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Guide on how to replicate your MS Dynamics NAV Databases

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Guide on how to replicate your MS Dynamics NAV Databases

  1. 1. Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV Data Replication for multiple and distributed MS Dynamics NAV Databases
  2. 2. Introduction This ebook is for you who wants to learn more about RapidiOnline and our Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV solution - enabling you to replicate your data between multiple MS Dynamics NAV databases. The RapidiOnline Difference 4 In the first section you will learn about who we are and why we do what we do. Customers Love Us 11 The next section is about our customers. Listen to their stories on being a RapidiOnline customer. Visibility = Knowledge & Decision Making 15 This chapter takes you through what it will mean to you and your business to have your data available at the right time. Scenarios 17 In the Scenarios section we will describe different use cases of the Replicator - how it is used and what the benefits are. The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV 24 This is the part around the Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV solution itself. Learn about its key features and benefits. How Do We Connect 31 Last but not least, for the more technical person we will give you some technical insights on possibilities and best practices on how to connect to your MS Dynamics NAV.
  3. 3. The RapidiOnline Difference HAPPY CUSTOMERS We do it for our customers. Ok, doesn’t everyone want happy and satisfied customers? So, why do we want you to be a happy customer? RapidiOnline’s Mission is to help people achieve a better and more effective working day. We want you to be happy and get the most out of your data and make it available where it is needed. Apart from that we work towards that you want to stay with us and renew your service, what really drives us is when we are on a call with one of our customers and they say “I’m really happy now” - this is what makes us get up in the morning! We don’t stop until you are happy with what we deliver. 4
  5. 5. The RapidiOnline Difference PASSION, COMMITMENT EXPERTISE What drives us are our happy customers, the passion for innovation and the constant thrive for improving the system to offer you the best-in-class data integration and data replication platform. RapidiOnline provides services and solutions for data integration and replication and migration - delivered both as on-demand or on-premise solutions. We have our roots back in the early MS Dynamics NAV (Navision) and MS Dynamics AX (Axapta) days. The technology can be used to integrate almost any system or database but as we have developed in-dept expertise and knowledge around the Microsoft Dynamics product suite, this is were our focus is. With more than 20 years of experience and unique in-dept knowlegde in data integration and data replication we help companies worldwide of any scale to improve their business processes to make their working life easier and be more effective. We have offices in Denmark, France Malaysia. 6
  6. 6. The RapidiOnline Difference DELIVERING A COMPLETE BUSINESS SOLUTION RapidiOnline is more than just a tool. We provide you with a complete data integration solution customized to your specific needs. We created a platform that makes your data available where you need it and our Promise to you is to deliver a complete integrated business solution that suits exactly your needs and requirements. Working with RapidiOnline you are not left to your own devices. No, RapidiOnline wants you to be happy customer that uses RapidiOnline because it solves your specific needs. Therefore our consultancy to you on how to link your systems together in the best way is very important to us. Our aim is for you to get the best and most out of your systems and become more productive. With our expertise and customer commitment we will go the extra mile to make you a happy customer. In order to do so we designed RapidiOnline the way we did incorporating our unique knowledge about data integration and replication - always keeping in mind the simplicity and ease of use of the product enabling you to implement and work more efficient. 8
  8. 8. The RapidiOnline Difference EASY TO USE MAINTAIN Our slogan ‘Data Integration made easy’ says it short and crispy; we believe in delivering a powerful technology to simplify a complex task. Our mission is to revolutionize on how the world engages and deals with their data and systems - transforming data integration and data replication from a complex to simple task. We take the pain out of data integration and replication and work on making the implementation as short and smooth as possible, because we want you to be able to concentrate on your core business. Through our passion and customer commitment we are here to help you make your working life easier. RapidiOnline is the best-in-class cloud-based data integration and replication platform. We make it easy for you to configure your data replication project - quick and easy - using powerful technology and a platform which functionalities are built around our philosophy that it has to be easy to use and maintain with a minimum of specifications. With RapidiOnline we empower you to rapidly implement a stable and scalable solution that is easily maintained. We have created this powerful platform based upon our ability to abstract and transfer the common integration and replication needs into functionality that is simple to use and enables you to work more efficiently. It again comes down to make you happy by making your working life easier and more efficient. No more lenghty data replication projects. Just jump in and start replicating your business data. What if you could start replicating your data tomorrow? What would that mean for your business? 10
  9. 9. Rema1000 [Re=Retail MA=Mat (food in norwegian)] is a european based retail chain in growth. They have now 270 retail stores alone in Denmark and have been growing with 30-40 stores per year. They use the Replicator to replicate all their data between their stores and their central headquarter. They have over a million transactions per day. The Replicator is the perfect solution for us as it provides data exchange between 270 stores and the head quarter in an easy, efficient and secure way.” Lars Ruben Hasen, IT Exective at Rema1000 “ “ The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV made it possible to take advantage of the integration possibilities in our retail solution.
  10. 10. Zulekha Haywood, Revenue Forecast Manager at IMAN Cosmetics “ “ RapidiOnline fully supports our vision of a fully integrated business.
  11. 11. IMAN Cosmetics is an unique US-based company founded by the Top Model IMAN that produces cosmetic products to women with dark skin colour. They use RapidiOnline to replicate their data between their warehouse and their inhouse MS Dynamics NAV. We chose RapidiOnline because of their large experience with data integration and MS Dynamics NAV. The way Michael transferred the data quickly and simply provided strong support and professionalism, made it a pleasure working with RapidiOnline. Kimberly Johnson, Finance Manager at IMAN Cosmetics “ “ With RapidiOnline, we now have full control over our data and we have the flexibility we need.
  12. 12. Visibility = Knowledge Decision Making
  13. 13. Empower Business Decision Making With The Right Data At The Right Time In today’s fast-paced business climate, your company needs to respond to events as they happen. You need not only agility but also visibility - into all kinds of activities to ensure that business processes are optimized for peak performance. Basing decisions on data that is even just a few hours old can cost your company revenue and customers. Your company needs the freshest, most current operational data to capitalize on emerging opportunities and build a sustainable competitive advantage. However, current information architectures contain heterogeneous systems and lack standardized integration and replication tools. Integrating data across a diverse IT landscape, using disparate tools, adds an unnecessary layer of complexity. This complexity delays the timeliness of data, which results in decisions based on outdated information. Business risks increase when enterprises struggle to get access to the right data at the right time to make the right decision. IT departments are hard pressed to deliver current operational data that’s needed to support business intelligence, real-time analytics, operational synchronization, and continuous availability/uptime initiatives - all of which are necessary to keep up with today’s pace of business. To stay competitive in this highly volatile climate, access to current and up-to-date data is critical. Distributed information within the organisation makes it almost impossible to get an overview of the total business. Having replicated data gives you a central overview of the data and enables you to make better and informed business decisions. RapidiOnline data integration and replication provides this access to always up-to-date data, dramatically improving the availability of data across your organization. RapidiOnline Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV Data Replication Solution is heterogeneous, near real-time transaction replication that is highly scalable, reliable, and easy to configure - without disrupting the performance of operational systems. It enables organizations to supply the business with access to the most current data irrespective of the complexity and diversity of the IT landscape. 16
  14. 14. SCENARIOS
  15. 15. New York RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV Company HeadQuarter RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV Server Paris RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV Shanghai RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV
  16. 16. Salesman or NGO Solution An example of our salesman/NGO Solution could be to have a central server with MS Dynamics NAV running and three salesmen with laptops with each a local NAV installed with its own database You would need this solution, when • your salesmen or your NGO worker need to work off-line with a local copy of the MS Dynamics NAV databases on their laptops • your sales people out in the field need to have access to their own local MS Dynamics NAV database on their laptops Benefits • They can work off-line and data can be replicated to/from the central database at regular intervals such as once a day. Headquarter - MS Dynamics NAV Client with local database MS Dynamics NAV Server - RapidiConnector - MS Dynamics NAV main database - MS Dynamics NAV Client with local database - RapidiConnector service running on Application Server - RapidiConnector 19
  17. 17. Server Replication Solution An example of a scenario could be to have a central server at your headquarter and three separate sites with each their own local MS Dynamics NAV server. You would need the server replication solution, when you have • local MS Dynamics NAV servers in each department/country • departments/companies abroad from where you can not (due to low bandwidth) or will not (security matters) let the employees work directly on the headquarter’s system • inter-company trade based on several Accounts/MS Dynamics NAV-databases Benefits • you will have better performance and up-time in each department or country • you can have different country versions of MS Dynnamics NAV in each country L SS CENTRAL LAN SSL • you will reduce the need for high bandwidth compared to a Citrix solution DEPARTMENT LAN MS Dynamics NAV Server MS Dynamics NAV Server RapidiConnector RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV Client MS Dynamics NAV Client 20
  18. 18. Retail Solution Retail solution with one or more stores with each their MS Dynamics NAV-based or MS SQL-based POS system, where you need to exchange data with a central MS Dynamics NAV. • in retail solutions where each store has its own MS Dynamics NAV database and you need to exchange data with a central MS Dynamics NAV • each store has its own MS Dynamics NAV database • in each store you have optimal performance and can continue to sell also if the internet is down • data can be managed centrally and statistics is collected centrally also • you can also replicate directly with databases on each POS system (if you don’t have a store-central-database) 21
  19. 19. Fleet and Shipping Solution An example of a scenario could be to have a central server running on MS Dynamics NAV at your headquarter and various ships or fleets at different locations. The Fleet and Shipping solution replicates data between the headquarter and the fleets/ ships with each their own local MS Dynamics NAV server. Benefits • you will have better performance and up-time on each fleet or ship • you will reduce the need for high bandwidth compared to a Citrix solution • you can have different country versions of MS Dynnamics NAV on each fleet or ship • RapidiOnline’s RapidiConnector automatically packs and compresses data with our own proprietary technology to achive the lowest bandwidth needed for transmission of data. This is essential for satelite based replication. 22
  20. 20. for
  21. 21. The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV REPLICATE INFORMATION BETWEEN MULTIPLE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS NAV DATABASES The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV replicates information between two and more MS Dynamics NAV databases or systems. Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV data replication solution provides: • Faster, simpler data replication that maintains transactional integrity and consistency for enterprise data • Centralized, user-friendly configuration interface that helps simplify deployment and data replication processes. • Solutions for complex replication scenarios through the RapidiOnline Platform setting up special transfers making any complex replication scenario possible. • Transaction Consistency Integrity and ensures the best possible security in your replication. Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV Data Replication solution is designed to address issues like replication in areas or location with poor internet connection through a highly flexible, robust, secure and intensively compressed data information replication across heterogeneous MS Dynamics NAV systems. It leverages data replication to support high availability, flexibility, speed, transactional integrity and data consistency. It also delivers outstanding capabilities for loading near real-time information into a data warehouse or operational data store, which can help organizations enhance business agility and visibility into key processes. 24
  23. 23. The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV REPLICATE INFORMATION BETWEEN MULTIPLE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS NAV DATABASES The Replicator for MS Dynamics NAV is based on a proven powerful technology which we have continuously developed and improved on since the early 90s. Our global customer base and partners worldwide rely on our solution enabling data replication between a central MS Dynamics NAV and other distributed MS Dynamics NAV databases. Highlights • Provides data availability in locations with poor internet connection or in retail stores where data availability and current accurate data is a must • Integrates real-time inventory and sales information with business applications • Enables integration of product and customer data across multiple branches, outlets and offices • Enables high up-time and performance of local distributed MS Dynamics NAV installations (as opposed to a central online approach as e.g. Citrix) 26
  24. 24. Key Benefits REPLICATE INFORMATION BETWEEN MULTIPLE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS NAV DATABASES Cloud-based solution Web-based setup and configuration interface Less Administration We run and monitor your replications for you Ability to use C/AL code (using Navision Application Server or NAV Webservices) Extensive Formula system Inside the configuration interface you will have access to an extensive formula system to manipulate data on the fly Fast Installation Simple setup There is no need for fixed IP addresses and no need to open firewall Secure System SSL encrypted data transmission Fast Replication Data is transferred in binary format, packed and compressed Scheduler Replicator includes a built-in scheduler where you can set up automatic transfers. The Scheduler is run and monitored centrally on our servers. RapidiConnector The RapidiConnector is installed locally close to each MS Dynamics NAV database. It facilitates the connection to the local database and reduces the total transfer time significantly by packing and compressing all data sent over the internet. The RapidiConnector is installed and configured in less than 10 minutes and then runs in the background as a local Windows Service. 28
  26. 26. Flexibility Object Replication: With Replicator you can also transfer MS Dynamics NAV objects (codeunits, tables, forms etc.) between MS Dynamics NAV databases. Transactions Security: To ensure the best possible security in your replications the C/Front is used to access the databases and transaction logic (Commit/Rollback) is used to ensure that either all data is replicated or none at all. Replication can be extended to include other databases or systems. For example to integrate with a MS SQL based webshop system or replicating data from several countries or department to a central BI System. Advanced Formulas: For example DBLookup formula to look up values in other tables or databases. Microsoft Dynamics NAV Webservices: The Replicator supports MS Dynamics NAV 2009 and NAV 2013 Webservices. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Support: The Replicator supports MS Dynamics NAV 2013 through an enhanced MS-SQL connector that knows about the NAV way of storing data in SQL. Field List: Replicate only specific fields. Filters: Replicate only specific data. Replicate between tables that have different primary keys. Sub Transfers: Transferring e.g. sales header and corresponding sales lines in one transaction. Star Replication: Have Replicator distribute changes made in one database to all other databases. For example, changes made by department París is forwarded to department London via the headquarter. Tags (variables): You can share same transfer for many different destinations (departments, salesmen) by using tags (parameters) in the transfer. The tags are substituted at run time by the Scheduler. Mirror Technology: Ability to create a local copy of the source data so that we can detect and transfer only the changes. The mirror is automatically compressed to use minimal space. This is perfect for native MS Dynamics NAV databases Changes only (SQL): When MS Dynamics NAV is running based on a SQL database the Replicator can detect and transfer only the changed or new records based on the timestamp in the SQL tables. NAS Connector: Ability to use C/AL code to automatically validate data entered into MS Dynamics NAV. This feature is supported on NAV systems from Version 3.70 or later (used in systems where NAV Webservices are not available. Event triggered transfers: Ability to trigger a transfer from an event inside MS Dynamics NAV. Systems Supported MS Dynamics NAV 2013 MS Dynamics NAV 2009, MS Dynamics NAV 5.0 5.0.1, MS Dynamics NAV 4.01, 4.02, 4.03, MBS-Navision 3.70 4.0 Earlier Versions are also supported - please ask. Both MS SQL Server and the Native database options are supported. System Requirements C/Front Module in License of MS Dynamics NAV (when using MS Dynamics NAV2009 or earlier) 30
  27. 27. How Do We Connect
  28. 28. The RapidiConnector COMMUNICATION - FAST SECURE - The RapidiConnector How does RapidiOnline establish the connection to the different MS Dynamics NAV systems to make data transfer possible? The RapidiOnline Services run with a unique technology called the RapidiConnector that ensures compressed and secure data transfer between RapidiOnline and the different MS Dynamics NAV databases. It is quick and easy to setup which allow you to save implementation time and costs. For best efficiency and security the data is compressed and encrypted. You can use dynamic IP addreses. RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV Benefits: RapidiConnector MS Dynamics NAV No need to open up firewall! • easy installation • no fixed IP addresses needed • no inbound connection and no need to open firewall inbound • automatic packing, compression and SSL encryption of data 32
  29. 29. Benefits of the RapidiConnector STRAIGHT-FORWARD DEPLOYMENT The RapidiConnector resides in your on-premise network connecting outbound to the central RapidiOnline Service and enables two-way communication between RapidiOnline and your legacy systems. This has the advantage that you don’t have to change anything in your network or firewalls in order to deploy RapidiOnline integration. The connections from the RapidiConnector are all outbound to RapidiOnline. No inbound connections are made and no inbound ports have to be opened in your firewall. Your internal systems stay secured and protected. This makes it very easy to get started. OPTIMIZED MOST EFFICIENT DATA TRANSFER The communication between RapidiOnline and the RapidiConnector is using a proprietary protocol which is highly efficient in terms of maximum reduction of the total amount of data and the number of packages sent and received. The protocol first joins e.g. 200 records in 1 package thereby stripping off all meta information to only sent the relevant data. Furthermore the package is compressed before sending. This results in the most efficient data transfer. This method can reduce the amount of data needed to be sent by a factor up to 50. This means e.g. instead of sending 1000 bytes for each customer record the RapidiConnector only needs to send 20 bytes. This dramatically reduces both the transfer time and needed bandwidth. VERY SECURE ENCRYPTED COMMUNICATION Because of the proprietary protocol and the compression it is practically impossible to decipher the data transmitted. This increases the security. After the packing and compression the data packages are encryted with industry standard.
  30. 30. 4 Ways to Connect to MS Dynamics NAV RapidiOnline supports many different NAV versions - all the way back from Navision 3.70 (and even older versions too) and up to the latest MS Dynamics NAV 2013 - so there is not one single method that is best for all these versions. Therefore RapidiOnline supports a total of 4 different ways of accessing NAV and so we can use the best way or ways in any given situation. Accessing MS Dynamics NAV through C/Front The first way of accessing MS Dynamics NAV is through an interface called C/Front. C/Front is a database level interface to MS Dynamics NAV. It is supported both by the native NAV database server and for MS-SQL based installations. Its the same interface as the Classic NAV Client is using to access NAV data, so its rock solid and very fast. It is the Microsoft recommended way of accessing data in the NAV database and all Calculated fields and filters (Flow Fields/Filters) are supported in C/Front (Microsoft does not recommend that you use a direct access to the MS-SQL database). The C/Front interface is supported in all NAV versions up to and including MS Dynamics NAV 2009R2 (MS Dynamics NAV 2013 is not supported). We recommend always to use the C/Front interface to read data from MS Dynamics NAV as this is by far the fastest way to read data, so huge amounts of records can be read in a short time. We also have buildin support for reading only what was changed since last run by using timestamp and this makes an integration very stable and fast running. We also recommend C/Front when it comes to writing or updating many records to NAV and where there is no or very little business logic attached to the tables to be written in NAV. Accessing MS Dynamics NAV through SQL Server (NAV 2013) As Microsoft has removed the support for C/Front in NAV 2013 and not really replaced it with another good way of reading larger amounts of data from NAV (there are only some WebService based access that is not suited for larger amounts of data), we have developed a SQL based access to NAV. This SQL based access is based on our generic SQL Server support, but with some extra features, mainly so that the normal naming of tables and fields in NAV can still be used in RapidiOnline. In the SQL database for NAV, the table names include the Company name and field names have some characters replaced by underscore. Being able to use the normal names from NAV, makes the upgrade process much easier - transfer specifications can be reused almost unchanged. This interface to NAV also directly supports using the built in timestamp in NAV to read only the data that have been changed since the last successful run (like for the C/Front interface). We recommend to use this interface with Dynamics NAV 2013 for reading data from NAV and for updating simple fields in specific tables. 35
  31. 31. Accessing MS Dynamics NAV through the Navision Application Server (NAS) The third method we have to access MS Dynamics NAV is through the Navision Application Server (or NAS for short). The NAS Server is like a classic NAV Client but just without a user interface, so all the business logic in NAV also runs in NAS (actually you can code any functionality in NAS). This is a big advantage as you can leverage all the code that is already in NAV (including all your customizations) and so you can be sure that data are checked and validated as if a user was entering the same data. Our NAS Support work from version 3.70 (which was the first release where NAS was relatively stable) and comes with code units that integrate with the Customer, Item and Sales Order objects. These code units can be copied to make support for other objects in NAV. On the technical side, our NAS support is done with a Microsoft Automation Server plugin to NAS that handles all the communication with our central server and converts the data directly to/from our internal binary format and to fields in NAV tables - this means that a programmer working with the C/AL code that runs in NAS, does not have to worry about data conversion or XML documents etc. (as they would have to when using for example BizTalk) - this is much easier. The data transfers are controlled by the scheduler that is build-in to RapidiOnline centrally, so all that logic related to when what is run, is taken care of by the central RapidiOnline setup. We recommend to use the NAS connector when you are on NAV 2009R1 or earlier and you need to write complex objects to NAV that have a lot of business logic attached to them. For example for creating Sales Orders in NAV. You also need to have an IT organization that can support keeping the NAS server running as it is not so stable and typically needs restarting once a week or so. Accessing MS Dynamics NAV through Web Services The forth and last method for accessing MS Dynamics NAV is through Web Services. Web Services is available in NAV from MS Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 and is a very good and stable successor for the NAS Server. Microsoft have made it possible to expose (or publish) any Page object that you have in MS Dynamics NAV as a WebService with some standard functionality. This means that in general you just have to do a few clicks to expose a page as a Web Service and we can then read, update, create or delete data in the corresponding object (which is very good). It also means that the WebService mimics the functionality of the Page which means that sometimes you have to insert an empty record first and then send an update request to add information (this is the case with the SalesOrder page for example) and this can be quite annoying. Anyway its a big progress from the NAS based approach but hopefully it will be improved in later versions (it is still the same in NAV2013). We recommend to use the WebServices to create data in NAV where its important that the business logic is running to generate numbers or copy data from other tables/objects - like creating new Customers or Sales Orders. To some extend we would also recommend it to update data in NAV (again only when its important that the business logic is run). For reading data from NAV, we still recommend to use the C/Front based interface above or the SQL based interface for NAV2013. There are of cause other ways to integrate with MS Dynamics NAV. You can for example import/export data from files (ASCII or XML files) or use BizTalk and comm automation with XML data. We dont do this  - we prefer to provide a good and stable solution to our customers. 36
  32. 32. Share This Ebook! Want to learn see more? Contact Information We would love to show you RapidiOnline Live and get into a discussion on your specific needs and requirements. Request a live demo or contact us for more information. Sales Administration Demo, Technical Support Business Relations Helle Johansen hj@rapidionline.com +45 7384 8550 Thomas Borring tb@rapidionline.com +45 7384 8554 Michael Bock mb@rapidionline.com +45 7384 8556 Design Marketing Sales Partners Beate Thomsen bt@rapidionline.com +45 7384 8559 Keith Marikh km@rapidionline.com +45 7384 8555 RapidiOnline - Data Integration made easy Rapidi ApS - Sdr. Tingvej 10 - 6630 Rødding - Denmark - Tel: +45 7384 8550 - info@rapidionline.com - www.rapidionline.com