NAV 2016 Built-In Integration vs. Scribe Insight for Dynamics CRM

Hello!

I have messed around with the NAV 2016 built-in integration for Dynamics CRM and here are my thoughts.

Installation

Built-in integration: It is built-in, no installation 🙂 (You need to manually import the CRM solution in CRM)
Scribe Insight: Needs to be installed manually

For performance then it is better to have dedicated integration server, specially for solutions with many users and many transactions, that needs to be processed between the two systems.

Performance

I have tested the built-in integration in my demo enviroment, so it is hard to tell how it will perform in production environment, where there are users in the system and where the NAV has been customized with custom business logic.

What I like with the built-in integration, is that they have added CRM buttons in the NAV ribbon, you can select one customer in NAV and view it in CRM.
There is also button where you can select specific customer in NAV from CRM and synchronize it to NAV instantly.
In CRM, they have added ‘Dynamics NAV button, clicking on it will open the customer in NAV WebClient.

NAV_CRM_Ribbon

Default Setup/Template

Built-in integration comes with default setup that includes:

Contact
Currency
Customer
Item
Sales Order
Sales Invoice
Resource
Salesperson
Units
Statistics

This setup also includes the buttons in NAV and CRM ribbon.
You can view orders from CRM in NAV and select which one you want to create in NAV, the list will only show orders that are not in NAV, this is nice feature.

You can also view CRM data, without having the data integrated with NAV.
For an example, you can view CRM opportunities in NAV.
You can also see customers stats in NAV from CRM.

NAV_CRM_Info

And also the other way around:

CRM_NAV_Stats

 

Scribe Insight Template includes:

Customer
Currency
Pricelist
Units
Item
Sales Order
Sales Invoice

Customizing integration

Built-in integration:
To modify the default setup,add new table or add new field to integrate, you need to do this using codeunits in NAV.
This can be done by NAV developers.

Here is an sample, how much coding is required to make changes:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt574341(v=nav.90).aspx

Scribe Insight:
To modify integration in Scribe, you can do this using the Scribe Workbench, no coding required, it is done using the visual editor.
This can be done by Scribe consultants and also super-users.

It takes less time to customize integration in Scribe.

Other integrations

NAV 2016 built-integration is specific for NAV and CRM.

Scribe Insight can be used for other integrations also.
You can have many integrations running on the same Scribe Insight.
Scribe can also be used for importing data in CRM and exporting.

You can use built-in integration and also Scribe Insight on the same solution.

For an example, you can use Scribe Insight for synchronizing data between the systems and use built-in integration for viewing CRM data in NAV without it synchronizing data.
Hybrid solution 🙂

Cost

Built-in integration: It comes with NAV, no extra cost for the license.

Scribe Insight: Starts from 3.000 USD

The built-in integration is free, but you need to calculate and compare how many hours you will need to customize the integration.
For an example, adding new field in codeunits will take more time than adding new field using Scribe Insight.

What about?

There is still plenty of different scenarios that I haven’t tested.
I will update this post when I have done more testing.

But I can already write this:

Will I continue to use Scribe Insight for Dynamics CRM and NAV integration? Yes

Will I use the built-in integration in NAV 2016? Yes

Will I use both of them in same solution? Yes, where it makes sense to do so.

What is the best solution for you? It depends on your requirements, I strongly recommend to get your requirements analyzed and find the best solution for you.

Questions

If you have any questions or want something included in the next post, you are welcome to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments »

  1. Nice post.
    Please include your thoughts about payment terms from NAV to CRM in your next post. This seems to be coded into NAV and not just a picklist to synchronize.

    Like

  2. I have been playing around as well. As far as I can tell you dont need to do any coding to map new fields. There are new tabels in NAV for mapping entities and fields. You do have to update the CRM tabels in NAV if you have done customizations in CRM though. This is done with a CMDlet. Kind of a pain. And there is a HUGE problem if you start deleting fields in CRM. As far as I can tell the mapping will be messed up because it is done on field numbers and not field names. Really big mistanke if you ask me!

    Like

    • Hi Thomas,

      You are correct, you can map field using the mapping table in NAV using the field number.
      I don’t think that this makes it more “user friendly”, you need access to NAV developement and in my experience, this is not for super-users.
      There is a lot of coding/programming involved in the built-in integration, transformations, control and lookups are done using codeunits.
      https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt574341(v=nav.90).aspx

      I agree with you regarding those mapping issues.
      There is also no validation if you map the same field twice, you can have same Field No. mapped to same Target No. more than once.
      Now where the built-in integration is part of NAV, we can hope that built-in integration will be updated frequently and added more features.

      Like

  3. How do you go about with the payment terms? Do you map them to the tables on the account, the quote, the order and the invoice? Or have you replaced the payment term tables with a global option set? (And set up a new line of field mapping)

    Like

    • Hi Marianne,

      What I usually do when doing integrations, is to synchronize payment term table from NAV to CRM.
      I create new entity in CRM “Payment Terms” and then create lookup field on Account, Quote, Order and Invoice to the entity.

      When data is coming from NAV, then I lookup the payment term using the ‘Code’ value, find the GUID and insert in the lookup.

      Did that answer your question?

      Like

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