EDI and Software Applications
EDI and JAVA
Java is a programming language originally developed by Sun Microsystems and launched in 1995. While generally compiled to byte code, direct hardware execution of byte code by a Java processor is also possible. Currently, almost all of Java’s software is available under the GNU General Public License. Hence it has become free software. The Java programs most identifiable characteristic is that is platform independent, meaning that it should be able to be written and compiled once, and then be able to be run anywhere.
JAVA script is run on systems worldwide, and while not essential to all system, is intrinsic to many. Java develops Web services using applications and tools within their Web Services Stack. In this stack includes applications such as JAX-WS, JAXB, WSIT, JAXP, and XWSS, which create secure reliable, transactional, interoperable Web services.
Within the EDI environment, which requires a great number of translations, from one format to another in order to make communications understood, Java is present. Java integration with EDI documents is prolific. Products such as EDIReader allow for Java to be parsed bringing it into line with EDI standards.
It is able to be used in XML based systems that have custom SAX parsing. It can support HL7 standard documents, UN/EDIFACT, JDOM and ANSI documents.
It can also turn style sheets into EDI documents. Basically, Java helps to parse EDI documents. There are other products on the market which are translators and Envelope builders for the EDI process. As a translator, the OBOE system parses an EDI/XML file into Java objects. The objects are then used to interact with a GUI or database or some other process such as a web page or batch program.
As an envelope builder, it takes the EDI Objects and Java objects, and builds an EDI document. The EDI document can then be sent via e-mail, to a VAN for transmission, transmitted using a proprietary message delivering system, printed out and faxed – really a wide range of options and what that means is that the Java application separates all the components of the actual underlying “computer talk” of the text, and allows these technical elements then to be able to be represented as other document formats. Thus within EDI, the Java applications allow the EDI documents to be represented through other data formats following translation by the Java application.
EDI and .NET
According to Microsoft, .NET is a service delivery platform that supports business needs and Web service-connected IT. It is basically an umbrella term which encompasses a variety of technologies from Microsoft. The .NET framework is an integral part of the Windows operating system.
It maintains servers to host Web services, development tools to create them, applications to use them, and a worldwide network. It offers a range of Web service technologies that allow users to increase business possibilities by expanding their understanding of how technology can help. This technology is integrated throughout Microsoft products.
.NET is able to map EDI into business objects that can then be used by any .NET programming language such as Visual Basic, C#, Segments, and Data Fields can be mapped directly into objects and properties, for integration with any EDI format.
.NET advertises that it helps organizations get the most out of their technology, while creating new ways to implement other technologies. .NET is a force within the new Net culture, as it enables enterprises to transmit EDI documents.
.NET provides EDI a pathway for EDI to be transmitted through the Internet. The framework is within most Microsoft products, and is required for Widows and Vista applications. The movement of an EDI within the Internet is somewhat different to traditional EDI transmission. While it goes from the sender, it can then be transmitted using Internet protocols such as FTP or HTTP. This allows for a very fast transmission, and can also be encrypted for increased security.
EDI and Web Services
The W3C (World Wide Web Corporation) defines Web Services as a software system designed to support interoperable Machine to Machine interaction over a network. They are often an application programming interface (API) which is Web based, and as such is able to be accessed over a network, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services.
Commonly the term Web Services refers to client servers that communicate using XML messages that follow the SOAP standard. SOAP is the protocol for exchanging XML based messages over computer networks, generally with HTTP. It is the basic messaging framework that supports more abstract layers.
For Java and .NET SOAP frameworks, the Web Services Description Language is a prerequisite, so that the information is able to be read by the receiving server. Web Services has no single set of specifications, and no absolute requirement.
However, the three main specifications of SOAP, WSDL and UDDI can be supplemented by non integral specifications when required. Web Services are being developed all throughout the IT industry as the new way to improve the technological communication between businesses. It provides businesses with solutions as to how they can improve efficiency of their services. However, Web Services is not just an advisory service. It is built on a framework of software.
Within the environment of EDI, solutions in this sense are applications which can bridge between the current technology of a system, and the upgrade of it. These solutions include mapping products, EDI implementation, web hosting, and integration, synchronizing with various parts of the business and trade partners.
A solution means that if there are problems or gaps within the EDI system for an enterprise, the entire industry of EDI experts are able to provide some end point solution. They are able to establish the needs of the enterprise and either custom create a solution, or supply with a ready made solution. These solutions are aimed at increasing productivity, and promoting connectivity between trading partners.
In this way, the current frameworks of any enterprise can be upgraded to create more efficient systems. Solutions can determine how to interface with systems and work with diverse EDI data sets using a variety of programming tools. They are potent within the areas of shipment status; purchase orders; important bills; advance shipment notices; and shipment information.
Solutions can be software that is both stand-alone and within integrated operations. Solutions can be found within all industries that utilize EDI. Other companies offer EDI and third party integration; sourcing management; logistics management; event management; and PO invoice reconciliation on the buyer’s side of solutions.
On the vendor’s side, the offers are for EDI and Web-EDI; Fax to EDI conversion; order management; scan-packing; and event management for vendors.