EDI and Integrations – What you need to consider when upgrading Infor M3 ERP

In this blog I will touch on a few things to consider when upgrading Infor M3 ERP in regards to integrations. I apologize if this article is a bit technical. It is hard to do it any other way.

There are of course different ways in which you can integrate applications and EDI with Infor M3 and I will touch on the following areas.

– M3 ERP
– M3 e-Collaborator (MEC)
– Application Programming Interface (API)
– Web Services
– Direct to Database

I will do this in a point form to make it easier to find information which is relevant for your specific case.

1. Infor M3 ERP

The first thing is of course to try and find out what has changed between the old and new version of M3. The best source for this information is the net change report for the new version.
Depending on how old your current M3 version is, there could be minor changes or completely new programs. I recently completed a project where we integrated a mobile service solution to the old Service module. As you might know this was complete re-written in version 13, not even using the same programs or workflow, so when the company upgraded, the integration had to be re-written from ground up. This is an extreme example, but it could happen to you too.

2. MEC

MEC remained mostly unchanged between version 1.6 and 9.0, but with 9.1 there were some major changes. The Administration was moved into Lifecycle Manager (LCM) and the old MEC mapper was replaced by an Eclipse based mapper (although the old Mapper was initially still made available).
However, the database structure is not significantly different and Infor provides upgrade scripts to make life easier.
These scripts also converts the tables for the Partner Admin tool, so with a little luck your agreements will not need to be re-entered.

3. Application Programming Interfaces (API)

Using the standard M3 API’s are a great way to integrate to Infor M3. It is safe and always applies the correct business logic, so it’s a safe way to ensure
data integrity. It is also rare that an API is removed between version, instead new API’s are constantly added. Furthermore, if an interactive program is changed the API is also modified (or should be).
If existing API’s input or output fields are updated, the new fields are always added to the very end of the return text string, so it normally does not affect your integration. If you have used MEC for your integration and want to use some of the new fields there is a way to easily update the API meta-data in your map by right-clicking the API symbol in MEC Mapper tool and select “Update External API Function”. This will bring in the updated API metadata and the added fields.

4. Web Services

If you have been using the M3 Web Services Framework (MWSF) and you upgraded to a later version using the grid, you may need to re-create your web services in the new framework.
The easiest way to achieve this is to copy the location of your metadata file and then import this to the Web Services framework. Then deploy the web service
as you would with a new one. However, with the simplicity of creating web services it may be almost as fast to simply re-create the web service.

5. Database

This approach is generally not recommended for other purposes than extracting data, and then it should be pretty straightforward to figure out the possible
implications that could occur. The libraries will most certainly have changed and in the case a major re-write of the program has occurred (as with the example
of the Service module above) there may be completely different tables containing the data you need.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and maybe it can save you some headaches.

If you need any help or assistance we are always willing to help and we work on Infor M3 EDI and integration projects around the world.
Contact me directly or visit us at www.integrationwizards.com.