EDI data translation – interpreting EDI to ensure standards compliance

EDI data translation is essential because most of the data is meaningless until it is passed through an EDI translator. EDI data translation is the process of interpreting EDI data to ensure it conforms to the EDI standards (X12 or EDIFACT), as well as performing checks and balances before the data reaches the intended business application. EDI data translation and EDI translator performs the following functions:

Compliance Checking

Each EDI transaction is checked against the EDI standards dictionary to ensure it conforms to formatting rules. The term for this is called ‘compliance checking.’ If an EDI transaction does not comply with the rules, the translation fails and the transaction should not reach the business application. The following are some examples that would cause a transaction to fail EDI translation:

a) A line item on a purchase order has no number in the ‘Qty Ordered’ field
b) The date on an invoice is formatted as ‘DDMMYYYY’ when it should be ‘YYYYMMDD’
c) A shipping manifest is missing the ‘Total Weight’ field
d) A trading partner’s business application underwent an upgrade and caused a field to be formatted

EDI data translation




Control Number Checking

The purpose of control number checking is to track the transmission of EDI documents, to ensure duplicates are not sent or received. Sequential numbers are assigned to each transmission (ISA segment), each group of documents (GS Segment) and each transaction set (ST segment). When a transmission is sent or received and a control number is duplicated or out of sequence, it indicates a problem that requires immediate action. This safeguard ensures that missing transmissions are noticed, and duplicate transactions don’t reach the business application.

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