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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spotlight: EDI Made Simple® courtesy of Data Masons Software

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now in full swing, one area that will remain a special focus and need for customer implementation projects is around the use of EDI. This is no small undertaking, nor some trivial task that is some pick and choose software, and off you go.

No, this is always a very important part of the success of a project. When EDI is needed based on business requirements, one of the best ones that has been working with AX for many years and is now live for AX 2012 is Data Masons.

Data Masons, a sponsor of this site, has shown their value, project after project for customers, and is ready to go with proven cases studies, like the following one:

“Hydra-Power requested TAP participation from Data Masons and we worked with the Application Integration Framework in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to ensure interoperability for Vantage Point EDI. Data Masons was excited to support Hydra-Power’s TAP participation as we are dedicated to delivering a fully-integrated solution to our clients regardless of their AX version.”

You can download and read the full case study, located here: Hydra-Power Systems Case Study

You can also check out a 3-minute demo video of their Vantage Point EDI solution.

Data Masons is a very active member in the Dynamics Ecosystem and community as a whole, with having several social contributions through their EDI blog, being a contributing member of the ERP SoftwareBlog, and continued support of AXUG through several initiatives.

With this in mind, I virtually sat down with Glenn McPeak, Principal, Data Masons Software, to pick his brain a bit about AX 2012, Data Masons and adding value to customers. Below is the result of that interview.

Glenn McPeak - Principal

Bio: Glenn is a supply chain expert and has over 25 Years of EDI/ERP solution consulting and ERP/EDI software product design and management. Glenn’s has managed and executed over 200 successful ERP and EDI related projects in a wide array of manufacturing and distribution oriented industries.

1. With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, how does Data Masons extend and add value to this game changing ERP platform?

Data Masons has 10 years of functional development that has extended AX since version 2.5. Our technology model has enabled us to continue to expand the functional reach of the solution and enable AX customers to handle advanced supply chain integrations with suppliers, customers, logistics providers, contract manufacturers and more. All of the features that are available in our solution for AX 2009 are already available for AX 2012 – very few changes were required to adapt to the AX 2012 platform. We’ve noticed AX 2012 is even easier for us to build advanced integrations and performance has improved, as Microsoft has done an outstanding job streamlining the architecture underlying the Application Integration Framework (AIF) in AX 2012.

2. What are some new functional features for the Data Masons value-add offering for AX 2012, that did not exist, or maybe was not possible until now?

AX 2012 has added improved shipping features that are even more suitable for outbound Advance Ship Notice (ASN) processing. More fields have been added to the base tables that make it more suitable for EDI cross reference maintenance, thus eliminating the need for additional fields. Also, the global address book has been refined even further making it easier for address creation and validation when integrating documents in and out of AX.

3. Pick one great new highlight of AX 2012, either technically or functional focused, that Data Masons likes, or better used to enable you value add solutions.

Hands down the Application Integration Framework is a home run. The set-up of endpoints is much more straightforward and it is easier to add new services that are not pre-packaged in the base system. The AIF has a more direct channel to the application objects and, by eliminating “hops” that Microsoft deemed unnecessary, performance has improved significantly in benchmark testing.

I would like to thank Glenn for taking the time to share his view points, as I know, like all of us, is very busy helping create happy customers with successful ERP projects.

As I stated before, EDI in a given ERP project is not something that should be brushed over, but it is something that is covered well within the partner community for Microsoft Dynamics. Data Masons by far is one of the best ISV solutions for working with your VAR to satisfy your EDI project needs.

That’s all for now, but check back soon as more to come. Till next time!

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Anonymous Rif said...

Is the product based on Application Integration Framework (AIF) or WCF with tcp.net?

If is based on AIF, why did you not move the product to WCF with tcp.net?

5:36 AM  

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