The Epicor Data Management Tool (DMT) is an application that many Epicor ERP clients use to import information into their Epicor systems and to make mass updates. Many clients already know how to use the tool through the standard UI interface. The command line interface allows for interacting with the DMT without the need for user intervention.

The Benefit of Accessing Epicor Data Management Tool via Command Line

By allowing us to interface directly with DMT, this allows for us developers/consultants to quickly import information into Epicor. Such information that can be imported for both new and updating include:

  • Parts
  • Material Issue
  • Return Material
  • Quantity Adjustments
  • Jobs
  • Job Receipt to Inventory
  • Many More

Under normal circumstances, we would need to utilize the standard Business Objects or APIs to make these transactions and updates within the system. This can add a lot of overhead when performing a large number of transactions at a time. Pushing these through the DMT usually allows for us to process a greater number of transactions more quickly, with only the need to write the CSV file and kick off the application.

Getting started with Epicor Data Management Tool (DMT) via Command Line

Epicor provides a good amount of information regarding the DMT and the command line interface. Here is some documentation on it, so long as you have an EpicWeb account. you can find those resources, here.

The above resource provides all of the options that can be used with the DMT.exe and some basic examples. Beyond that, I would recommend anybody who would want to use this to use the DMT to create the templates for what the would want to import. By default, it automatically selects the required fields, so it’s just a matter of adding in the fields that needs to be updated/inserted.

Kicking off the DMT via a BPM is how I had originally done this for an Encompass client in Life Sciences manufacturing and I imagine that this would probably be the most universal way for it to be used. With that said, using the DMT in this way is not viable for Cloud clients as the DMT isn’t available for execution from the server side of things.

Cloud clients can still utilize the DMT, even with command line, but it would need to be through a different methodology, such as script file or through a local application that has access to the DMT install.

For more information on utilizing Epicor Data Management Tool via Command Line, reach out to Encompass using the link below.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


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Patrick Miskill’s technical series on ERP tools, particularly the Epicor DMT, wraps up today with a look at all the variables you’ll run into when building your ERP system and how learning about your errors is even more important than learning about your successes.

My actual experience with a manufacturer of fabric belts for large conveyor systems (Fenner Dunlop Americas) saw two uses of DMT: One for a major upgrade, a second for updating their Method of Manufacture/MOMs.  In the first case, we used DMT scripts to upload data from an older version of Epicor to a newer one.  Similar to a new installation, we pulled data out of the source system and formatted it in several dozen spreadsheets for uploading to the new target system. Knowing how the data was structured in the old Epicor system was a big help. For new Epicor customers, extracting and massaging the data from a non‐Epicor legacy system is quite a project; in such cases DMT is an invaluable tool.

Where The Epicor DMT Comes Into Play

In the standard product, an engineer would have to run a “where­‐used” report to determine which part revisions used the raw material; it could be just a few dozen or it could be over 100. Each part revision would require changing in the Engineering Workbench, one by one. It is a time consuming and manually intensive process.  So we developed a process starting with a Business Activity Query (BAQ) which went out and extracted only the MOMs affected by the change. The BAQ was developed specifically for subsequent use in DMT, i.e. column headings matched those required by DMT, we extracted all columns required by DMT (because we already knew the “rules” for MOMs) and only those optional columns we needed to update.  We then entered Excel column formulas specific to the change(s). E.g. if the old raw material was a polyester yarn and the new material was a nylon yarn, unit weights and other factors specific to the textile industry (ever hear of a “twist contraction” variable?) could be entered into a formula that resulted in the new variables for the MOM.

Once the extract and validation of the Excel data was completed, it was simple to format the final output for use by DMT.  Testing a few rows in a copy of the LIVE database, we could easily validate the final updated MOMs.  In fact, we could use the original BAQ extract programs to look at the updated data in the TEST system and quickly evaluate the results. Once we got the process down, we turned what would have been a 100+ hours of manual updates in Epicor to an electronic process that ran in just a few hours.  Once documented, the process could be reviewed, validated (the client was ISO compliant) and repeated as­ needed.

Of course like any software tool, DMT has its quirks. We learned the hard way that despite how illogical a data template may appear, it was critical to supply the required information in exactly the format requested. And interpreting the error logs is sometimes an exercise in the art of editing.  I highly recommend acquiring and using the free “Notepad++” data editing tool; it can help you read a jumbled up error log file and it is essential to always check the final DMT file you create from Excel, prior to uploading it to DMT.  A common mistake is to save an Excel spreadsheet as a comma­‐separated variable file and the resultant ASCII file has extraneous commas and/or columns or just plain garbage. And if your data (e.g. Descriptions) contain commas, you must enclose them in double­‐quotes (or just use a wacky character as the delimiter­‐even safer).

Words Of Caution For Epicor DMT

Just remember that “with great power comes great responsibility…”. So before you change data in a system, make darn sure you’ve chosen the correct target database, since DMT will not issue any warning whatsoever if you update LIVE instead of TEST (not that I’ve EVER made that mistake!) and will merrily chug along, processing the data with the full expectation that the operator knows what the target database should be.

This is why it is CRITICAL to always test your DMT script before you run it in a production environment. Note that if you don’t have a recent copy of LIVE for test purposes, you should seek out technical services that can assist you (usually by taking a copy of your most recent backup of LIVE and bringing it up on a similar environment) this is something that Encompass Solutions as an Epicor certified partner does on a regular  basis and offers as a managed service.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Patrick Miskill’s series on ERP management continues with a closer look at how the most powerful tool you can get for managing your system, the DMT, works alongside the most important feature, the Method of Manufacture, or MOM. That’s right, love your MOM is stll the best advice ever. 

The Epicor ERP system, like similar systems from SAP or Oracle, contains hundreds of tables in a single relational database.  The database is almost irrelevant; however, the logical “rules” regarding how the data exists in the database is critical.  Generally speaking, ERP systems consist of simple code (e.g. Unit of Measure) tables, then more complex entity tables (e.g. Suppliers) and finally transaction‐based tables.  All these data must follow rules for “referential integrity” and the underlying database engine must keep track of the data and enforce the rules whether we are talking a few dozen rows of data in a single table or millions of rows of data in hundreds of tables.

The Ease Of Epicor DMT

The beauty of these “back door” tools is that they are quick and easy to load and run. And they also provide instant feedback to the user as to the program’s progress. Either a row insert succeeds or fails.  You can test a single row in just a few seconds; it if fails, the Data Migration Tool provides an error log telling you why it failed.  Error messages can be somewhat cryptic, but usually, it is straight­‐forward.  E.g. you are missing a required column (e.g. the “Company” column). And when all else fails, you can always go enter a row via the standard product then look at the resulting data in the underlying table(s) to deduce what the business object requires. Each DMT template lists the required and optional columns with a basic description of the data. As long as you follow the “rules” the data loads from the spreadsheet, just as if you keyed it manually into the system.

Some data relations, however, are quite complex and even the data template from DMT will cause you “instructional anxiety” (that feeling you get when you read an IKEA instruction guide and say, “What the heck?”). Rule­‐of‐thumb:  Just follow the rules, get one data set to load OK, then attempt a larger data set until you get it right.  Big mistake: Run a spreadsheet with tons of rows without testing and end up with garbage in the system, or better yet, a crashed system!

Case‐in‐point:  Method of Manufacture 

Epicor stores the Method of Manufacture (MOM) for a part as a series of operations and materials linked to the finished goods Part and Revision. It is the “how­‐to” cookbook to make something as simple as a screwdriver or as complex as a 747. It may consist of a single Operation with one or two raw material parts or it can be multiple sub­‐assemblies, each with their own operations and materials. It provides not only the “how­‐to” instructions to build something but it also contains estimates for the labor and burden rates to perform the operations.  These estimates are critical to any manufacturer since they provide the baseline for each manufacturing job in determining how well the actual product conforms to the method and whether the actual costs are in line with the estimated costs.

In the Epicor Production Management module, before a single MOM is created, all dependent data must be loaded into the system.  Example, all raw material parts must be entered, each with a given unit cost. All machine resources used in the manufacturing process must be loaded and activated.  All labor resources (Employees) must be entered along with their labor and burden rates. All operations must be defined and assigned one or more resources. It is an enormous engineering task to get these data entered and all the relationships established properly so that the Epicor ERP system’s production jobs can begin tracking and documenting each step of the MOM, including capturing all related costs for management review.  When done correctly, a company can then take advantage of the “Holy Grail” feature of ERP: MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning, where the system can analyze demand and forecast part, labor and machine requirements for meeting that demand).

Of course just as in life, “things change” like the cost of raw materials, labor rates and then you always have “Acts of God.”  For example when the earthquake off the coast of Japan struck in 2011, the resulting tsunami wiped out many manufacturers along the western coast of the country, leaving companies like Toyota in a serious bind as their “just­‐in‐time” processes ran out of parts and sub­-assemblies needed to manufacture cars and trucks. Imagine the sleepless nights that production managers must have had, re­-engineering their MOMs and seeing their MRP rules flushed down the proverbial toilet!

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Industry veteran Patrick Miskill is bringing us a series of three blog posts about the nuts and bolts of the ERP system, namely what the deal is with data migration tools. For those of you who have been craving pure technical detail, these are for you. For those of you whose eyes glaze over in the face of phrases like ‘logical hierarchy’ or ‘object‐oriented‐design,’ don’t worry! Patrick lays it out as clearly as you’ll ever read it. 

After thirty years in the IT field, it becomes a lot harder remembering all of the software you’ve laid your eyes and hands on. I have used databases from Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and other companies—some that don’t exist today, or have been swallowed up by the others, or some that no one remembers at all. One thing has remained the same though: Input‐Process‐Output.  Support tools come and go, getting relabeled, or “improved”, or put out to pasture, and I’ve learned to not believe the hype about some tools: anything other than Input‐Process­‐Output is usually lipstick on a pig. If it’s fancy with fancy words and it’s supported completely by the vendor it might be the real deal; otherwise, it’s junk and a complete waste of your valuable time.

Encompass, Epicor, And Data Migration Tools

Encompass is an Epicor Certified Platinum Partner because Epicor and its Data Migration Tool (DMT) live up to the hype. It’s used for not only loading data but for also updating and deleting existing Epicor data, and makes transitioning and overhaul incredibly easy. In a nutshell, the DMT uses spreadsheet templates that work just like the way data is organized within the Epicor ERP system. If you can use Excel (and who can’t?) you can load thousands of thousands of lines of information into the ERP.

Outside of the nutshell, well…

The DMT is designed in a logical hierarchy that mimics the data relations in the ERP system. It also takes advantage of the object‐oriented design of Epicor ERP and calls the very same programs (“business objects”) to complete a transaction, whether it is loading a single row into a simple code table, or loading thousands of rows into dozens of related tables. A user loads the raw data into an Excel spreadsheet following the “rules” for data formatting then runs the specific DMT program for that relation.  DMT reads the rows of Excel-based data and one‐by‐one, loads the data into Epicor ERP.

The bottom line: DMT is fully supported by Epicor and over the past 4 years I’ve worked with it, it gets better and easier to use. Nothing else in my thirty years has come close. DMT is absolutely essential to any Epicor ERP customer.

For my most recent real-world example that shows how flexible DMT is, I helped a client that had an on­‐going need to update their Method of Manufacture/MOMs based on business decisions related to the raw materials they used to build fabric belts. Let me know how fun this sounds: Imagine manufacturing a fabric belt 84 inches wide over 3,000 feet in length; the raw materials (giant spools of nylon and/or polyester thread) can weigh over two tons and can consume 100 times the length of the final product.

As market conditions changed and different raw materials were chosen to build the belts, the MOMs would have to be updated to reflect that change.

The nightmare I’m sure you’re imaging never came to be, thanks to the Epicor DMT. From loading open invoices to performing regular updates, data migration tools vastly simplified this time-­‐consuming and manually-­‐intensive task.  And, as more systems move to the cloud and IT resources become more of a commodity, it is inevitable that a company relies upon a technically savvy user (yes, we all know how many hats management expects us to wear!) to take on the role of “Dr. Data.”  DMT is built for exactly this purpose; it allows any user to easily insert, update or delete data in the underlying database without having to use the standard product programs.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.