Purpose and scope

The Aphix Digital Platform provides you with a suite of eCommerce, Mobile App, eProcurement and Order Punchout products that integrate in real time with your ERP and back office systems. Additionally, it provides connectivity to various digital marketplaces on one secure and robust platform.

Aphix Digital Platform integrates seamlessly with your Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP), allowing you to use and extend your business data online without compromising its quality and integrity. As standard, Aphix has developed and maintain these web services to integrate its Digital Platform with:

  • SAP Business One

  • Intact xLine/vLine, Intact iQ and HarmoniQ

  • Sage 200 and Sage X3 (EM)

Data is requested and sent through a standard data interface using a web service. The web service used is dependent on what ERP you use.

This overview introduces some terms and concepts, explains how the data interface operates between Aphix Digital Platform and your ERP at a high level, and defines what web service is used for each ERP.

Remember Aphix Digital Platform is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. This means that you do not need to update anything in your system when we deploy updates or additions to the web service used between your ERP and Aphix - you simply get access to more functionality and features.

Introducing some concepts and terms used in this article

Term

Definition

Aphix Digital Platform

suite of eCommerce and mobile products that integrate in real time with your ERP and back office systems, and provides you connectivity to various digital marketplaces on one secure and robust platform.

Enterprise resource platform (ERP)

a collection of your critical business operating systems, such as product, stock levels, financial, customers, suppliers and so on that run on the same platform.

Application Programming Interface

(API), which is an interface that allows two different computer systems interact with each other. It consists of a number of rules (also known as endpoints) that request data from the other system and receive and process responses from that system.

JavaScript Object Notation

(JSON), a open standard text format that defines data elements in a structured way that is both human- and machine- readable.

Representational State Transfer

(REST), and is a protocol used to send and receive data using standard web service calls.

SDK

Software Development Kit

SOAP

Single Object Access Protocol

Web service

service that allows two disparate systems communicate with each other via a standard messaging system.

Extensible Markup Language

(XML), a language used to store and transport data which is human- and machine- readable.

How it fits together

Before we delve into more details of how integration operates between the Aphix Digital Platform and your ERP, a common understanding of terms and concepts is required.

Think of your ERP as the beating heart of your company. It consists of a number of modules that manage your day to day operations in a coordinated, real-time, often automated way. Each module performs a specific business task, such as inventory control, financial accounting, order processing, manufacturing and/or supply chain management. It manages the business processes for each of these different parts of your business through the use of a set of dashboards and a consistent look and feel across each module.1 Another way of thinking about your ERP is that it is your business operating system - it supports and manages the flow of data and processes through the many different departments and functions of your business.2

Aphix Digital Platform extends your ERP online via a web service between the two systems. The web service allows two disparate systems communicate via a standard messaging system.3 Typically, web services are run as a service over HTTP using internet protocols such as REST and SOAP.

REST is a lightweight protocol designed to allow loosely-coupled systems communicate with each other through a simple uniform interface.4 Resources (such as an order, a product or a customer) are moved from state to state through the use of GET or POST requests.4 For example, the Aphix Digital Platform could send a GET product request to an ERP, which would return the product details requested. Typically, when REST is used, the messaging language used to communicate between Aphix Digital Platform and your ERP is JSON. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a human and machine readable lightweight data exchange format.5

SOAP is a protocol that allows for data sharing in distributed environments.6 Each SOAP message consists of three parts: an envelope that indicates who the message is for, what it contains and whether it is optional or mandatory, a set of encoding rules that define the data types included (such as string, number and so on) and a representation of how the requests and responses between Aphix Digital Platform and your ERP are handled. Typically when SOAP is used, the messaging language used to communicate between our two systems is XML. XML (eXtended Markup Language) is another human and machine readable data exchange format.

Aphix Digital Platform is integrated to your ERP via a set of web services calls to and from a standard data interface to each system. A set of connection adapters have been set up within the Aphix Digital Platform to communicate with your ERP using either REST or SOAP.

Sage

  • When integrating Aphix products with Sage 200, we have developed a SOAP-based web service using the Sage SDK.

  • When integrating Aphix products with Sage X3 (EM), we have developed a SOAP-based web service using the Sage X3 SDK.

References

1 Enterprise Resource Planning. Enterprise resource planning

2 ERP Technology Demonstration ERP 101 - What is Enterprise Resource Planning Software & How Can Small Businesses Benefit From It.

3 Web service What is a Web Service? - Definition from Techopedia

4 REST Representational state transfer

5 JSON JSON

6 Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1 Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1