B2B eCommerce Integration Points

Posted by Bill Onion

October 10, 2016 | 10:30 AM

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integration_points.pngWe had a recent client who came to us with an existing (albeit subpar) implementation of Magento Enterprise Edition interfaced with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. This client is a manufacturing and distribution company that sells their products in the B2B space to other distributors and retailers. With their B2B implementation of Magento, they needed a tighter integration between the eCommerce software and their JD Edwards platform.

The so-called integration was duplicating data between the two systems. Instead of Magento calling JDE for something like order history information, JDE orders were being loaded directly into Magento. Due to our experience with eCommerce and ERP integration, the client approached us to help improve their implementation. Our team used our integration methodology to overhaul their JD Edwards and Magento integration.

This project focused on a few specific Business Services integration points: customer-specific pricing (or advanced price lookup for the JDE folks), order creation, and order history.

Customer-Specific Pricing

The client’s existing integration of customer-specific pricing consisted of hundreds of thousands of pricing rows being loaded into Magento. Unsurprisingly, this process was fraught with issues and was resource intensive. Additionally, it severely impacted the site’s performance, causing substantial negative impact on front-end users.

Our team changed the integration to include a live call from Magento to JDE through a Business Service that allows Magento to access customer-specific pricing on the fly. This eliminated the duplication of data between the two systems and allowed JDE to be the single source of the truth for pricing.

Order Creation

In the existing order creation integration, the data was extracted from Magento, massaged a few times, made to jump through a couple of hoops, and then eventually passed to JDE. This was a drain on the site’s performance and negatively impacted the buyer’s shopping experience.

Using our integration methodology, our team integrated order creation with Business Services, which inserts an order directly into JDE using out-of-the-box capabilities. Our team did have to complete some enhancements using JDE configurations, but overall the integration point is much cleaner and provides accurate order creation information.

Order History

The biggest issue with order history in the existing integration was that orders were being duplicated from JDE into Magento to provide shoppers with their order history. So, instead of simply sending Magento order history updates, which is possible through Magento’s API, an old, unreliable data load tool was loading the JDE order histories into Magento.

Our team replaced that process with a live call to JDE through Business Services, which provides Magento up-to-the-second updates of an order directly from JDE.

This did two things: typical Magento users can now get timely order history information, and admin users have the ability to see accurate order histories across all of their company’s channels and buyers. This results in an omnichannel order history.

Why This Approach?

Using these integration points, data is no longer duplicated and JDE remains the single source of the truth and system of record for the client’s information. The client now knows that the data they see in JD Edwards is also what their customers are seeing. 

Additionally, this strategy makes the integration much easier, cleaner, and more straightforward. The integration is more dependable, less resource-intensive, and is an all-around improvement over the prior integration.

To achieve this, the client simply needed to leverage capabilities in JDE that they already had. No new tools were brought in and no new code was written; while a proper configuration was needed, everything they required was there and waiting to be used.

With a proper integration between Magento and JDE using Business Services, the client now has accurate, real-time information for their B2B eCommerce users.

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Topics: eCommerce, Integration, B2B

About Bill Onion

Bill Onion is Managing Director of Briteskies, where he has a distinguished track record helping B2B and B2C companies integrate e-commerce solutions. His expertise in the eCommerce world includes Magento and WebSphere Commerce software systems and his enterprise software experience is focused on the Oracle/JD Edwards platform. Bill has many years of consulting experience in various industries, including distribution, warehousing, retail and manufacturing. Bill is an avid runner, is very involved with Scouts, and cannot help but to root for the Browns every fall.

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