Nowadays, there’s all kinds of products that have multiple uses. My new favorite kitchen gadget is a flexible spatula/spoon sometimes known as a spoonula, that scraps, stirs, flips and is heat resistant. Not any ordinary spoon from the dollar store, you need to pay a little more, but I use this spatula/spoon ALL the time. Why am I talking about kitchen tools? Just like in the kitchen, we all want an EDI software package that can do more than one thing, that is…more than just translate EDI data.
For the purpose of the article, I will be writing under the assumption that the reader has an EDI background. In our industry, we have to anticipate many complicated scenarios. What happens if a trading partner wants to send you a flat file and they don’t have the capabilities to send X12? Can your current EDI software handle that? What if they want to send you an XML file or you must send them an XML file? Can your current EDI software handle XML?
Having software that handles Any-To-Any translation is necessary in today’s technical world. And right now, this is the number one reason why I LOVE Liaison’s Delta/ECS data integration package.
Just one example of what we’ve done with Delta/ECS included taking a traditional X12 EDI 850 Purchase Order that a trading partner sends to its supplier and did the following:
1. Mapped that into an ERP database to automatically create orders.
2. Created a human-readable text or HTML document that gets emailed to customer service personnel and various salespeople.
3. Forwarded the raw EDI data to someone via email that they open with Liaison’s EDI Notepad (free download) so they can see the actual raw EDI data.
And all of this is an event-driven process that begins immediately when the 850 hits our system.
On the flip side, we’re also taking spreadsheets from customers and transforming them into X12 EDI 810 Invoices to send to major US retailers. Many of the retailers’ small vendors were not EDI capable and therefore didn’t have a way to create 810s for their customers. We’ve been doing this for a number of years and the process works great. So simple, so EASY! It allows the big retailer to mandate EDI compliance in a way that is affordable and uncomplicated for the supplier.
Another example is a project where we took data from a client’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system for the Mexican government who wanted Sales Tax Data sent in XML format on a monthly basis. All that was given to us was a sample XML file, along with the Section D Annex 24 specifications, which was a huge manual detailing the XML tags and requirements. The project was tricky because XML tag values, the XML header namespace and the file name of the submitted file all had specific requirements. Testing and debugging was further complicated because the XML tag names were all in Spanish.
These examples illustrate some of the flexibility that Delta/ECS offers. I want software that can transform data, like Clark Kent-to-Superman! And just like Superman, Delta’s mapping capabilities know almost no limit. I once had a client that needed to send flat file information, but that data needed some complicated calculations before it could be sent. Instead of writing a program to do that, we did it right in the map. Thank you Superman, er Delta.
Another big reason why I LOVE Liaison’s Delta/ECS, are the many built-in communications protocols such as e-mail, AS2, AS3, SMTP, POP3, FTP, and sFTP. Where else can you get all of these options, built-in for such a reasonable price? We have clients all the time tell us that they looked at comparable software packages that were in the six-figure range! And then if you need AS2, that is an additional module for more money. Delta/ECS’ standard package has AS2 built-in and is WELL UNDER six figures. If I have a client that needs to do all of these communications options, I have it all in one place. And this has happened time and time again. A client needs AS2 and then they end up using the other protocols for sending and receiving data.
Ask us about Delta/ECS. Better yet, ask our clients about Delta/ECS. You will be enchanted.
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