How to integrate third party applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 can easily be integrated with other Microsoft solutions as well as a myriad of third-party applications such as web portals, BI applications, and ERP systems. Such integration allows B2B companies and enterprises to leverage all tools and resources of Microsoft to get their business done. Managing end-to-end business processes becomes easier with the power of Dynamics 365 coupled with the required business applications that can be integrated.
Integration with Dynamics 365 is not very difficult. Microsoft offers a host of APIs that make this integration easy and simple. Integration makes it easier to post and update content, build customer-facing features and deliver seamless browsing and ordering experiences.
Why Integrate with Microsoft dynamics 365
The benefits of integrating with Dynamics 365 software using the company’s APIs include lower development costs, greater scalability, and faster implementations. Some of the crucial benefits are listed here
- Dynamic Web and Mobile Applications – Companies can pull information from Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM software to maintain customer communication, generate loyalty, target customers for marketing initiatives and provide better customer service.
- Streamlined Management – Integration generates huge cost savings by connecting departments, reducing the need for manual entries of data, providing real-time inventory figures, reducing labor costs and enabling smarter business decisions.
- Connections to Third-party Resources – Robust Dynamic 365 APIs can connect to third-party resources such as shippers, supply chain members, and BI resources. Management can view any area of operations to monitor and improve business.
- Access to Microsoft Resources – Companies can connect automatically and share information between Microsoft resources such as Outlook, Windows Server, Office 365, SharePoint, Skype for Business, PowerApps, Exchange Server and many others.
- Better Social Engagement – Dynamics 365 user interfaces can access centralized data and third-party information to build holistic profiles about customers and their buying habits. Companies can engage their best customers socially, track their behavior on social media and analyze market trends in the social sphere.
- Faster Scalability – It is easy to add and upgrade technology with Dynamics 365 APIs.
- Integration of existing ISV services – For any ISV with an existing service offering, an integration with Dynamics 365 would enhance the API pool for Connect Apps, creating a seamless integration between the ISV’s service offering and Dynamics 365. It allows the ISV to provide a more integrated service to its customers.
How to integrate with Microsoft dynamics 365
The integration of third-party applications with Dynamics 365 is primarily through the APIs that are provided by Microsoft. These are called Dynamics 365 REST APIs and include REST-based, SOAP-based and web-based APIs. The uses of Dynamics 365 REST APIs include managing all business operations and customer-facing features. Microsoft Dynamics 365 REST APIs make it easier for developers to get and manipulate information from Dynamics CRM software. Companies can also connect to other software and business applications such as BI resources, ERP software, customer apps, and portal systems to provide better user experiences.
Choosing the right API from Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM APIs can be extremely challenging, which is why it is important to hire an experienced developer, coding expert, and integration specialist to make the right decision for the integration and implementation. The various APIs and their uses are described here.
- Dynamics Web API
This API helps developers integrate business systems by providing information based on HTTP requests to pull data from the CRM software. The API can be used with various programming languages, operating platforms, and devices. It uses the Open Data Protocol, which is the same standard that Restful APIs use. The Web API also enables companies to request information from third-party libraries. Companies can use this API to connect to any libraries regardless of platform or language. Third-party resources can provide the keys to use the resources that do not need to be made specifically for Dynamics 365. With the Web API, an experienced developer can also integrate silo systems that would not typically connect to Dynamics 365 APIs.
- Online Management API
This is another Customer Engagement app that enables companies to manage customer engagement among Office 365 tenants. Various tasks that the Online Management API improves include Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, Project Service Automation and others.
- SOAP-based APIs
SOAP-based APIs are older, and they tend to concentrate on processes and messages instead of raw data. The default format is XML. These numbers among the most used APIs, so it might be necessary to use a SOAP API to connect with certain third-party business associates.
- REST-based APIs
REST-based APIs are newer and more flexible, and they come with the default implementation. However, developers still need to work on architecture and coding to integrate all business applications into the API. Developers use both XML and JSON programming languages in most Restful applications.
Apart from APIs, there are also tools and apps that can be used in case of custom integration:
- Integration Tools
Some providers offer tools and solutions that can enable the Dynamics 365 integration. These are tools that enable companies to connect different systems without the need to code processes manually. Customers with tech-savvy employees can expand their integration capabilities on their own using tools these types of applications. These tools obviously come as a price, and typically these are charged either a one-time purchase fee or an ongoing subscription fee.
- Custom Tools
In some cases, the integration could be very specific and would not be a fit for an available tool. In such cases, a custom integration solution can save the day. Custom integrations take longer to implement, but they provide specific functionality that otherwise would not be an option.
- Apps Built To Integrate With Dynamics 365
Another option is to use third-party software designed to work with Dynamics 365 and extend its capabilities. Apps can take a variety of forms, such as mapping tools, project management services, marketing automation, digital document management, and more. With much of the integration processes built-in, the applications minimize implementation time.
- Manual Integrations
Sometimes manually exporting and importing data (such as accounts, leads, orders, etc.) from one system to another is the best solution for customers. If you store your data in spreadsheets, databases, or other systems, it makes sense that you will want to import it into Microsoft Dynamics 365 so all information is in one place. While manual integrations may be cost-effective, they demand staff members to remember to execute the manual process.
In the case of ISVs with existing service offerings, the integration can be in the following two ways:
- The ISVs develop a Connect app in a preferred coding language, using the exposed APIs from Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- The ISVs develop an Add-on app, which enriches the Dynamics 365 Business Central experience. This type of app, which integrates into the user experience of Dynamics 365 Business Central, allows one to build an interface based on how one wants the data to flow between Dynamics 365 Business Central and the ISV service offering.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a robust range of CRM and ERP capabilities to customers. With a cloud-based suite of services to help customers collect, organize, manage, access, and share data, it is a powerful platform. And it can be made more powerful by integrating it with other business applications or customizing it to meet the organization’s specialized needs.
The integration of third-party applications with Dynamics 365 can be done using the Dynamics 365 APIs, as well as through custom tools and apps. Based on your business needs, you can choose the integration method that fits your needs.