This is the second in a short series of articles that introduces the new version of the integration between Sage CRM 2018 R3 and Sage 300cloud 2019.
This article will compare the technology of the previous integration with the new integration and will allow you to see how the architecture has changed and how this technology change produces the benefits for our customers.
The old integration
Below is a diagram that represents the “old” Sage 300 and Sage CRM integration. This is the state for all integrations before Sage CRM 2018 R3 and you can see that it required several components.
To enable this integration 187+ Classic ASP pages had to be installed within Sage CRM. Together these pages would act as a middle layer between Sage CRM and the Sage 300 applications & data. On the Sage 300 side, it used the “Orion Portal” technology and its Web Deployment installation. This was used for the Quote to Order screen and any Ad-hoc Inquiry functions. All the glue and transporting mechanisms were therefore managed by technologies that were old and definitely starting to create support issues.
Furthermore, if changes were required to the integration perhaps by adding new inquiries and functions then these needed to be made by altering the script within the Classic ASP pages. That was a task that really required developer skills. All this and the challenge of the managing two Apache Tomcat Server configurations for the two elements meant that there was a strong desire to provide a better experience.
The new integration
The new Sage 300 cloud and Sage CRM integration require several new components and technologies.
On the Sage CRM side, we’ve said goodbye to the Classic ASP pages. These pages are no longer required as the middleman. The ASP pages have been replaced by the use of the Sage CRM .NET API within the Sage 300 2019 integration.
The core ASP page support files have been kept in the custom page folder so that a 3rd party can make use of the ASP page way to integrate CRM with Sage 300 (using asp pages and Sage 300 .NET Remoting). But in order to do that, you need to install Web Deployment Wizard. Sage 300 Partners can find that in the Sage 300 KB article 91523. This is also discussed in the Sage 300 CRM Integration guide as well.
On the Sage 300 side, we’ve removed the use of the “Orion Portal”. The Portal was introduced in 2009 as a way of running the ERP 'Desktop' in a browser.
Some Web Deployment components have been left available in the installation for third-party usage. But the Quote to Order screen that used to be served to the user through the portal is no longer used and because the ability to run ad hoc Inquiries has been added to Sage 300cloud Web Screens, this means the portal is no longer required.
The Ad Hoc inquires have also changed. The portal works with XML driven requests. The new Ad Hoc Inquiries cover the same inquiries that used to be available via the portal but are now are based upon a new Generic Inquiry Engine and Grid with data passed using JSON. These new Ad Hoc Inquiries are designed to be extensible & discoverable. And, while they are based upon a new storage format and display mechanism, they still provide the ability to save as Private or Public Inquiries.
So instead of the complex of ASP pages and calls to the portal the integration now calls Sage 300cloud screens using a Web Screen proxy to seamlessly allow the Sage 300cloud Web Screens to be hosted within the Sage CRM interface in an iframe. And Sage 300 Web API is directly used when importing data.
In a later article I will discuss how customizations are now possible without having to write code but the next article is going to start looking at the user's experience of the screens have changed and in particular how the new Inquiry screens work.
The integration between Sage CRM 2018 R3 and Sage 300cloud 2019