What Is Service Connect?
Service Connect is a tool used for integrating systems and automating functions within a software application. It is primarily geared towards use with Epicor9 or Epicor10 as well as Vantage8 although in truth it can be used to integrate any systems.
It can handle many formats of incoming data such as CSV, Excel, XML, Fixed Width and MS Office as well as receive this data via many different channels such as FTP, Email, File Locations, Message Queues, and COM. It can interface using web-services and .Net references as well as outputting to other systems via FTP, Email, or file export in various formats. It makes use of XSLT transformations to convert incoming data to the required format.
What Can Service Connect Do For Me?
Service Connect can be used to integrate to a third party system that you may run internally (such as a Warehouse Management system) or perhaps an external website that runs your storefront. Service Connect workflows can be built to process information through specific tasks so for example, you may have a Warehouse Management system that can indicate if an order has shipped. This information can be picked up and processed through Service Connect so that the shipment in Epicor is marked as shipped. You may then want that interface to do more after that point – perhaps email a manager if the shipment brings stock below a particular level. The workflows built within Service Connect can be tailored to carry out exactly the processes that you require.
Service Connect can also be used for automation. You can trigger a Service Connect workflow from within Epicor (by setting up a BPM/trigger against a particular action in Epicor) that can carry out any Epicor tasks that you require which can cut down on the amount of manual entry within the Epicor application. Service Connect workflows can also be triggered on a schedule so that you can carry out an automated task at a specific date and time or have a workflow triggered every hour perhaps.
Using Service Connect to call Epicor Web Services and Epicor .Net References
Knowledge of the Epicor functions and methods that are called when using Epicors’ web-services/.Net references is extremely helpful. To assist you when creating interfaces into Epicor it really helps to try out what you are attempting to do via a web-service/.Net reference manually within the Epicor appliction first (so if you are attempting to import an order then create an order manually first). Also – a great tool to use when doing your manual exercise first is to switch on the Epicor Tracing Tool (‘Options ->Tracing Options’ from the main Epicor menu screen). When you have completed the manual task you can view the trace log file and see a full breakdown of the Epicor methods that have been called and the information that was passed into and out of them (set the required ‘Dataset Options’ when swtiching on the tracing tool to get this additional information in the trace log).
If you have a specific interface needs or you are trying to develop something in Service Connect yourself and need assistance, then please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.