When it comes to integrations there is really only one product to even look at. Talend’s data integration products feature over 900 connectors to connect databases, cloud-based applications and more.
Recently at a prospective client I was asked; “Can Talend Data Integration (DI) integrate other systems with Dynamics AX via the AIF (Application Interface Framework). The first thing that came to mind was yes, and I showed the Dynamics AX specific components:
tMSAXInput – Extracts data from a MicrosoftAX server based on a query.
tMSAXOutput – Writes data in a MicrosoftAX server.
If you are not familiar with Talend, the above component names might be confusing, but what you need to remember is that Talend is the middleware so input and output is relative to how the flow is presented within Talend’s designer window.
The issue here comes, not from the ability to write into the database directly, but from whether you should. The answer here is clearly no. You always need to keep in mind the data integrity and data governance should always be at the forefront.
I had, however, overlooked the second part of the question…
…via the AIF
So with this in mind rather than using the inbuilt connectors, you would be looking at using the tAdvancedFileOutputXML component to integrate data correctly.
There are a number of XML components available here. We would be using a number of these and you will be able to see an example further down.
Why using an XML component is best here?
Thats pretty simple. Microsoft Dynamics themselves state:
I guess that is pretty self-explanatory, integrating via XML is the only option here. Further to this, integrations using the AIF reduce the need to update down the line and further reduces any custom development that could be required.
There are a number of things you would need first. For this integration we are looking at specifically imtegrating with Dynamics AX 2012 r2. Initially you would need the xml schema but that is only part of it.
Microsoft has quite a comprehensive user guide, the issue here is that it can be quite overwhelming. When it comes to AIF this is the link you should be looking at: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh692467.aspx
Given that we are talking about a Talend Job to manage this integration, i’m going to take a step back and show typically what the job structure should look like.
The above job structure I picked some time back from a Talend Blog post I had come across but it is a brilliant way to understand how a job should come across.
The notes are pretty self-explanatory and paint a clear picture of how a job should look at a high level, although it is a simplistic way to show how a job looks, it is a good example of what you need to have in mind when creating a job.
For now I will leave you with this, and I hope it was a good start to what you need to have in mind when thinking about integrating into Dynamics AX using Talend. Let me know in your comments what you think! and look out for Part 2: Getting the Job set up!