GCS Integration Introduction
Unanet provides two tools to integrate Deltek GCS with Unanet. This document serves as a high-level description of these tools and how they work together. The tools are:
- GCSConnect – GCSConnect is an integration product developed by Unanet to flow data from Deltek GCS to Unanet. Departments and divisions (Organizations), people, projects, tasks, labor categories, workforce assignments, and many other entities can be extracted from GCS, then flow to Unanet on a scheduled basis in order to keep the two applications in sync. This is accomplished using two primary tools: Microsoft Access database to query the GCS file system, and Unanet's Integration Management Utility (IMU) to automate the imports into Unanet.
- Unanet Export Templates – Unanet Export Templates are part of the Unanet core product. These templates can be customized to extract Unanet time and expense actuals, which can then be imported into GCS via the preprocessor component of the GCS product. This interface is paired with GCSConnect to provide the full bi-directional synchronization between the two applications.
GCSConnect flows entities such as Projects and Employees from GCS to Unanet, sending regular feeds of data from Unanet at defined intervals (e.g., every night at 2:00 am, or every hour). Each time a scheduled run of GCSConnect occurs, any data that has been added or changed in GCS, such as a new employee, an updated employee, a new project or an updated task, is gathered, translated, and sent to Unanet. The steps in this process are:
(1) GCSConnect extracts the data from the GCS file system and transforms the data into the values desired for Unanet.
(2) GCSConnect writes the transformed data to a file format compatible with Unanet import capabilities.
(3) GCSConnect imports the files into the Unanet application database by using Unanet's Integration Management Utility (IMU).
The diagram below depicts the flow:
The GCSConnect package consists of these components:
- A Microsoft Access .mdb database file containing macros, table, and queries
- The Unanet Integration Management Utility (IMU), a tool which manages Unanet data imports and exports
- (The Transoft U/SQL ODBC driver and a Universal Data Dictionary are not supplied by Unanet, but are critical components that must be installed prior to installation / configuration of GCSConnect, as they provide the connection between the Access database and the GCS data files.)
A batch file is set to be regularly invoked by the Windows Task Scheduler. It can be invoked as frequently as every 15 minutes, but more typically every 30 or 60 minutes. It may also be invoked manually at any time. The batch file calls the IMU to extract data from Unanet (using Unanet Export templates) to be used as reference data (e.g., so that we know what projects already exist in Unanet). The IMU then invokes an MS Access Macro that saves the reference data exported from Unanet, then selects data from the GCS files via an ODBC connection. The queried data is then written to CSV files in a format that is acceptable to Unanet. Once the Access Macros has finished creating all needed CSV files, the IMU then imports the CSV files into Unanet, and provides error handling and email alerts to chosen end-users.
The GCSConnect package is installed on a server that has network access to the GCS application data via the ODBC driver. This can be, but is not always, the GCS application server.
At the end of the period, approved time and/or expense data is exported out of Unanet via Unanet Export Templates, and imported into the Deltek accounting system. Deltek’s Timesheet Preprocessor provides one-step import of the exported Unanet time data into the Deltek system. Deltek’s A/P Preprocessor provides one-step import of the exported Unanet expense data into the Deltek system.