PilotFish – Robust Supply Chain X12 EDI Transaction Integration Support
PilotFish offers an all-in-one solution for X12 EDI messaging that supports all aspects of X12 EDI, including message syntax, standards, messaging protocols and transport mechanisms. Its Integration Engine provides powerful data transformation capabilities, error handling as well as real-time monitoring and reporting. Common types of supply chain and cross-use transactions supported by X12 EDI include Purchase Orders, Invoices and Payment Orders.
The ASC X12 (Accredited Standards Committee X12) developed the X12 EDI format primarily for use in US industries. The rising number of end-users in insurance, finance, healthcare, government, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and others has led to a growing demand for modern, cost-effective EDI integration solutions and services.
X12 EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a widely used standard for exchanging business transactions electronically. EDI messages contain an envelope and a hierarchical series of structural elements representing the business data being exchanged. The envelope contains control information such as the sender and receiver identities, transaction type and date/time stamp. The structural elements represent the business data being exchanged, such as purchase orders, invoices or shipping notices.
In addition to message syntax and standards, X12 EDI also requires a messaging protocol and transport mechanism to facilitate the exchange of messages between trading partners. The messaging protocol defines the rules for how messages are sent and received, while the transport mechanism defines how the messages are physically transmitted over a network.
PilotFish X12 EDI solution offers broad data transformation and X12 EDI messaging support for Supply Chain transactions across industry verticals.
PilotFish’s All-in-One Solution for X12 EDI Messaging
PilotFish’s eiConsole for X12 EDI provides the most robust product for rapid and efficient parsing, mapping, validation, and production of any X12 standards message. In addition, as a select distribution partner of X12, PilotFish has access to X12 standards artifacts and offers its licensees built-in X12 support, including X12 artifacts for the standard.
PilotFish’s Integration Engine solution supports all aspects of X12 EDI, including message syntax and standards, messaging protocols and transport mechanisms. The solution’s Graphical Automated Interface Assembly Line process makes it easy to transform and exchange EDI formats using XML syntax. This process employs XSLT, the W3C standard language defined to enable transformations of XML documents.
A future-proof solution delivered by PilotFish. With PilotFish, you are not just limited to working with EDI data. Connect anything to anything, including legacy systems and newer technologies. The tools perfectly suit non-developers and business analysts to perform up to 90% of the integration work to free up scarce resources.
PilotFish offers features and components that specifically support X12 Supply Chain Transaction Integration. These include:
- X12 Connector: The X12 Connector is a pre-built component that supports the parsing, validation and transformation of X12 EDI messages. The connector can read and write X12 messages in various versions and formats, including 4010, 5010, 6020 and 6030.
- X12 Optimized Mapping Tools: PilotFish’s Integration Engine comes with a comprehensive set of mapping tools that can be used to map data between different formats and standards. The eiConsole for X12 EDI Data Mapper component has a powerful EDI Format Builder, making it easy for users to work with transactions. Users need only enter the external schema file or external EDI file name of the transaction they want to work with, which takes just seconds to read in the transaction. Once loaded, the graphical drag & drop mapping process can begin, enabling efficient transformation and exchange of X12 EDI messages.
- eiConsole’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE): The IDE is a graphical tool that can be used to design, develop and test integration workflows. The tool provides a drag & drop interface for building complex integration workflows and can be used to define routing rules as well as execute business logic.
- Built-in Data Transformation: PilotFish’s Integration Engine provides powerful data transformation capabilities for transforming data from one format to another. The graphical data mapper allows users to transform data via a visual drag & drop user interface. The solution supports data mapping via a graphical view or XSLT; users can toggle between the graphical or code view in real time.
- Error Handling Module: The Integration Engine includes a powerful error handling module to manage errors and exceptions. The module supports the automatic handling of errors, notifications and retries.
- Real-time Monitoring and Reporting: PilotFish’s Integration Engine provides real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities to track the performance of integration workflows. The eiDashboard is an optional web-based application that displays key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to generate custom reports.
Understanding EDI – Message Structure Basics
EDI messages begin with a header identifying the kind of message being sent. Several components called segments follow the header. These are provided in the sequence specified by the message specification. Each segment is further divided into fields containing a value using a data type specified by the standard. Messages, segments and fields are delimited by special characters, which vary depending on the standard. Fields may be further subdivided into components and subcomponents. A single segment or groups of segments can repeat (these are called loops in the X12 world), allowing complex structures to be communicated.
Segments begin with a 2 or 3-letter code like ST or ISA. Some segments are mandatory, while some are not. The mandatory segments of X12 are:
- ISA – interchange header that contains information about the sender and recipient.
- GS – functional group header segment of a set of X12 documents of the same document type (transaction set): includes information (codes) about the functional group (sender, recipient and date/time).
- ST – transaction set header segment marking the start of a transaction set.
- SE – transaction set trailer segment marking the end of a transaction set.
- GE – functional group trailer segment of the same transaction set – includes information on the number of functional groups and control group number (marks the end of a group of transaction sets).
- IEA – end of the interchange – including interchange control reference number and information on the number of functional groups.
The hierarchical structure of an EDI message enables transaction sets/messages and groups to be batched. Even if an interchange contains only one transaction set/message and only one group, that interchange is structured with the same basic structural elements that it would have if it were batched – with the exception that there would not be multiple transaction set/message or group elements.
Common Types of Supply Chain & Cross-Use Transactions
|Return Notification and Authorization
|Payment Order and Remittance Advice
|Inventory Inquiry and Advice
|Purchase Order Acknowledgment
|Purchase Order Change
By embedding its in-depth knowledge of the X12 schemas and standards within the eiConsole and eiPlatform product suite, PilotFish delivers breakthrough productivity-boosting features that strip away the technical complexity of parsing, validating, mapping and producing X12 EDI files.
By leveraging PilotFish’s eiConsole for EDI X12 solution, users can easily create integration workflows that parse and validate incoming EDI messages, transform them into the desired format and transmit them to the appropriate destination using the desired messaging protocol and transport mechanism.
Discover the power of PilotFish for yourself with our FREE 90-day Trial Download of the eiConsole for X12 EDI or Contact Us to set up a custom demo.
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X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute for more than 35 years, develops and maintains EDI standards and XML schemas.