Party City EDI Methods of Communication
Party City EDI communication includes three methods to send and receive EDI data between Party City and its trading partners. There is a short description below of these methods. The trading partner must decide which one is applicable to their business or system capabilities. AS2 is Party City’s required method of electronic trading of business documents.
- Direct Connection – AS2
Direct connection with a trading partner eliminates kilo character charges and the costly expense of subscribing to a VAN. However, direct connection adds responsibilities otherwise covered by a VAN, such as: security to limit system access, and the ability to handle a variety of protocols and transmission rates. AS2 is the required method for direct connection. The trading partner is responsible for their AS2 license fees. Trading partners must provide a current AS2 certificate for communicating using AS2. It is the trading partner’s responsibility to provide their updated certificate upon certificate expiration.
- Value Added Network (VAN)
A Value Added Network (VAN) eliminates the need to interface with each trading partner individually. The transfer of information is analogous to correspondence one might exchange through a post office box or slot. The network accepts messages from all participants and stores them in the appropriate slots, where only the assigned users may access them. A trading partner subscribing to a VAN need only interface with the trading partner’s assigned mailbox. A VAN will count kilocharacters per transaction and charge the subscriber (trading partner) for transactions being sent as well as received. If a trading partner chooses to use a VAN, the trading partner is responsible for all kilocharacter charges for data sent and received.
A web-based solution generally involves manual or automatic data entry onto a web form provided by a third party. Party City strongly encourages non-EDI capable trading partners to fully evaluate a web-based solution. It is a cost efficient, easy to implement, secure EDI solution minimizing ongoing transactional kilocharacter charges associated with a traditional EDI VAN provider. Each of the aforementioned communication methods can be integrated with the trading partner’s current system or exist as a stand-alone system. Integrated systems are able to pass data received into other applications without manual intervention. Reduced manual entry is one of the greatest Returns on Investment (ROI) of EDI. Stand-alone systems primarily receive data and require the trading partner to manually enter the data into other applications.
If a trading partner chooses to utilize a VAN or direct connection, software is required to translate the trading partner’s internal data into the EDI format and to translate data received from a trading partner. The software also performs editing and control functions to ensure the data meets the ASC X12
specifications. A trading partner may choose to use any of the following translation software options:
- Commercial translation packages
- Core business turnkey application software including EDI translation
- Value Added Networks/service providers
To learn more about EDI and become a certified EDI Professional please visit our course schedule page.