For customers upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Business Central provides an efficient cloud-based ERP platform for growth. As companies consider making the transition to this new platform, however, it’s important that they have a clear vision for reporting and analytics and that they understand how to get the most from their Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC) data.
The paradigm for reporting in D365 BC is very different from its predecessors. To get the maximum benefit from the new system and to preserve seamless visibility to historical data, customers should consider deploying a data warehouse.
While the concept of a data warehouse is often associated with complexity and expense, that need not be the case in today’s world. Now, small and midsize businesses can enjoy the benefits of a data warehouse without the complexities that they might have experienced in the past.
For companies considering a migration, a key benefit of this approach is its ability to store information from a prior ERP system and to provide comprehensive reports that include historical detail. Migrating detailed transactional history can be enormously expensive, often impractical, and result in a migration of mistakes in the legacy data. Companies that wish to preserve that information as part of their reporting infrastructure should strongly consider a data warehouse to address that problem.
The new Microsoft Dynamics Business Central Adapter from insightsoftware simplifies the creation and management of data warehouse automation in Jet Analytics, insightsoftware’s leading reporting solution for D365 BC.
Dynamics Data Warehouses Made Easy
Jet Analytics enables customers to create and maintain a complete data warehouse solution with very little effort. To achieve this, Jet Analytics provides data warehouse automation tools and techniques to automate the tedious parts of the work.
In 2018, Microsoft announced the launch of D365 BC to replace several of its legacy products (Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics GP). In the first version of Jet Analytics for D365 BC, a third-party ADO.NET connector from CData was used to access and retrieve data from the ERP system. Because there were limited ways to access Business Central data, this was the best approach that was available at the time.
While the previous adapter served an important purpose at the time, many of insightsoftware’s customers expressed the desire for a faster, more seamless approach to data access and retrieval. Recent updates to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central have now made that possible.
The insightsoftware team has responded by releasing an innovative new adapter that makes the process faster and easier, and that handles upgrades and extensions seamlessly.
With the previous adapter, data warehouse setup could be cumbersome and time-consuming. The installation process required that each table be added individually through a programmatic request to a D365 BC web service.
With each change to the system, whether it be an upgrade, an extension, or the installation of a third-party ISV product, the previous adapter required that someone manually make changes to the data warehouse configuration. There were significant limitations to localization, access of flow fields, binary fields were not available, and option lookup tables were inaccessible.
Microsoft’s introduction of a new OData web services interface enabled insightsoftware to develop a new adapter that better serves the needs of our partners and customers.
The new OData adapter is faster than the previous adapter, because it avoids the need for you to add each table to a query, as mentioned above, and also because of the way it uses compression and takes advantage of specific features available with Business Central 16.
Here are some of the key benefits of the new Microsoft Dynamics Business Central Adapter for Jet Analytics:
- It installs in minutes. The new adapter is packaged as an extension, so it doesn’t require reinstallation of other Jet Analytics components. The entire process takes just a few minutes. As soon as the installation is complete, all tables within Business Central are automatically visible to Jet Analytics. The tedious process of setting up each object manually is no longer required, and the look and feel will be exactly the same as if you were connecting directly to an on-premises database
- Data retrieval is significantly faster. In performance testing, the new adapter cut processing time in half. That significantly lowers the bar for refreshing the data warehouse, making it easier to report near real-time information about what’s happening in the business.
- It automatically provides access to all business tables within Business Central. Whether you are paying outside consultants, or have experts on staff, the new adapter saves significant time and money. Whenever the system is upgraded or extended, or when an ISV product is installed, the new adapter captures changes to the data model automatically, making table extensions, custom tables or ISV product tables visible to Jet Analytics, without the need for you to install anything else or to deploy new code.
- Better localization. For non-US customers, the old adapter had some limitations that made localization problematic. The new adapter has been tested for multiple locales and languages.
- Better data access. Due to limitations in Microsoft’s old interface, the previous adapter was unable to access flow data needed in binary fields. In addition, option lookup tables were not supported. The new adapter provides full support for these features.
- Positioned for continuous improvement. Because the old adapter required third-party components that were outside of insightsoftware’s control, there were limits to our ability to tailor the previous adapter to fit the needs of our partners and customers. Because the new adapter is developed by insightsoftware in alignment with Microsoft’s technology standards, we are in a much stronger position to respond to feedback from the organizations who rely on our software every day. And, because we have a close relationship with Microsoft, we are well-placed to update the adapter in response to any changes they have planned.
At insightsoftware, we commit to a process of continuous improvement at high levels of customer and partner satisfaction. We are proud to announce the release of the new Jet Analytics adapter for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and happy to hear the positive reviews from our customers who have used it.
To find out more about how insightsoftware can help you with powerful, streamlined reporting for Microsoft Dynamics 365, contact us.