EDI Academy – EDI Mapping: The electronic data translator

EDI Academy

In previous issues of EDI Academy we discussed the different formats and protocols that may be used in electronic data interchange. For the relationship between the two partners to take place in an automated and secure manner, it is necessary to transform the files into a common standard, which assimilates the sender and recipient IT systems. But how is this transformation process carried out? How is it possible to convert any document into a standardized message?

To achieve this aim, it is necessary to perform a translation of the data structures. We shall have to adapt any proprietary file (in csv format, txt, idoc, etc.) to an XML/EDI format (EDIFACT, X21, XML, VDA, TRADACOM, etc.) and vice versa. This way we ensure that the corporate ERP or internal management system will be able to integrate the data automatically, so that the user can easily access them.

What is EDI Mapping?

EDI Mapping is the data mapper or, what is the same, the translator that transforms the structures of the files into the standardized formats that enable an EDI relationship.

The IT engineers from EDICOM’s R+D+i laboratory have developed an application which not only translates the data into the standard required by each partner, but also does so in a way that is immediate and transparent for the user. This is the EbiMap tool (Edicom Business Integrator Mapping Tool).

How does EbiMap work?

This application is part of the EDICOM B2B Cloud Platform and is managed by a team of technicians to ensure that the transformation process is successful.

This is how EbiMap works:

  • Corporate users work from their own ERP and select the documents they want to exchange with their trading partner.
  • Automatically, the EDICOM platform recognises the recipient system and translates the files into a standard accepted by the receiving ERP. The process is immediate and invisible to the user.
  • The recipient receives the documents directly in their ERP, where they are integrated into the internal management system.

In the opposite communication direction, EbiMap also acts transparently when a new document arrives, transforming and integrating it into the system.

What are the advantages of data mapping?

Translating the data structures is crucial for the EDI relationship to run smoothly and to take advantage of all the benefits this technology can provide for companies.

EbiMap’s main advantages are:

  • As the tool works unassisted and is a universal data mapper, the user can communicate with any partner without difficulties or added tasks.
  • EbiMap adapts to the EDI or e-invoicing solution from EDICOM, which in turn is integrated with the ERP or in-house management system. This way, company workers have no need to modify their working processes or handle new environments.
  • Control and validation. In addition to translating the data, the application includes tools which validate the content and structures of documents sent or received. The aim is to detect any possible mistakes or inconsistencies in the information.
  • Multi-standard. EbiMap can handle multiple data structures and versions of the same message. This makes it an ideal tool for e-commerce with all types of trading partners, regardless of the activity sector, company size or location.