicwebConnector must be reachable from the Dynamicweb solution
  • You must ensure that the relevant ports on the remote system environment can be reached
  • Additionally, some knowledge of XML is useful for debugging purposes.

To help you, we’ve created hands-on guides to help you get off to a good start with your part of an integration project: