Integrations Using Scribe Insight vs Scribe Online

Posted by Mike Giuffre on September 15, 2016

Nobody wants to do more work than they have to.  Keying data from one system into another certainly would top anybody’s list in that respect.  And when it comes to Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems, one company stands out above the others in helping to avoid that pain – Scribe.

Scribe was founded in 1995 to provide an integration solution to the growing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market.  They have since evolved to include ERP integrations and have become an industry leader with over 14,000 customers and partners using their products. 

They have two principal products, and it’s helpful to understand their place.

  1. Scribe Insight – Their traditional, on premise integration solution.
  2. Scribe Online – Their newer, cloud integration product.

There are substantial differences between these two products, but no distinct line between using one or the other.  They can be used interchangeably, but you want to choose the right product for your particular task.  Both products allow data flow between a “source” and “target” connection, which is what an integration is fundamentally about.  But they go about this in very unique and different ways.

Scribe Insight

Insight is software you install on a server in your IT environment.  It has a number of “adapters” that connect to and can talk to specific software products.  In particular, connections to Dynamics ERP products are supported by Scribe Insight.  With this software, you create integration packages, or “DTS” files, that can be programmed to run on a regular basis as well as on-demand.  The DTS files are created with the “Workbench” application, a friendly interface, while the integrations are wired to run in the “Console” application.


Insight is typically used to bring data from outside sources, be they files, databases, spreadsheets, etc. into an ERP system.  It can also be used to move data from the ERP system to another system that needs it.  When using the Workbench, a simple point-and-click source-to-target connection is made.  The resulting DTS file can easily run immediately for data migrations, or repeatedly by configuring the Console to run it on a schedule.


Scribe Online

In contrast, as a “cloud” offering, the Online product has only a limited local footprint, if that’s even required.  It excels in making connections to an ever-growing list of cloud software products.  Prominent among those are cloud CRM solutions such as Microsoft CRM Online, as well as  The local “agent” allows connecting to local systems such as an on premise ERP, SQL Server, or other location.

All work in Online is done in the cloud, including developing the integrations and wiring them to run on a periodic basis.  There are three scenarios available:

  • Integration – which is the regular movement of data from a source to a target
  • Replication – which can bring data from a cloud application to a local repository
  • Migration – which is a limited time license to move data from a source to a target

Where is Your Data?

One of the primary determinants of which product you select is where your data is.  If the primary location of your data is in the cloud, and there is a connector in Online, use that product.  If all your data is on premise and Insight has connectors, use that product. 

If it’s not that easy, contact Crestwood Associates at for help in making the right choice for your data integration needs.

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