Integrating external data into Dynamics GP 2010

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 is commonly used as the system of record and principal accounting system for restaurants and similar enterprises.  Microsoft Dynamics is selected for its robust features and functionality, ease of use and familiar interface, and outstanding reporting and business intelligence.  In this environment, the key to leveraging the Dynamics GP system to achieve its highest capabilities, the restaurant Point of Sale system (POS) and the restaurant’s Back of the House system (BOH) will need to be integrated with Dynamics GP.  Integration of the systems will allow for the seamless sharing of information, the elimination of manual duplicative data entry, and reduce the time needed for POS and BOH data to be visible in Dynamics GP.

A typical integration scenario would be as follows:

In this scenario, the various POS terminals (which can either be multiple registers in a single location, or multiple locations each with their own BOH system) are linked to the BOH system.  At pre-determined intervals (which could be one per night for example), the BOH system prepares a data extract of the new data received by the BOH from the POS system since the last data extract was completed.  This data extract is typically in the form of a .csv file or similar.

Once the BOH system has completed its data extract, and has saved the .csv file to a specified network location, Microsoft Dynamics GP’s integration tools can begin the process of moving the BOH data into GP for processing and reporting.

Dynamics GP Integration Suite

The Integration Suite for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 offers two tools for integrating data into the system:  Integration Manager and eConnect.

Integration Manager is designed to move data into Dynamics GP 2010 from an external source.  This is done in a batch mode, where the batch consists of multiple transactions of a single type.  This could be done at the General Ledger level, creating balanced Journal Entries to be posted in GP, or it can be done to some of the sub-ledgers in GP, creating unposted transactions in GP that can be reviewed and posted by a GP user.

eConnect is designed to move data into and out of Dynamics GP 2010.  eConnect can work in either a batch-mode, processing transactions either “on-demand” or on a schedule, or eConnect can work in a “real-time” mode, processing transactions from the external source as soon as they are presented to eConnect.  (Real-time is commonly used in eCommerce environments, while batch-mode is frequently used in restaurant integrations).  Econnect can also work with multiple types of external data, including .csv, .xml, and others.

Restaurant Integrations

When integrating a restaurant BOH system and Dynamics GP 2010, data can be exchanged at various levels.  A typical restaurant integration might include the following types of transactions:

  • General Ledger – Direct integration to a GL Journal Entry.
  • Accounts Payable – for payables due to the restaurant’s vendors.
  • Inventory – linked to Purchasing, inventory valuations in GP can be adjusted from the BOH data.
  • Purchasing – requests for equipment and fixtures might originate in the BOH and then be submitted to GP for processing.
  • Accounts Receivable – Balances due from corporate events or other “on-account” activities can be submitted to GP for collections and cash applications
  • Payroll – time sheet information form the POS can be transferred to GP’s payroll module for processing in GP.

Integration Manager compared to eConnect:

Integration Manager


Batch Processing X X
Real-Time Processing X
Bi-directional data integration X
.csv Source files X X
.xml Source files X
Data integrity checking X X