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Microsoft RMS Integration & Customization

By Andrew Karasev

Microsoft RMS (Retail Management System) is a former SMS QuickSell and QuickSell2000 - retail management and point of sale application, which has headquarters solutions and is now owned and marketed by the Microsoft subdivision - Microsoft Business Solutions.

Microsoft followed its traditional pattern in building its business application products base. It simply purchased several software development companies to make this happen: Great Plains Software, Navision Software (primarily European market), SMS. Due to high acquisition activity, all of these products turned out to be poorly integrated. Microsoft is resolving integration issues by moving all of its applications to MS SQL Server platform or exposing them to BizTalk Server (like in the case of Microsoft CRM - Microsoft Great Plains integration). When we are talking about Microsoft RMS - the most typical customization for US market would be the one with Microsoft Great Plains. In its off-the-shelf version, RMS is integrated on GL and POP levels with multiple restrictions:

  • The Transaction level should be low because it is a cursor-based integration, initiated by pressing the button (you have to wait while all of your daily POS batches are transferred to Great Plains GL)

  • Restriction to one company in Great Pains - again, you initiate it by hand and target it to one company at a time

  • We could continue the list of restrictions…

    Microsoft understands the problem and currently is in the research mode to select the ISV contractor to write or pick existing third party integration and recommend it as a Microsoft-approved solution.

    The nature of RMS - you have pretty high Inventory count control in Store Operation Manager and Headquarters applications and so from Great Plains' side you don't count your inventory and pretty much want your check books to balance as well as have proper GL accounts distribution, based on your Items / Departments matching in Microsoft RMS.

    This makes it natural to choose integration on the Accounts Receivable level, when you move to Great Plains AR transaction and then post them there.

    Another way is to move transactions to Sales Order Processing (SOP) In this case you can synchronize Inventories in RMS and Great Plains (in our opinion - this is the "too luxury" solution).

    We could help you with tuning AR integration, maintained by Alba Spectrum Technologies. It is written as a collection of SQL Stored procedures, called from Dexterity interface with stores-to-companies mapping without restriction to the number of companies/stores.

    Microsoft RMS Customization. Recently (October 2004), Microsoft Business Solutions released RMS customization guide, primarily targeted to Microsoft Business Solutions partner, so you should check with your MBS Var if they provide Microsoft RMS customization. The technologies behind might be native RMS object call (when you can have discounting routine called for example), COM objects or external application, plus you could open specific web page.

    About the Author:
    Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, based in Chicago, California, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.

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