EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

rflorencio
rflorencio used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

What is required to implement an EDI system? For ex. my app can export any standard EDI xml file, or i need to know the data format from customer app. Is a standard format or not?

best regards
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Commented:
As with ALL forms of communications, you need to agree upon a set of rules.
BOTH sides need to know these rules to properly create and interpret the EDI files.

ONE side: create files (incl auditing content), transfer files, backup files
OTHER SIDE: receive/retrieve file, interpret file (incl auditing content), backup files.
(and in some cases, vice versa)

There's no real standard format, as you can change anything you want, as long as both sides agree upon it (some companies don't use XML, simply using this character (') as the delimiter.
Even this could be a valid EDI file:

AB+1+1'
AD+xx+xx'

Just as long as both sides know what it means.

If you set up a new EDI system, you can design it yourself. If you are using existing rules (integrate a company that's already working with the EDI files), it's better you adjust to the existing rules and build your solution around it. In some cases, it's better to have a rule set from a long existing EDI system, as all the familiar errors, are already filtered out (for example, you can't have two lines starting with "AB+1+1'" as that would mean that xx conflicts with yy etc etc).
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Commented:
EDI is a HUGE subject, and can be very, very difficult to implement, depending on your needs and skill level.

There are EDI standards in several "flavors", like X12, EDIFACT, etc. You must determine if you're going to use one of those, and if so, which one. Even the the "standards" can change, and they'll be different for different industries (Medical, Manufacturing, etc), so as Kimputer said you must be sure that both sides agree on the format. From there, it's just a matter of transferring files containing the information needed.

There are many commercial and open source programs that can create and handle EDI for you. In many cases, it's simpler and better to use one of those programs instead of trying to create your own.

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Commented:
Hi,

can you sugest anu EDI Open Source Software.

Best regards
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Commented:
BOTS is the one I'm thinking of, but I'm sure there are others:

http://bots.sourceforge.net/en/index.shtml

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