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September 29, 2010

Data Integration Application for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

A couple of days ago, our team faced an issue when developing a custom application for data integration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We thought that sharing the problem and the solution will be useful for the community, so here it is.

Apatar developers had chosen PHP technology for that custom data integration application; I will explain why they had chosen PHP and not Java or Delphi in my next post. Meanwhile, please, keep in mind that this case describes accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM by means of PHP NuSOAP.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit includes documentation that covers a wide range of instructive and practical information. Unfortunately, it does not provide the appropriate information on accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM MetadataService (fields, tables, and their descriptions) and CrmService (accounts, contacts, leads). To be more exact, it provides the same URL formula for accessing both metadata and data services:

http://server_name_here/MSCRMServices/2007/service_name_here.asmx

where service name is either MetadataService or CrmService.

In the course of development, it became clear that this formula does not work for both services. So, the correct formulas are:

For Metadata

http://server_name_here/MSCRMServices/2007/MetadataService.asmx?wsdl

For CRM data

http://server_name_here/MSCRMServices/2007/CrmService.asmx

As you can see, to access MetadataService you have to add ?wsdl at the end of URL, and to access CrmService you don’t have to add anything.

Hope you’ll find this information useful!

October 2, 2009

Data Integration: News from Apatar

Filed under: Data Integration, ETL — Tags: — Olga Belokurskaya @ 7:11 am

Hi!

It’s Friday, and I’m, frankly, not about serious matters. So, I’ll share some news on what’s Apatar Team been about lately to help our users improve their data integration initiatives.

Our team has recently released the connector for ODBC sources, something that plenty of our users have been asking and waiting for. The fact that the connector was quite highly demanded kind of argues the talks heard for about couple of years of ODBC being an old and forgotten mean of accessing databases.

Well, actually we have created the connector for ODBC to ease and improve data integration for Apatar users. ODBC remains widely used in organizations and enterprises. As any technology, it, of course, has its pros and cons.
The main ODBC’s advantage is its universality – having appropriate drivers for a connection, users may access different databases they need. So, in fact, the connector for ODBC sources allows perform needed operations on data exactly in the sources user’s ODBC has access to. In other words, Apatar may have no connector for a particular database, but as soon as this database is among user’s ODBC sources, the user may integrate or synchronize data from this source with the data from other sources.

So I think, creation of the connector for ODBC sources, positively, was a great thing which may help users in their data integration and ETL initiatives.