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Dynamics AX Supply Chain Interface Module - What Is It and What Can It Do For You

December 09, 2014

What is the supply chain interfacemodule for Dynamics AX and what can it do for you?

Armanino's Dynamics AX Supply Chain Interface module has been around, supported, and upgraded (most recently to the Dynamics AX R3 release) for over 10 years and is used by numerous companies who use sub-contract manufacturers, most notably in the Life Science and Semiconductor Industry.

It's an often overlooked feature that gets bundled into our Dynamics AX implementations – so while it gets a lot of use, it doesn't get much attention. As with all of our solutions, the most recent release for R3 offers some new features, so this is a great time to share some insights on the module!

Whether you're newly hearing about the Supply Chain Interface module or you've known about it for years, here are some details on the newest version.

What Is the Dynamics AX Supply Chain Interface Module?

The two primary uses for the SCI module are to import data into Microsoft Dynamics AX and to facilitate integration between your company and your sub-contract manufacturers. The SCI module includes a variety of transaction types across nearly all modules within Dynamics AX. Some of them are shown below:

Dynamics Transaction

It is pre-configured to jump-start users with default mapping templates, meaning that for all the types of data most customers wish to import into Dynamics AX, the SCI module already includes mappings containing those most commonly used fields. If you wish to include additional fields beyond those in the standard mapping, each transaction type also includes a selection of optional columns – allowing you to choose what to add to your mapping and template.

Interface Mapping

As shown above, a useful feature of SCI is that it includes data mapping functionality that allows users to map from your spreadsheet structure (with column headings displayed on the left side of the Mapping form) to the correspond fields in Dynamics AX fields (displayed on the right side of the Mapping form) so you can easily compare the two side-by-side and make adjustments as needed.

The data files containing your records for import can be stored in any of three formats: xls, xlsx or csv. After your file is complete, it is loaded into the SCI workbench and then processed. Processing actually creates the records in the Dynamics AX tables. If any records result in errors during processing, it is not necessary to fix any issues in the import file and then reload. You can just fix the errors directly in the workbench and reprocess. Another great aspect of the SCI workbench is that it utilizes the same classes as those employed when a user manually enters records in Dynamics AX, meaning that the same checks and controls are in place to verify the validity of the data being imported.

As mentioned above, the Supply Chain Interface facilitates integration between you and your supply chain trading partners. There are pre-built integration points and the ability to add customized integration points to suit your specific needs.

New Features for the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Release

Even if you're already familiar with the SCI module, you may not be aware of a very handy new feature released. Previously, if you wanted to do an SCI import in more than one environment it was necessary to make any desired modifications to the mapping (such as adding optional columns, changing column names, etc.) in each environment. We've now simplified this and reduced the risk of human error by adding the ability to export and import mappings from one environment to another. So you need only update your mapping in one environment and can then export that mapping and import it into any other environments.

Look for another blog about Armanino's SCI module soon, where we'll discuss how your peers have been using the module for their businesses.

Check out more about the Supply Chain Interface module and learn about more integrations and custom modules like this one in the Armanino Marketplace.

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