EDI Software Environment: Translator & Mapper
Millions of lines of code have been written for over 30 years to produce EDI related software. It would not be cost effective or efficient to build a home grown EDI translator, mapper or a communications adapter. There are many EDI software vendors available. If a company does not outsource their EDI operations and decides to install an in-house EDI solution, there are several key components that every EDI software environment must contain and the software vendors typically sell them in full packaged bundles or as separate adapters. However, the Translator, Mapper, Communications and Scheduling tool should be included as core components of an EDI software package. Additional components such as the database, business application, and the integration bridge will typically be sold separately.
As received, an EDI transaction set contains all the information about a purchase order or payment, but not in a form that is either humanreadable or usable by any other electronic business software. The data must be converted into a different format, and this is the work of the EDI translator. The mapper is used to create the conversion specifications, once compiled; the map gives instructions to the translator on how to convert the data. The translator converts an EDI standard document such as an X12 or EDIFACT Purchase Order into a human readable format that could be a printed report or even better, into a proprietary or XML format that could be integrated into the Business Application.
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