The challenge of EDI
EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, has always been a challenging domain for organisations to support. EDI standards cover a wide range of industries, from supply chain to medical to financial services, and these standards rapidly evolve and change over time, thus requiring constant maintenance. The sheer cost of maintaining standards is high, not only for organisations but also for EDI software vendors who struggle to keep up. The expensive fees charged by standards organisations and rapidly evolving releases are the main reasons there are no high quality open source EDI tools in the community.
Traditionally, large monolithic proprietary Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) suites included a parser/transformation engine and tooling at their heart. GUI-based mapping tools were the go-to tool of choice for EDI teams, who could focus on field-level mapping and basic field manipulation using a dedicated graphical mapping tool. As companies began to move away from an EAI architecture to an Agile Integration (Microservices) approach, a large gap formed in the market for supporting EDI. An example of agile integration is Apache Camel – an open source, lightweight, library for implementing Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP). Unfortunately, Apache Camel and its competitors have little support for EDI standards.
Create EDI solutions quickly with Transformer
Transformer is the ideal solution for working with EDI standards across all business areas:
- Transport/Energy/etc – X12
- Healthcare – HL7/FHIR
- Financial – SWIFT/CREST/FIX/ISO 20022/etc
Transformer dramatically shortens the time taken to build validation and mapping solutions involving complex standards.
The analyst using Transformer creates solutions directly in the intuitive Design-Time GUI. There is no coding stage, even when the required data transformation is highly complex. Projects remain clearly articulated and easy to maintain, and removing the old-fashioned ‘spec handover’ from analyst to developer eliminates a major source of risk and delay.
Transformer’s message definition libraries capture all the details of EDI standards in a business-friendly way, making them ideal for real-world project needs. Transformer’s libraries provide user-friendly names and full descriptions for all fields, components, and data range values, and fully supports cross-validation rules.
Users create mappings very easily in Transformer. For example, copying a field from the source to the target message just takes a simple ‘drag and drop’ action – Transformer automatically takes care of any reformatting required between the source and target syntax. To handle more complex mappings, Transformer provides a huge range of ready-made ‘mapping action’ building blocks. These can include conditions, which can in turn be combined into complex logic. So even really complex EDI solutions can be created at lightning pace.
You can also run a test on each new ‘line’ of a mapping or validation as soon as it has been added, moving the testing process as far upstream as possible, and ensuring high quality from the very start. Transformer also provides powerful regression testing facilities to help ensure that future standards changes do not adversely impact existing solutions.
You can learn more about all of these Transformer features here
Transformer’s simple API and its range of specialised service builders allow solutions to be deployed rapidly into any integration architecture, including OSGi, development frameworks such as Java or .NET, RESTful service containers and traditional Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)/Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) architectures.
Transformer is especially appealing to Red Hat Fuse clients thanks to its deep integration with Camel – the ability to update the Camel Exchange, Header or Body at runtime and share data sources. Trace has created the ability to build an OSGi bundle that can talk to your Camel routes and deploy to Karaf, as well as the ability to run inside a SpringBoot container. And the best part – it all deploys and runs seamlessly on Red Hat OpenShift using the Fuse Integration Services (FIS).
Transformer offers customers, service providers, and application vendors the tools required to manage message transformations using any EDI standard:
- Eliminate coding — Build models with business logic and deploy directly
- Create mappings easily — Drag and drop or choose from ready-built mappings
- Use ready-built standards libraries — get a head start with regularly updated, comprehensive libraries
- Test as you build — Debug quickly and easily without affecting the production environment
- Maintain more easily — Model-based approach highlights areas impacted by changing standards
- Deploy anywhere — Each deployment is independent and thread-safe