This is the first of a new series of articles in which I want to explore different aspects of the integration between Sage CRM and Sage 200.  

Over the last few weeks we've been posting new videos about the integration onto the community. These different videos explain the benefits provided by the integration to a business, discuss the usage of the software and show how to install, configure and customize of the integration.

The integration provides a set of core features immediately after the initial installation and configuration. These features can be further customised to provide a more tailored integration around a particular customer’s requirements.

This is a very flexible integration and as we will see it makes the best use of both the Sage 200 APIs and the metadata-driven design of Sage CRM.

The image above showing one of the screens from the default integration.. This happens to be for the creation of a new Sales Order. Out of the box, the integration provides functionality around accounts, quotes and orders. The majority of the behaviour is real-time, with the data remaining in Sage 200 but surfaced within the Sage CRM interface.

This behaviour is not just Read-only. You can see that I have started to enter a new Sales order. The integration allows full Create, Read, Update and delete in accordance with the Business Management Solution business rules. The logic of Sage 200 is followed exactly and with complete integrity.

The technology allows the integration to be extended. The behaviour of fields (like drop downs) and screens can be changed. Much of the integration is controlled by script and code that is fully accessible, readable and editable by implementation consultants familiar with each products’ APIs. And within Sage CRM much can be accomplished by clicking and selecting using the simple metadata driven administration screens.

I hope this diagram illustrates a straightforward point about the Sage CRM Connector for Sage 200. It is installed separately from both the Sage 200 and Sage CRM instances and uses the APIs of each to provide the communication between them both.

This means that the connection is ‘loosely coupled’ and allows different versions of Sage 200 to interact with different versions of Sage CRM. From a support perspective this means that so long as the APIs on each side remain valid the installs of Sage CRM and Sage 200 can potentially be upgraded and patched independently. If you upgrade your CRM instance it doesn’t mean that the Business Management Solution instance will necessarily have to be upgraded at the same time.

Careful attention does, however, need to be made to the exactly supported versions of each of Sage 200 and Sage CRM.

That information can be found in the data sheets and documentation for the Sage CRM Connector for Sage 200.