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EDI Generator

The EDI Generator is an ‘EDI as a Service’ solution falling into the Software as a Service (SaaS) category. It allows small and medium businesses to receive, interpret and create EDI documents through an intuitive web based user interface, without purchasing and installing software, and paying low monthly fees based only on the actual usage and volume. The EDI Generator works in tandem with the MFTGateway, which performs the actual exchange of EDI files with trading partners, using the AS2 protocol for encryption and digital signatures.

The EDI Generator EDI Translation Service

The EDI Generator has a capability to automatically convert received EDI documents into other formats such as JSON, XML, CSV etc. Such translated documents can then be pushed to customer Webhook endpoints, or transferred to an SFTP server location. This solution is ideal for customers having an ERP system etc (e.g. NetSuite) but require EDI/AS2 exchange of messages. This solution also allows customers to push JSON, XML or other data to Webhooks integrated with the EDI Generator, to convert such content into EDI and to be sent over to Partners using AS2 communications. This solution usually applies to customers who have large volumes of EDI data that needs to be converted into and from other formats such as JSON or XML etc.

The EDI Generator End User Application

The EDI Generator end-user application allows small and medium businesses to receive EDI messages over AS2, view such received documents and print them (e.g. Purchase Orders), and create and send EDI documents using an intuitive and simple to use, modern web based user interface (e.g. creation of Advanced Ship Notifications or Invoices).

At present, EDI Generator supports EDI X12, with limited support for EDIFACT. Full support for EDIFACT and other formats are in the pipeline and will be implemented in 2022. The common EDI transactions targeting suppliers, that are already supported in the EDI Generator includes:

  • Receipt of a Purchase Order (EDI 850)
  • Creation of a Purchase Order acknowledgement (optional) (EDI 855)
  • Creation of an Advance Ship Notification (ASN) (EDI 856) and printing of Shipping Labels
  • Creation of an Invoice (EDI 810)

In addition, the EDI Generator will process standard transactions such as Text Messages (EDI 864), Application Advices (EDI 824) and Organizational Relationships (EDI 816) etc.

The typical use case of a supplier

Typically, a Small and Medium Business (SMB) who wants to supply to a larger organization will be asked to have an EDI capability. An example is a supplier for Walmart, who needs to receive Purchase Orders (PO) from Walmart. However, Walmart will only send the PO’s as EDI X12 format messages which cannot be read by a human easily. In addition, Walmart will require the supplier to receive the PO’s through a secured channel such as an AS2 connection. The supplier is then required to prepare the shipment, and send an Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) about the shipment, at the time of leaving the supplier. This ASN needs to contain exactly what is shipped, the quantities and how it is shipped, such as Pallet and Pack information. The Pallets and Packs will also be required to have a Walmart authorized Shipping Label pasted so that as the shipment is received at Walmart, simply scanning the shipping label barcode will allow Walmart to understand the contents and quantities etc. Afterwards the supplier is expected to send the invoice to Walmart for payment.

For all of the above, the communication will be using EDI X12 transactions, and typically over a secured AS2 connection. While a supplier will need to purchase, setup and maintain an AS2 software server and run it 24x7x365 to receive PO’s as they are sent by Walmart, and to respond back, they will also need to purchase and maintain specialized EDI software to interpret the received EDI messages, and to create messages that needs to be sent back. In addition, the generation of Shipping Labels will also require the generation of unique barcodes called SSCC-18 barcodes, which are available through yet other purchased software utilities.

The EDI Generator offers a simple solution to such users, which avoid installation and maintenance of any computer system, and where the total cost of operation is only dependent on the volume of messages exchanged. The system is available with a simple registration process and is accessed through a standard web browser.


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