28 May 2008

My Integration Manager Rant

I love Integration Manager. I hate Integration Manager. Repeat.

I've been working on a bunch of integrations, some with IM. I continued to love the flexibility of the IM interface. The ability to transform data without having to make adjustments to the source is just phenomenal. It's so much better than the standard rigid Excel/CSV formats from other products. With VBA and all the little things like substitution tables and easy capitalization I actually have a lot of good things to say about IM.

If someone would fix the gripes, they'd have a phenomenal product. By gripes, I don't mean stability either. With v10 GP pulled out the SQL adapters and replaced them with econnect adapters. ehh. I was hoping the econnect adapters would fix the biggest single issue the SQL connector had but they don't. None of the high speed connectors contains every single possible field for integration. Why is this so hard?

My goal was today was two integrations that will need to be automated, namely, new customers and orders. I wanted the econnect adapters because I can put them in a group and automate the group without firing off the interface. Customers went fine. SOP should be fine, except that for very good business reasons, I need the items to come in as Quotes. Low and behold, the IM econnect adapters for SOP don't support Quotes, just Orders and Invoices.

I felt screwed, and not in a good way. That's not the only missing field or option in the SOP integration, it's just the one I really needed.

Understand that I don't even care that the connections can be flaky. Crystal is that way as is FRx, but moving the whole enchilada to an econnect back end AND INCLUDING EVERY FREAKING FIELD would really improve IM. I'm not sure what the point of the SQL optimized to econnect back end change was if there is no improvement in available fields.

So, I love IM and I hate IM. I hate IM because I see so much unrealized potential. It's like a kid who can't see their phenomenal potential. Somebody please get IM out of puberty and into a grown up app.