In-house EDI

Inhouse EDI solutions entail investments and costs for the customer to maintain its B2B EDI infrastructure.

On-Premise EDI

Deploying an on-premise EDI solution entails a company having to set aside areas to install the physical and logical architecture required to implement its B2B EDI infrastructure.

Installation involves commissioning servers and machinery to process the parts of a complete EDI platform, which may include translation and message-mapping tools, dedicated data-integration solutions or communication services to administer the protocols used to send and receive the EDI transactions exchanged with your trading partner community.

They can be highly complex installations, particularly in the case of companies with large volumes of B2B EDI exchanges or ones which may also even require specific compliance capabilities to align the transactions managed with the fiscal requirements of a tax authority on e-invoicing  matters.

This, together with the critical nature of the transactions handled from these installations, generally involve having to earmark a significant amount of physical and human resources to ensuring the uninterrupted operation of all the EDI infrastructure housed onsite.

All of these factors explain the growing trend of taking on B2B EDI projects in SaaS mode, outsourcing all necessary technical infrastructure to a service provider, along with the developments and maintenance work to implement in the different applications involved in the rollout of a customer's EDI solution. It is also possible to implement management services usually known as EDI outsourcing in these SaaS solutions. This involves delegating EDI solution set-up, admin and monitoring tasks to a service provider as well as work on incident tracking, communication failures, protocol settings and GLNs (global location numbers).

What do I need to implement an inhouse EDI solution?

The technical requirements to take on an inhouse EDI installation will differ according to the complexity and volume of documents to manage. At least the following components must be present to some degree:

Database and application servers

The physical architecture of these types of installations involves handling large data volumes and systems to archive and retrieve the electronic documents exchanged.

Remember it entails transactions that are critical to the business relationship of EDI-integrated partners, so the hardware infrastructure must be sized to ensure the necessary data processing, archiving and back-up capabilities associated with electronic document interchange.

EDI software

Dedicated applications will be needed to administer the overall solution. This usually involves investing in third-party licences and maintaining them to access the support and upgrade services needed to prevent the infrastructure becoming obsolete. The software parts embedded in an integrated EDI solution will normally include:

  • B2B EDI messaging client: A specific solution to monitor the status of documents sent and received and parameterize all the aspects involved in EDI solution maintenance, such as global location numbers, electronic signatures, communications, rules, alerts and so on.
  • App integrator: Electronic data interchange involves the integration of management apps, meaning that the installation must include a dedicated service to orchestrate the procedures to follow in order to secure these integrations.
  • Mapping and translation tools: The messages exchanged between EDI partners must be able to be interpreted by the companies’ management systems. Finance, accounts payable, admin and business development departments have to handle all transactions from their internal IT systems, so the installation must necessarily include dedicated tools to enable data structure conversion to EDI standards and to translate these standards into ERP-interpretable formats.

Communication services

Messages sent and messages received must be routed through dedicated B2B EDI communication protocols. Contracted VAN communications and the implementation of direct communications via systems such as AS, SFT-P, OFTP, etc., require the installation, management and maintenance of specific services dedicated to communications.