Using Multiple EDI Environments

It is often a common practice of organizations to develop new EDI trading partners and transaction sets from within the same environment where production EDI trading partners and transaction sets already exist.

While this is possible, it can often be disruptive and dangerous as the results of test and modifications could inadvertently result in problems with production data.

Employing multiple EDI environments will make it possible for a single EDI translator to have access to (and use) two or more “EDI configuration areas”; for example, to separate all production configurations and data from development (or production division 1 from production division 2).

Many companies have never experienced the advantages that multiple environments are capable of providing.  That is (generally) because they use ERP and EDI systems to combine multiple divisions and environments, and therefore co-mingling all transactions into a single location (such as invoices and orders).  Over time this will become very difficult to manage and is not an effective means for increasing performance and costs.

Why are Multiple Environments useful and how much do they really help?

In addition to maintaining separate areas – one for each division (or purpose) – it is easy to visually see the activity for each.  This is especially important where a single organization might employ different levels of personnel, each responsible for a different facet of the company and each needing access to the specific partners and transactions they’re responsible for.  Not only does the multiple environment approach make it simple to see only data unique to that environment but also introduces a level of security that will restrict other users not authorized to work in that environment.

When considering where (and for what purpose) multiple environments should be created, the following are examples of how they might be used:

  • Separating Development, Test and Production processes
  • Separating new acquisitions from the original (parent) organization until the time it becomes possible to merge EDI between the two
  • For multiple companies operating under a single DBA

Many benefits can be achieved by choosing to implement multiple environments.  Take the time to assess your company and determine if problems and bottlenecks could be reduced or even eliminated by opting to separate critical business areas through multiple EDI environments.

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