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Do I have to use an EDI Translator?

Eastwood

Active Member
We have about 250 outboud invoices and some 200 Purchase orders that we want to electronically send and receive per month..... I read a couple of discussions and found that some people don't really use an EDI translator but still receive data into JDE.
Since I am new to EDI I would like your suggestions or expert opinions. Do I have to use EDI Translator? If yes, then which one would be more cost effective, Gentran, Harbinger, Extol or edict(web edi).
Thanks-
 

Ricardo Paz

Reputable Poster
We use ETASOFT to transalte from xml, x14, etc.. EDI documents to fit the F47xxx tables on OW, then process them using the corresponding JDE UBE's





Greetings



Ricardo Paz Casta=F1=F3n

OW XE SP 19.1 Win 2000 SP4 MSSQL2000



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From: Eastwood [mailto:kiransa@hotmail.com]
Sent: Mi=E9rcoles, 22 de Junio de 2005 12:24 p.m.
To: jdelistsubscribers@jdelist.com
Subject: Do I have to use an EDI Translator?



We have about 250 outboud invoices and some 200 Purchase orders that we want to electronically send and receive per month..... I read a couple of discussions and found that some people don't really use an EDI translator but still receive data into JDE.
Since I am new to EDI I would like your suggestions or expert opinions. Do I have to use EDI Translator? If yes, then which one would be more cost effective, Gentran, Harbinger, Extol or edict(web edi).
Thanks-

OneWorld XE, SP23_G1 Citrix 1.8 on Win2k TSE AS400 Enterprise Server Win2k Deployment

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jdesmm

Well Known Member
You also have the option to use hosted translations. There are several companies out there offering the service, and some are reasonably priced. Our company currently performs translations in house, but we are moving to outsource them. If you do go the software route, I'd recommend a couple of additional packages to look at - ECS/Delta by Softshare and EZconnect by Acom. Both appear to be very robust packages and are also very affordable.
 

Kristian

Active Member
Eastwood

For a total of 500 transactions, I would look into hosting it outside your company. Most people do not do EDI because of the learning curve and the expense to host it internally. Not only do you have to purchase a translator, but you have to sign up with a VAN. Then you will need to create the maps for the PO's & Invoices (850/810 depending upon the standard you - X12/UCS/EDIFACT) and interface it to your backend system - unless you want to hand key them in.

This is pretty much a full time job. A lot of your decision should come from what is pushing to EDI – Customer/Supplier mandate or business decisions. In the automotive industry, you have to be electronic down to your tier 2 supplier. Some companies will not talk to you unless you can do EDI (ie Wal-mart & Ford).

I have used Harbingers/Peregrine/Inovis (they’ve been bought out several times) translator on the iSeries and Gentran’s on the Windows and MVS side. They’re both about the same. Extol has a very nice inexpensive product as well.

If you want to host it internally and interface it to OneWorld – I would go with a solution that is on the same as OneWorld (I think you’re an iSeries shop) – that is pricey, but JD Edwards pretty much wrote TrustedLink (which is what Harbinger purchased and is now calling it TrustedLink AS400 – TLA).

Getting the data into the 47 files will require some custom reports and possibly some scheduling for them to run.

If you outsource it, they will more then like send you a flat file of just the meat-and-potatoes from the order that you can populate the 47 files with. A VAN (Value Added Network) can do all this – for a nice fee. In the old days there was a monthly fee, a document fee, a kilo-character fee and a mailbox fee – for 500 documents a month that might not be as bad as you would imagine.

Sorry to go on so long, but before you know it - you can spend $75,000 on a solution that would overkill what you need done.

Hope this helps - Kristian

EDI = Every Day's Interesting
 

Eastwood

Active Member
Kristian, thanks for your most valuable response. I have a few more questions.

1. Can I use commbination of EDI and XML? For inbound transactions should I use EDI hosting company? For outbound can I use XML? We have formscape which can produce XML files.
Correct me here if I am wrong. We should use hosting company for inbound because Inbound documents will be EDI based so won't have to go thru the hassels of understanding EDI formats and spending money on VAN etc. And since we have control on our outbound documents we can use XML to produce desired file formats. This way our major expense will be for hosting company for inbound transaction only. Correct me if I am wrong here.

2. If we outsource for inbound EDI then will the hosting company send us files which is much easier to understand verses if I directly deal with a VAN company to send me a file? I am not even sure if VAN companies can do that.

Thanks-
 

Kristian

Active Member
Eastwood -

Explaining the EDI process is similar to explaining how you connect to the internet. You have to have a browser, and hardline connection and an ISP.

Whether you do XML or EDI, you have to have some kind of translator that puts it into a standard that you and the receiver can relate to (this is where standards come into play). XML, even though you can create your own tags, follows standards (ie. ebXML, Rosettanet, SOAP....), same as EDI (X12, EDIFACT, UCS...).

If you plan on receiving or sending EDI - you need a VAN. This is like your ISP. Unless you are part of the ANX world, EDI is a pull system - The sender sends their EDI to their VAN who will forward it to your VAN, where it sits in your mailbox waiting for you to pull it down (similar to a PO Box).

XML works if you just want to send an electronic document to a partner. With the Style Sheets they use, the receiver can easily view what you sent them (just like email), but can not easy import it into their system and return an acknowledgement or ASN/Invoice back to you without an XML translator on their side.

Hope this is not too confusing, but the solution you want really depends on what your business process requires.

I would lay out who you plan to send and receive documents from, how much of that you want automated, and what your partners (suppliers/customers) can handle.

So for your questions:

1) You can certainly do a combination of the two. Most EDI translators these days will do both. Just deciding on the flavor of XML will be your next choice (ebXML, Rosettanet, SOAP....).

2) Most hosting companies can take an EDI order and send it to you in whatever format you want. EDI to XML, or flat file directly into your system, or even host everything on their system and give you a web browser to view, create and send orders from. They're quite accomidating these days (because of the customer mandates being given). But there are costs associated with all of that, most of the time it is volume based.

Doing a google search for EDI or EDI VAN will give you a grundle of returns - not a lot of useful stuff there though. I would go to the source and start there.

www.disa.org
www.x12.org
www.w3c.org
www.ebxml.org


Hope this helps,

Kristian
 
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