NetSuite Improves Application Connectivity and Integration with DataDirect

NetSuite needed application data connectivity demanded by existing customers and by the market at large. To solve this problem they leveraged the OpenAccess™ SDK for data connectivity supporting an extensive breadth of standards and implementations.

Products:

DataDirect

SS_NetSuite

Challenge

Provide customers of the company’s hosted software with data connectivity from their applications to other applications in customers’ businesses. 

Solution

Progress® DataDirect® OpenAccess™ SDK—for data connectivity supporting an extensive breadth of standards and implementations. 

Result

Provides application data connectivity demanded by existing customers and by the market at large. 

Story

Challenge

NetSuite was an early adopter of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model and remains a leading vendor of cloud computing business management software suites. The company’s patent-pending “real-time dashboard” technology provides an easy-to-use view into up-to-date, role-specific business information that enables customers to manage their day-to-day business operations.

However, as many SaaS vendors do, NetSuite faced significant challenges when integrating its applications with the ones currently deployed by clients.

“Our client requirements demanded that we offer ODBC connectivity to any possible third party report-writer application,” explained a development project manager at NetSuite.

Solution

NetSuite’s software had to adhere to international and industry-wide standards for data connectivity such as ODBC and JDBC. Additionally, the dev team at NetSuite also needed to ensure that the company’s software would keep current with the latest versions and features of those standards.

NetSuite determined that the best approach to address its customers’ data access requirements would be to partner with a third-party ISV specializing in data connectivity and product integration. The staff quickly narrowed the choice down to Progress® DataDirect® and the Progress DataDirect OpenAccess™ Software Development Kit (SDK).

Among the key factors driving the decision was the SDK’s compatibility with the latest industry connectivity standards and an array of implementations—some of them unique in the industry. “DataDirect was the only offering that provided a Java API to generic backend data sources,” notes a NetSuite project manager.

Explicitly designed to create custom APIs based on industry connectivity standards, OpenAccess SDK provides developers with as much as 90% of the code needed for each driver. This includes the extensive driver API specification compliance, the SQL calls and the network and server components required. It provides the ability to make anything—flat file data, proprietary data or a website— appear as a SQL database that application tools based on standard APIs know how to talk to.

Result

NetSuite reports that Progress DataDirect has served not only as a vendor of excellent data connectivity components, but also as a product integration partner, providing outstanding technical support.

“The DataDirect support is great,” reports one development PM. “We were able to port some old driver code to the new DataDirect version within a few days, working with DataDirect via emails sent from engineer to engineer for clarification. Response time was frequently a matter of minutes.”

More than 300 NetSuite customers make use of the ODBC capabilities deployed using OpenAccess SDK. These span a diverse variety of uses, including:

• A food process and packaging company that has written Crystal reports to obtain information used in helping them print shop packets and inventory pull sheets

• An audio installation vendor that uses ODBC to send data to a Crystal report that is used to calculate sales commissions

• An anti-virus ISV that uses ODBC to identify orders in queue awaiting a license and also to create and run reports in client- and server-side applications.

A survey conducted by NetSuite found that more than 60% of its customers using custom ODBC drivers built with OpenAccess SDK gave it a 4 or 5 out of 5 rating in value.

Says a NetSuite representative: “We’ve had our customers tell us that they absolutely need the ODBC drivers built via OpenAccess SDK. They’ve specifically told us ‘don’t even think of removing it’.” 
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