As more businesses shift towards digitization, they often rely on multiple software programs to manage their daily operations. The list goes on, from financial software to email marketing platforms and CRM tools. However, toggling between these applications can be time-consuming and a breeding ground for errors. To combat this and create a more robust system, businesses integrate their third-party applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Table of Contents
The benefits of integrating third-party apps with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 can extend its capabilities when you connect it with third-party apps. You can create this integration using Dynamics 365 APIs, custom tools, or apps designed explicitly for Dynamics 365.
Here are its key benefits:
- Elevates customer engagement: Microsoft Dynamics 365 empowers businesses to harness customer information to maintain effective communication, foster customer loyalty, launch targeted marketing initiatives, and deliver exceptional customer service.
- Maximizes scalability: This integration results in cost-efficiency, scalability, and rapid implementation, which allows to businesses to grow and adapt seamlessly. It spans across departments, reduces manual data entry tasks, provides real-time insights into inventory, cuts labor costs, and enables data-driven decision-making.
- Integration across the Microsoft ecosystem: It connects automatically and shares data with various Microsoft resources, including Outlook, Windows Server, Office 365, SharePoint, Skype for Business, PowerApps, and Exchange Server.
- Streamlines workflows: Microsoft Dynamics 365 reduces manual data entry tasks and offers real-time insights into inventory. It connects you to third-party resources such as shipping services, supply chain partners, and Business Intelligence (BI) tools and enriches your operational capabilities.
- Expands the API frontier: It broadens the API pool for Connected Apps and fosters seamless interaction between Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Dynamics 365. This allows ISVs to offer more integrated and comprehensive services to their customers.
- Comprehensive customer insights: Businesses can create holistic customer profiles, track their preferences and buying behavior, engage with customers on social media, and analyze market trends in the social sphere.
- Access to external resources: Seamless integration with external resources is built in, such as shipping services, supply chain partners, and Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
How to integrate third-party apps with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful tool that can be used to manage business processes. However, you may need to connect it with third-party applications to get the most out of it. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Dynamics 365 APIs
Dynamics 365 provides APIs that can be used to connect with third-party apps. These APIs allow developers to access and manipulate data in Dynamics 365 and perform business processes.
- Dynamics web API: Helps developers integrate business systems by providing information based on HTTP requests to pull data from the CRM software.
- Online management API: Enables companies to manage customer engagement among Office 365 tenants.
- SOAP-based APIs: Older APIs concentrate on processes and messages instead of raw data.
- REST-based APIs: Newer and more flexible APIs that come with the default implementation.
2. Custom tools and apps
Several custom tools can be used to integrate Dynamics 365 with third-party apps. These tools create custom connections that meet the specific needs of a business.
3. Third-party apps built to integrate with Dynamics 365
Various third-party apps connect with Dynamics 365 and extend the Dynamics 365 functionalities to add new features and capabilities.
Here are a few examples of third-party software that can be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Zapier: A web automation tool that can be used to connect Dynamics 365 with other apps. For example, you can use Zapier to automatically create a new contact in Dynamics 365 whenever a new lead is added to your Mailchimp account.
Microsoft Power Automate: A cloud-based service that allows users to create custom workflows and automate tasks across multiple applications, including Dynamics 365. For example, you can use Power Automate to automatically create a new task in Dynamics 365 whenever a new email arrives in your inbox.
ClickDimensions: A marketing automation platform built specifically for Dynamics 365, ClickDimensions provides features such as email marketing, web intelligence, and lead scoring.
4. Manual integrations
Manual integrations are suitable for businesses that need to move data between systems but don’t have the budget for a more sophisticated integration solution.
ISVs with existing service offerings can integrate with Dynamics 365 in two ways:
- Connect apps: These apps are developed in a preferred coding language using the exposed Dynamics 365 Business Central APIs.
- Add-on apps: These apps enhance the Dynamics 365 Business Central experience by integrating into the user interface. This aids users in building an interface based on how they want the data to flow between Business Central and the ISV service offering.
Note: Manual integrations can be time-consuming and error-prone.
Choose the best integration method for your Dynamics 365 needs.
The best connection method for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you need a custom integration or a high degree of control over the integration process, you should consider using Dynamics 365 APIs or custom tools and apps. You should consider using third-party apps built to connect with Dynamics 365 for a more turnkey solution.
We are certified Microsoft partners who have helped many businesses seamlessly incorporate third-party integrations into Dynamics 365. Our team can build a custom integration centered around your unique needs.