EXTOL Business Integrator (EBI):
Question: How can I set a fixed length for wrapping Outbound EDI document contents?
Answer: Does your trading partner require the lines of data inside of the Outbound EDI documents you are sending to them to have fixed wrapping at a specific length? In EDI, the term “Fixed Wrapped” refers to EDI data formatted so that there is a new line repeatedly at a fixed number of characters throughout the document.
The procedure to do this inside of EBI is actually very simple. All you need to do is go to the Target EDI Endpoint responsible for wrapping the EDI data for this particular trading partner. Select the ‘Target’ tab and find the “Enable Fixed Wrapping” checkbox. Checking this will enable the “Fixed Wrap Length” setting next to it. This is where you can enter what the length of the lines inside of your Outbound EDI document will be according to your trading partner’s request. Saving the EDI Endpoint after this will immediately enable the software to wrap the data accordingly.”
EXTOL EDI Integrator for i (EEI)
Question: How can I use data areas to set defaults for mailroom dates, sorting, and job logging?
- EXWRKCNNDY – Sets the default date for Connections listing when you go to Mailroom, Work with Connections
If you enter a 0.00000000 in the data area, the starting date when you go into the Mailroom, Work with Connections will be the current date. If you enter 1.000000000, the starting date in the Mailroom, Work with Connections will be yesterday, if you enter 2.0000000 the starting date will be the day before yesterday, etc….
- EXCONNDFT – EXTOL default Ascending/Descending view for Work with Connections
- An ‘A’ will sort the mailroom so that the Newest Connections are at the bottom and the oldest at the Top.
- A ‘D’ will sort the mailroom so that the Newest Connections are at the top and the oldest at the bottom.
- EXDBG – Changing the second position to a ‘Y’ will generate additional job logs for debugging purposes.
**Note – remember to turn this data area off after debugging problems, as keeping this on will result in excess job logs being created on your system.
EXTOL Business Integrator (EBI)
Question: If I’ve forgotten the name of an Application or EDI Endpoint for a specific Trading Partner, is there a way to find it?
Answer: You can use the ‘Endpoint Search’ feature to find them using values specific to a Trading Partner. Follow these steps:
– At the bottom of the ‘Endpoints’ tab inside of the EBI Workbench, click the first button on the left to bring up the search window.
– Select the endpoint type from the dropdown menu at the top of the window. This will display all of the fields available within that endpoint category.
– From there, you can enter the specific criteria for a Trading Partner, such as Sender/Receiver ID.
– To turn off your search filter, simply click the second button from the left at the bottom of the ‘Endpoint’ tab.
EXTOL Secure Exchange (ESX)
Question: How do I republish an outbound document from ESX?
Answer: To republish an outbound document from ESX, you first right click on the specified session and choose publish to, outgoing channel. Next, select the outgoing channel that is attached to the partnership that you want this document republished to, and click ok.
* Note: Make sure this outgoing channel is not selected on multiple partnerships. Otherwise, this document will go to all the partnerships the outgoing channel is selected on.
Many enterprise integration solutions meet the mark at implementation time, and even adequately provide the tools needed to monitor and maintain the day to day activities. But, what happens when unexpected changes occur at the document level? Sometimes the metadata that defines a document’s structure and content changes. This can happen for a number of reasons including different trading partner specifications, application interface upgrades and back-end system replacements. More often than not, the changes are minimal and localized to the existing document. The syntax remains the same, but there may be additions or deletions to the existing structure, such as the addition of a content model to an XML document. There may be changes to individual elements, such as the data types, lengths, etc. In such cases, the map may need to be updated, but can usually be handled rather quickly with minimal effort.
Once in a while, the structure of the document will change. Again, the syntax stays the same, but an entire section may be relocated creating a different hierarchical structure, such as completely relocating an XML content model to a different section of the document. This type of change can be a bit more complicated to address. Most of the time, the maps associated to the altered structure are also broken and have to be corrected. There is generally more effort required to address this type of change than the former. And occasionally, the entire document syntax changes, such as a conversion from a flat file interface to an XML interface. In this case, a great deal of effort is required to address it because the associated maps have to be completely reworked and in some cases recreated. The impact of this change can be felt in many areas of the implementation and can impact business operations. Continue reading
Why does this take place?
While new projects often get the most visibility, you also know that maintaining what is already in place is as essential as the new projects. Delays in responding to customer changes or adapting to new versions of software can be a serious impact to your business. ERP cut-overs, changing customer/vendor document formats and industry-mandated document changes (e.g. HIPAA) cause changes to our stable integrations. These changes can cause business disruption or penalties if they cannot be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
How has it been dealt with in the past?
The brute-force way to deal with changing document requirements is to clone your maps and make the (hopefully) minor adjustments. This approach works, but does not scale. Consider a company with 10 trading partners. Occasionally, a partner will upgrade their EDI maps to a new version. This rate of change can be incorporated into the work schedule with relatively little impact. Now, consider the company with 1000 or 5000 trading partners and an industry-wide mandate (such as HIPAA) is coming to bear. Very quickly, the company could be faced with updating thousands of maps. This effort would be measured in multiples of person-months. Continue reading
Ok, so you recently read a few posts about automated mapping, specifically Smart Mapping and you’re thinking to yourself, “Awesome! I love it when computers do useful things for me and make my life easier… But what does Smart Mapping actually do?” Well, the simple answer to that question is it does two things, matching and rule generation. Now you’re thinking “Oh, right…. Well, what does THAT mean?” Fear not, I will explain.
But before I do, it is important to understand that Smart Mapping is initiated from and runs in the EBI Ruleset Editor. Those of you who are familiar with the EBI Ruleset Editor already know what rules are and their role in mapping. Those of you who are not familiar with the EBI concept of rules and the Ruleset Editor may want to refer to Greg Inns’s scintillating blog “It’s all about the Model”. In it, you’ll find explanations of what rules are and how EBI uses them to get data from source to target. Continue reading