Ameritech EDI Overview: Translators, Communication Links, Application Interface
The estimated time to implement the Ameritech EDI Program is approximately 3 to 6 months depending on a company’s level of experience. The main components are: Standards, Translators, Communication Links, Application Interface.
EDI Translators are commercial software packages that make the transmission of EDI data more efficient. The most important functions include translation of application data to EDI formatted data (and vice versa), X12 compliance checking, version control, acknowledgment processing, audit reports and journalizing, and trading partner profile management.
Translators are available for all major platforms (PC, Mini and Mainframe). Prices on translators range from $500 to $50,000. While the purchase of a translator is not mandatory, custom development of the required EDI functionality may be cost prohibitive.
Communication Links consists of three major routes; direct, value added networks (VANs), and gateways, which are similar to VANs. The use of VANs and gateways are the most popular route of transmission because they remove two communication barriers, namely, time and protocol dependence. VANs and gateways provide multiple protocol links so that a trading partner can access EDI transmissions from a PC, client/server, mini or mainframe environment. Time independence is possible through the use of electronic mailboxes where transactions are stored until retrieved by a trading partner.
The application interface is used to connect the EDI system to existing or new applications. An application interface can be a manual or automated interface. The application interface can provide outbound data or receive inbound data. For the Ameritech EDI Billing Products, the trading partner will need to provide an application interface to process EDI data in order to accept bills (811 transactions) or issue payments (820 transactions). Combination translator/application interface packages are available on various computer platforms, including PCs, from third party vendors.
To learn more about EDI and become a certified EDI Professional please visit our course schedule page.