Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scribe Insight vs C360 Import Manager (Part III)

Life can be beautiful, last weekend we had the hottest day ever in the month April for The Netherlands. So I did prefer sittin’ in my garden and light up my BBQ :-) instead of writing this article. In part II, I mentioned the two scenarios I used for further testing.

Getting started

To start testing we need to configure the source (flat text file). The C360 Import Manager provide ODBC configuration in the flow while setting up a new rule. In Scribe Insight you have to use the standard windows functionality to configure your ODBC. In the interface you select the ODBC you created.

The standard ODBC functionality gives you more flexibility for example you could define other field separators. I personally prefer to use ‘|’ character, because you don’t find this usually in import data.

The standard import functionality of Microsoft Dynamics also delivered the option for field data delimiter, which can be very convenient to escape characters in large text fields.

Scenario I

The first scenario I tried was to Import 5 accounts and 2 of them are subaccounts. I just picked some fields from the Account entity and creating a semicolon separated file with dummy values. Both utilities didn’t have problem with it. Of course the parent account should be available to make the relation between parent and subaccount. You have to options you can split the files in “parent account” and “sub accounts” or you define it in your import procedure.

The approach in Scribe Insight was to do a lookup if parent account already exist and then fill in the field ‘parentaccountid’. You have to use the ‘formulas’ to achieve this functionality. Also in the C360 Import Manager this could be easily configured in the interface, see image below.

Scenario 2

The other scenario will test how (easy) we can match a source value from text file with a value from a picklist. In an automated process you would like to check the value, if the picklist value is a valid entry and if not set the default value.

In Scribe Insight’s workbench it works similar to define the relationships, they provide through the ‘Formulas’ many functions to manipulate or evaluate your source data. For this scenario we used the IsPickListValue function. This function allowed us to check if the source field is valid option in our crm application; with extra code we also could set default value for the picklist.

In C360 Import Manager we can configure what to do when the source field contains not a valid picklist value. We can skip the record, leave picklist empty, but not set default value.

Conclusion (Part III)

The purpose of part III was some basic testing of two scenarios both third party tools pass the test and the import succeeded. For ‘standard’ use the C360 provides you with ‘out of the box’ functionality, but more advanced features are missed in my opinion. Scribe Insight strong features in these two scenarios are the ‘Formulas’ and this feature is very convenient for advanced data migration.

Now we ended the trilogy, but of course who is the best, which tool give you the functionality you want and need. I will save that for next time, because I see advantages and disadvantages in both tools and my sunny garden is calling again, yes life can be beautiful...

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