Having just attended my first DirectionsNA in Las Vegas this past week, I really came to better understand Microsoft’s value proposition around providing Dynamics 365 Business Central and extending its capabilities via Office 365 and ISV (Independent Software Vendor) applications. Not that any of this is entirely new, per se, but aligning with that strategy and the direction Microsoft is headed clarified the next level of digital transformation and path forward for customers.
I’ve heard it said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but playing the rule-breaker, one standout ISV product that shouldn’t stay in Vegas was Popdock published by eOne Solutions: https://www.eonesolutions.com/popdock/ . This is a query and reporting app positioned to be for the User in the trenches actually performing work as opposed to the bougie Analytics/BI or other complex reporting tools for the more contemplative thinkers and strategists:
- It can be used as a stand-alone query and reporting tool or within Business Central or any app to increase productivity.
- It’s not a data warehouse, but queries live data on the fly (cool, imho, but might not be ideal for extremely large sets of data).
- Everything in Business Central is available for queries. It will also work with on-prem versions of BC and anything with an API (D365 Sales, Salesforce, ZenDesk, etc).
- It can sort, filter, group, save, share, drill down, and even drill down back into BC itself.
- This can all be done by end-users and consultants, with no dev or knowledge of table relations required.
- You can embed data from one source into another app, for example, show ZenDesk records in a frame in D365 Sales (CRM), but it will look like CRM – could be invoices, tickets, etc.
- You can schedule any report to run and email out.
- Sometimes you don’t want to move data, per se, as you would with eOne’s flagship product, SmartConnect https://www.eonesolutions.com/smartconnect/overview/, but rather just show data for fast action.
- You could move a Popdock query into Excel (with an add-in) or PowerBI to extend functionality.
- Fast to deploy, easy to use, and might even replace the need for SQL Queries.