Odata & data integration: Microsoft Dynamics 365 case

By Henning Lund - October 12, 2020

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When you invest in system integration, you need a future-proof solution. The solution you choose must be able to support your organization’s needs today and in the many years to come. 

Have integrated Salesforce with Microsoft Dynamics NAV or GP? Then you might be worried about the OData with Microsoft Dynamics 365. What will happen when you want to upgrade your system to 365? 

Depending on the data integration you are using, this could potentially be an issue. Luckily, if you are using the RapidiOnline integration solution, this will not cause you any problem.

This article will consider what OData is and how it helps create excellent system integration solutions. We will also consider how to deal with the upgrade to an OData-based system when you have integrated systems.

What is OData?

OData stands for Open Data Protocol. This standard protocol for data transfer provides best practices for both creating and consuming RESTful APIs. OData is built on such standard technologies as JSON, HTTP or Atom/XML.

Thanks to it, it is possible to build business applications that will focus on business logic. REST Api based on OData are usually easy to work with, as they are easily discoverable and consumed. 

It is important to know that it is not similar to other REST-based web services approaches. OData allows you to describe data and data models in a uniform and consistent manner. 

Microsoft initiated OData in 2007. It is therefore logical that it has become an important part of their newly released 365 solution. In fact, today a lot of Microsoft solutions and services support OData.

OData is an interesting way to integrate as it provides the following benefits:

  • It allows developers to interact with data using RESTful web services.
  • It is an homogeneous and uncomplicated way to share data.
  • It supports such formats as JSON, http, and Atom Pub.
  • It allows retrieval of data based on a url.

Note that some might say that because it is url-based, it could be less secure.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the name of the Microsoft ERP and CRM solution. It is a series of business applications that cover both what used to be found in traditional ERP and CRM solutions. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes business applications such as: 

  • Human Resources
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Operations 
  • Service
  • Commerce
  • Project Management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 gathers for the first time in one solution functionality that have previously been provided by: 

  • Microsoft’s CRM solution (Microsoft CRM)
  • Microsoft’s ERP solutions (Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Navision and Microsoft Dynamics AX or Axapta)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 was first released almost 5 years ago, on November 1st, 2016. Dynamics 365 can benefit companies of all sizes worldwide and support them in their efforts to grow and develop. 
OData & MS Dynamics 365 data integration


OData and Microsoft Dynamics 365

OData is what enables integration of Microsoft Dynamics with other systems. System integration can help you benefit even better from your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. 

Using OData and system integration, you can combine data coming from other data sources with the information in your D365 system. It can improve your business processes tremendously. 

Working with the OData endpoints in Dynamics 365 can significantly simplify the data integration process. It does not necessarily mean that integrating data with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance or Business Central is a simple task. Not just anybody can perform it. 

Using a data integration tool that supports OData and will easily utilize the OData services is a must. With pre-built end-point integration templates and good data quality you are off to the best start. RapidiOnline provides such advantages. 

System integration and system upgrade

Everybody knows that software updates can be daunting. Updates of business software applications is no exception - even if they are provided by Microsoft. 

Many companies using Microsoft Dynamics NAV have been, or will be faced with the challenge of upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365. Have you integrated your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution with a CRM like Salesforce? Then, you might be wondering if the switch to OData will endanger your data integration. 

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If you are using RapidiOnline, you are on a safe upgrade path and you can expect your upgrade to go smoothly.

This is how RapidiOnline works: when we write to Microsoft Dynamics 365, we use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Web Services or OData. RapidiOnline supports both reading and writing of data (insert and update) using Odata.

In on-premise environments (or hosted environments) we typically read data from the SQL database directly. It is a fast way to do it. RapidiOnline can make the required SQL queries;  full-blown SQL filter syntax including Select In, JOINS.

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 multi-tenant environments, it is often not allowed to access the database directly. This is why we read data via OData instead.

To learn more about our Salesforce – Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration, download our solution overview. You can also get the details about how we use OData in the Rapidi Wiki pages here.



About the author

Henning Lund

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With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.
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