28 Dec’16

Dynamics 365, EnterpriseComparing Integration Platforms – Scribe Online and Microsoft Flow

In this article, we are going to compare features of Scribe Online and Microsoft Flow. This will help partners and customers, select the right platform based on their integration needs.

Comparing Scribe Online and Microsoft Flow:

1. Real- Time Process:

Scribe Online:
For real-time integration, a Request/Reply Map needs to be created. This map produces a URL which can be called from any system.

For example: To trigger any request-reply map on creation of an Account in Microsoft Dynamics 365, you need to write a plugin which will call the Map Endpoint URL.

Image 1: Endpoint URL of Request/Reply Map

Microsoft Flow:
Flow gets automatically triggered based on create/update/delete record defined in the workflow.

For example: Flow for Create Account in Microsoft Dynamics 365 is triggered as soon as the Account is saved.  No plugin is required.

Image 2: Auto trigger based on record create, delete or update

2. Scheduled Process:

Scribe Online:
Maps can be scheduled by month, week, day, hour, minute, seconds based on Recent processed date time. We can even run a Solution On Demand.

Image 3: On Demand or Scheduled Process

Image 4: Scheduling Details

Microsoft Flow:
Flow can be scheduled by day, hour, minute, seconds. Recurrence action is used for the same.

Image 5:Scheduling Details

3. Lookup Records:

Scribe Online:
Records can be looked up using any condition. If the condition is not satisfied, number of records retrieved will be NULL.

Image 6:Lookup criteria based on name of Unit Group

Microsoft Flow:
Records can be looked up using GUID / Unique Identifier of the record. If Flow couldn’t find the record, then it will throw an error and the proceeding steps will be skipped.

Image 7:Lookup criteria based on GUID of required Unit Group

4. Handling mandatory auto-initialized fields:

Scribe Online:
If mandatory fields are not filled, then Scribe Online shows a warning but lets you save and execute the Map.

For example: We are integrating Customers(Accounts) from Microsoft Dynamics 365 to Dynamics 365 Operations. In Operations, CustomerAccount is auto-initialized on create (Number sequence is setup) and it is a mandatory field. When we integrate customers through Scribe, CustomerAccount is not mapped and this field gets initialised. We bring back this CustomerAccount to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Image 8:Mandatory field ‘CustomerAccount’ warning

Microsoft Flow:
If mandatory fields are not filled, Flow doesn’t allow you to save the workflow. This is a limitation as it ignores the significance of auto-initialisation.

For example: We are integrating Customers(Accounts) from Microsoft Dynamics 365 to Dynamics 365 Operations. Since it is mandatory field, we must pass this number from Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Image 9: Mandatory field ‘CustomerAccount’ Error

5. Data Formatting/Calculating Functions:

Scribe Online:
Often, we need to format source data before sending it to target data or do some calculations. Scribe Online provides a Formula Editor for this purpose. There many functions defined in the Formula Editor like DateTime Functions, Logical Functions, Math Functions, Text Functions etc.

Image 10: Formula Editor

Microsoft Flow:
There is no provision for editing the source data yet. It is simply one to one mapping.

6. Error Handling:

Scribe Online:
Errors can be captured in Scribe and sent across to source system; so, we don’t need to login into Scribe to monitor the errors. Errors can be captured /monitored using Results fields.

Image 11: Result fields

Microsoft Flow:
Errors cannot be captured in Flow. All the steps proceeding the failed step is skipped. Errors can be monitored in Activity section in Flow.

Image 12: Activity log on Failure

7. Debugging feature:

Scribe Online:
We can debug a Map and do a step-by-step analysis/execution. Debugging is very useful from a developer’s perspective. You can analyse Inputs, Results, Errors and even add Breakpoints.

Image 13: Debug Mode

Microsoft Flow:
No Debug Feature is available yet. Though, after execution you can get output of each step.

Image 14: Output


Using Scribe Online:
Scribe is suitable for any kind of integration ranging from simple to very complex Integrations involving direct mapping as well as formatting/editing/calculating source data and sending it across the target.

For example: Bi-directional Integration of Customers, Shipping Addresses, Products, Sales Order from Dynamics 365 CRM to Dynamics 365 Operations.

Using Microsoft Flow:
Microsoft Flow is currently suitable for simple integrations where one to one mapping / direct mappings are the only thing required.

For example: Integrating Accounts from Dynamics 365 Financials to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Written by

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