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One-Way VS Two-Way Database Integration

Data integration is a significant series of events that need to occur to use the DotActiv Enterprise and DotActiv Pro versions. 

Data integration splits into two main sections. Firstly, the initial one-way integration and secondly, the follow-up two-way integration. It is crucial to understand the differences and benefits of each. 

This article will compare the differences and benefits and what you can expect from each integration. Read this article to understand the integration process.

Understanding The Different Integrations

One-Way Integration

We use one-way integration to import retail data from the client’s data source (sales database, ERP, SAP, etc.) into the DotActiv database structure hosted on a SQL server. We import the data in a specific format based on staging tables. Users can analyze, report, range, cluster, create floor plans or planograms, and use all DotActiv Pro and Enterprises’ features.

Two-Way Integration

Two-way integration includes all of the previously mentioned steps for one-way integration.

However, instead of feeding data into the DotActiv database, the causal data (with value-added from the planogram generation, ranging, and clustering) is scripted back into the database and exported using Export Staging Tables.

The information in the Export Staging Tables will feed into the client’s replenishment cycles, and this could include ranging information, product status information, updated or corrected values for any of the feeds, stock information for replenishment engines, or additional values calculated on DotActiv’s side as per the client’s wish.  

Benefits Of Each Integration

One-Way Integration

  • Allows for a consistent, clean feed of data for the user to work with. Ensures that the produced information from space planning or ranging/clustering is up-to-date,  relevant and recent. 
  • Allows for historical data comparisons, which helps analyze trends and popular products/categories.
  • Allows for ranging and clustering optimizations to occur.
  • Less human interaction with the data means a smaller chance of dirty data imported into the system.
  • Allows for the use of data cubes where the user can export custom CSVs that list specific fields from the database.
  • Allows multiple people to work together with one version of the truth.
  • Allows for a seamless flow of information and centralized access to data.
  • Time saver due to less amount of manual work as well as ease of use.
  • Data can run after-hours, reducing the server load resulting in a better user experience.
  • Data is available on time and at the right time.  

Two-Way Integration

  • Allows any database change made to product/market fields to import back into the client’s systems (dimension information, size or UOM information, geographical information for stores, etc.).
  • Ranging information (active or inactive SKUs) can easily be communicated back to the client’s ERP system.
  • Stock information and other space planning data, like facings, capacity, and more, can be sent back to the client for replenishment engines or to track the information. 
  • Any additional calculations made in the DotActiv software will report back to the client.
  • The client has access to fixture information.
  • Store communication becomes viable. Please note that to import planogram/floorplan information into the database, DotActiv’s backend software, DotActiv Import Utilities, needs to process files. DotActiv can then communicate this information to the client’s Activ8 ProPlan. Their stores can be loaded onto the website and provided with login information, where they can then download planogram reports to help stock and implement planograms correctly. There is no need for a middle-man communicating the planogram information manually.
  • The client receives stock quantities to avoid over or under-stocking.
  • The client receives information that is useful for business intelligence reporting.
  • Ensures continuity and profitability of the business by adding value back to the client.
  • Replenishment engines receive minimum stock order information.
  • Adds value in terms of using stock and ranging indicators.

Comparison Between The Integrations

One-Way IntegrationTwo-Way Integration
Allows consistent and clean data to be imported into the client’s DotActiv SQL database and used by the front-end software.Allows for consistent and clean data to be communicated from the DotActiv database back into the client’s systems, product/store information is kept more up-to-date on the client’s side, and sales/stock data is implemented and tracked on the client’s side, not just DotActiv’s side.
DotActiv can create planograms using clean data because the data sets have had little human intervention when imported into the system.Any information calculated on DotActiv’s end while space planning can ingests back into the client’s systems, including data like Facings, Capacity, POG information, Supply information, DISC information, etc.
DotActiv has to manually report on planograms to the clients and stores.Planogram information automatically communicates back to the clients once they pick up the data. Planogram/floor plan reports and visual 2D representations communicate to the stores via Activ8 ProPlan.
DotActiv uses data for reporting and manually presents it to the clients.DotActiv data imports into systems that allow for replenishment engines or other engines to automatically ingest the agreed-upon information and proceed with stock/ranging communication.

A one-way integration is a gateway into an automated system that eliminates human intervention when communicating data from the client into the DotActiv database. However, a fully automated and completed cycle needs a two-way integration, ensuring that all necessary information communicates back to the client as simply and efficiently as possible. 

Updated on September 4, 2023

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