Over the next few weeks I am going to highlight some of the product features that are coming in Septembers release of SP1 for SmartConnect 2010.

SP1 is focussed on making the little things easier for our implementers. There are no massive ground breaking additions, but we have incorporated the feedback from the consultants that are building great solutions, into this build.

It is a pity that all countries and all software have not adopted a standard date format to make integration activity easy. We know that dates is one area where consultants have been tripped up as between CRM, GP, Excel, CSV and the massive variety of source systems you work with – getting the date set correctly can be a challenge.

Coming in SP1:
System date format
Users will be able to select a system wide ‘expected’ date format. All fields identified as date will be assumed to be in this format unless otherwise specified. A dropdown will be available on the current SmartConnect setup screen allowing users to select from the following date formats:
• dd/mm/yyyy
• dd/mm/yy
• mm/dd/yyyy
• mm/dd/yyyy
• yy/mm/dd
• yyyy/mm/dd
• yy/dd/mm
• yyyy/dd/mm

Columns defined as date
Currently columns that contain date are displayed as string columns in the node mapping window. This will be changed so that users can see which columns are dates and which are not. The processing of dates for the GP connector will also be changed so that if a column is defined as a date the system will automatically cast the target column as a date when processing. If the cast fails then the user will be notified that the document has failed due to that date processing. When creating new nodes from Node Maintenance the type must be set to the value from the stored procedure.

DateTime additional column
An additional column type will be added to the GP connector node mapping window. It will allow users to select a source column, determine the date format of that column, and return a GP date. This will allow users to set/read date formats that are different from the standard date processing within GP/SmartConnect. These source date formats can be user dfined to ensure there is nothing you can not do.

If the date you need to work with is not handled by all the above enhancements – then we will still have the traditional calculated field functionality so you can write your own formula for handling unique dates.