Magento Integration with ERP and Dynamic Pricing

First, a little background…

I work for a software company that is a VAR for an ERP. This ERP calculates pricing dynamically for products based on a hierarchical set of rules. Depending on the customer’s configuration, these rules can be very complex. For our customer, that is the case.

Our customer is attempting to integrate this ERP to the Magento eCommerce platform. A component of this integration is to display the user’s specific pricing.

The Magento developer is requesting that pricing information be exported in a flat file. Listing the customer, product, minimum quantity and price. Providing this information is a very lengthy process due to all the complex calculations required. So lengthy, that it’s not practical for a scheduled recurring export.

Normally when we’ve integrated to other eCommerce platforms, we provide a webservice which can make calls to the ERP and return pricing information as it is needed. If for some reason the call fails, theywould default to a standard price and inform the user.

Now on to the question…

We’re getting pushback from the Magento developer on calculating price dynamically using this method. Their reasons for this are vague and troubling – given this is pretty standard for other eCommerce implementations we’ve done.

We don’t have any specific experience with Magento, but is this difficult to implement? I understand that the possibility of an inaccessible webservice will mean users won’t get their specific pricing, but we’ve never faced this much resistance from an eCommerce developer before. Should our customer be concerned?

Thanks for any insight you can provide…

One thought on “Magento Integration with ERP and Dynamic Pricing”

  1. Magento’s pricing is pretty tightly written to allow them the number of customizations that they have already written for the framework. As such, the default Magento install will not pull prices from a webservice on demand per customer.

    However, ultimately, it’s just code. A skilled Magento developer should be able to replace the product price methods with ones that call your webservice and determine the price for that customer specifically. Be aware that this is not a trivial integration, and I would expect to see some issues related to prices in carts and reordering products.

    Hope that gives you an idea.


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