I was digging into this new WCF-Adapters-SDK several weeks ago, and now, I am very interested in it because it could be a really powerful development platform for publishing Microsoft Dynamics products data (AX, NAV and CRM) to external applications or just for remote ‘Presentation Application Layers’.
WCF LOB (Line of Business Applications) Adapters are a really cool thing (at least for me ;-)). Overall, it is a handful development piece for making available ERP/CRM data (LOB applications) to external consumers/applications. But why it is so powerful???, let me explain it…
The point is that ERP/CRM applications usually have tons of metadata and that metadata changes quite frequently. I mean, sometimes you need to add fields/columns to CRM/ERP entities. Then, if you were publishing those entities just with plain XML-Web-services (WS-Basic profile like ASMX) or plain WCF-Services, you'd have to change the service interface, change the service implementation, re-compile it, and re-deploy it… Not a big deal…
The great thing about WCF LOB Adapters is that it provides a mechanism where you can query LOB metadata & data (ERP/CRM) in a dynamic way, so even though when LOB metadata changes, your WCF-Service wouldn't have to change its interfaces and there's no need to re-compile it. This is great!!
WCF LOB Adapters are, of course, based on WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), but it is also based on a new WCF LOB Adapters SDK which is still in BETA phase.
I am aware that there's gonna be a SAP, Siebel and Oracle WCF-LOB-Adapter, so what I am going to investigate is if there's going to be WCF-Adapters for DYNAMICS products (CRM, NAV and AX) or maybe it’s going to be already implemented in next Dynamics product versions…
In any case, it seems very interesting to know how to build custom WCF-Adapters over DYNAMICS CRM, NAV and AX (it's a very different case for each Dynamics product...).
For more info about WCF-LOB-Adapters and WCF-Adapters-SDK (it is still BETA), read this great posting of Sonu:
I’ll keep this posting alive so I’ll extend it when I’ll got more info about the integration with DYNAMICS products, most of all.