When talking about integration, whether it is application to application (A2A), business to business (B2B) or data and cloud integration, the goal is to exchange data, documents, information, and/or messages between a source and a target. To accomplish this goal, we identify business patterns related to the sources and targets of these “integrations” and then apply the identified patterns to similar scenarios that meet specified criteria. Most, if not all of these patterns will require data mappings, also known as “maps” or “rulesets”, at some point during the integration process. These maps are ultimately used to perform one of two operations: to transform or translate data. I often use the terms, transform and translate, interchangeably. But, is there more to them? Are these terms synonymous, or do their meanings differ?
Let’s look at this a little closer to see if there is a difference. Data translation can be defined as the process of converting data from one syntax to another and performing value lookups or substitutions from the data during the process. Translation can include data validation as well. One example of data translation is to convert EDI purchase order document data into purchase order database files or even flat files while performing data validation on the source data. Continue reading