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Why Your Cloud ERP Platform Needs to Have a Strong API for Integration

Paul Ellis | July 18, 2017

At The RIC Group, we provide innovative Warehouse Management Solutions. Our customers need to be able to integrate our solutions easily and effectively. To make this happen, businesses must choose an all-encompassing cloud ERP platform – such as Acumatica – that offers a robust API.

We know that the future of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is likely to be completely cloud based. Acumatica is a sophisticated cloud ERP and can run entirely in the cloud for customers. This means that the infrastructure of running the ERP software is on another network such as AWS or Azure, resulting in customers having less and less IT infrastructure at their office and warehouse locations. The figures suggest that cloud application projects have been found to deliver 2.1x the relative ROI of on-premises projects. The benefits of the cloud only continue to increase.

Why Your Cloud ERP Platform Needs to Have a Strong API for Integration

Cloud ERP platforms need strong API

Even with all the cloud has to offer, customers still need ERP integrations with specialist external applications such as Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS), eCommerce, CRM, BI Tools, Document Management and many more. Almost every business that chooses to implement an ERP solution also needs to use another application for their business. This is where ERP – such as Acumatica – needs to have a strong ERP API for integration.

The RIC Group is a global Software Solution supplier of Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS) for Acumatica. Our implementations typically involve multiple mobile PDA units used for scanning barcodes and capturing accurate information, which is then transmitted from the warehouse over WiFi back to the ERP system.

This can also involve customers using the PDA units from multiple locations such as Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and even multiple countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. The RIC Group’s WMS is an application running on the PDA units, which are running a client environment of Android or Windows Mobile; for this to be successful, it is imperative that the ERP system has a very strong API.

Advantages of Acumatica REST and Contract-based APIs

Previously, Acumatica has offered Screen-based API. Now, however, Acumatica offers Contract-based APIs, which are SOAP or REST interfaces.  Acumatica has now rolled out REST-based and Contract-based APIs and The RIC Group is taking complete advantage of this. REST and Contract-based APIs operate with business logic objects not bound to the screen and expose Acumatica’s data models.

One of the biggest challenges we previously faced our Acumatica integration was when we integrated our WMS with an OEM version of Acumatica, which required two releases (or more) of our software – one for Acumatica and possibly one for each OEM. The reason behind this was when using the Screen-based API, you must call the UI field names and sometimes in an OEM release – such as MYOB Advanced – the field name changes. Below are a couple of examples from the Sales Order and Purchase Order marketing documents:

Sales Orders:

SO301000.OrderSummary.GSTTaxableTotal, // GSTTaxableTotal (Advanced)/ VATTaxableTotal (Acumatica)

Purchase Orders:

PO301000.DocumentDetails.QtyOnReceipts, // ReceivedQty (Advanced)/ QtyOnReceipts (Acumatica)

The REST or Contract-based API’s have an intermediate layer between Acumatica UI and the integration project, so that minor changes in the Acumatica code will not break the existing integration. Not only this, but our software needs less lines of code now to complete the same task as the Contact-based API, which is more intuitive.

With the Rest or Contract-based API’s, we simply load the Purchase Order or Sales Order object instead of loading the screen. We can also create our own Contract-based endpoints with Acumatica so the fields can have any name our software wants.

Leverage the full power of the Internet

The most important part here is that our WMS project will be a single source that integrates with all versions of Acumatica. This means it’s the same development project for Acumatica and the OEM’s, which is very important for us as we sell global versions of our software – not just in Australia and New Zealand where our WMS is already the leading solution for MYOB Advanced.

Using the REST or Contract-based API’s means we can truly leverage the power of the Internet with The RIC Group’s cloud WMS to access Acumatica ERP anywhere –  on premise or on private and public cloud without needing to worry about cohabiting on the same server.

To gain the full benefits of the cloud, customers now understand that we reside in a multicloud world to create a single heterogeneous architecture. Customers must make the right choice in every application they implement for their business, which has the ability to integrate to a multicloud world.

For that reason, The RIC Group has not only recently developed its own web services, but we have developed our own API. This architecture also allows us to develop security layers in our software when transmitting data from mobile PDA devices to the customer’s ERP. We understand the importance of data security.

World-class ERP API

Acumatica not only provides a fantastic ERP solution for customers, but also now offers a world-class API interface for third party applications to take full advantage.

Please contact us if you have questions about how The RIC Group and Acumatica can help your business accelerate using the latest in cloud and mobile technology!

Blog Author

Marketing Director at The RIC Group. Paul Ellis has been consulting in the Supply Chain industry for over 15 years and has helped The RIC Group grow a reputation of successfully delivering Warehouse Management Solutions worldwide.

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