05-13-2011 08:36 AM
Importing a csv document is a native feature of act, File -> import.
To accomplish this programmatically take a look at Act.Framework.BusinessLink.BusinessLinkManager, it contains a import method that accepts a Xml document as it's only parameter.
05-13-2011 09:21 AM
Our SDK won't actually be accomplishing the fetching of the data, there's already technologies in .Net to accomplish this.
What your wanting to do will depend on the site your wanting to pull the data from and how the data is formatted. You mention in the previous post that this information is already stored in a document, if this is the case the WebClient class will allow you download the file, from there you can either import the document into act, or read the document and update the fields manually.
05-14-2011 06:28 PM
I posted a code eample on how to do a soap server from an ACT plug-in to a web service. It may be helpful.
It's really just an 'hello world' example. If you have questions please post them there..
-- Jim Durkin
09-14-2011 07:10 AM
Sorry for reviving an old thread but I'm quite interested in getting better aquainted with the BusinessLink Framework. Unfortunately I can't find any examples or more in depth documentation.
If we use the Import method with a single XMLDocument arument, how does that work for importing a csv file in? How do we specify the Entity type and Field mappings? I suspect that I am lacking a full understanding of how to use the Framework!
Would it be possible if a simple example could be posted up for importing a single Contact with some fields into ACT! via the Framework?
09-14-2011 08:10 AM
I'll look into it, unfortunately I don't have anything already put together and to be honest this is the first time anyone has inquired into the BusinessLink. Release has things a bit hectic in support currently, but hopefully I'll be able to get back to you on this soon.
09-15-2011 01:46 PM
I'm not sure I would use the business link interfaces to do an import, that interface was designed for link/sync integration, and it's being phased out as the Integration contract (based on SData) is adopted.
Depending on what you want to do related to data import there's a couple of architectural options:
1. If you want to insert/update on a record/record basis - a plugin or custom control is usually the best for this as you handle any user interaction requirements (like any special mapping requirements) in your code.
2. Often times people just want read-only style information that's related to a record in ACT! to display without storing that data inside of ACT! - this is often better than import because changes in system of record are dynamically displayed, and the integration is loosely coupled and easy to maintain. Web Info, and custom controls on devnet downloads can help deploy this solution.
3. If you have a batch mode style integration requirement, it's often better to build this as a stand alone item or use 3rd party tools which facilitate this (like Inaplex's Inaport). While requirements like this one seem deceivingly simple at first there's a range of mapping, duplicate management, atomic processing, conflict issues etc... that you end up needing that aren't trivial to develop.
I might be missing an approach or two, if so let me know.
09-19-2011 11:28 AM
Cheers for the reply. Phasing out Business Link in favour of SData really is music to my ears! I haven't managed to play around too much with it since we dont really deal with the accounting products but it certainly seems much better than the clunky Business Link Objects!
I have to confess here, the reason I was hoping to use the Business Link/Import was to speed up dev and I was trying to be a bit lazy and get ACT! to do the dupe checking and merging etc. I suppose it wont do any harm to code these routines myself and since its not a real-time kind of solution performance is not really an issue.
Any chance of letting the cat of the bag when we might be seeing the Business Link objects deprecated?
09-19-2011 11:31 AM
We'll deprecate the BL capabilities when the existing supported integrations have an Integration contract based offering in place - that could be (probably will be) years.