Browse Prior Art Database

Technique for Electronic Data Interchange Supplier Simulation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118563D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 110K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mirlas, L: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for simulating an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) supplier. The technique allows one to quickly set up a system which automatically sends out EDI responses to the incoming EDI messages. The responses correspond to the incoming messages, in that fields can be transferred from the incoming messages to the response messages.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 42% of the total text.

Technique for Electronic Data Interchange Supplier Simulation

      Disclosed is a method for simulating an Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) supplier.  The technique allows one to quickly set
up a system which automatically sends out EDI responses to the
incoming EDI messages.  The responses correspond to the incoming
messages, in that fields can be transferred from the incoming
messages to the response  messages.

      In an EDI purchasing system, the buyer generates a message,
e.g., a purchase order, and expects a reply from the supplier, e.g.,
purchase order response.

      Normally, a supplier uses a tool to generate the EDI data in
response to client requests.  However, in a development environment
that tool is not necessarily ready.  Furthermore, even if the
properly mapped  supplier tool is available, its operation is not
always easily automated.

      Therefore, this disclosure describes a tool to automatically
generate EDI messages in response to buyer requests.

      This tool was implemented for a number of message types in the
EDIFACT standard on the UNIX* platform.

      The idea behind this tool is to use template files to generate
EDIFACT messages.  This can be illustrated by the following example:

      An ORDRSP message must be generated in response to a given
ORDERS message.  The ORDRSP template file is used to build the ORDRSP
EDI file.  Those fields that must be passed from the input ORDERS
file are filled with unique sequence of characters, such as, where
the ORDRSP should have the control number of the original ORDERS
message, the sequence 'ORDERS NUMBER' is used.

      The idea is to use a tool, such as 'SED' (a pattern
substitution tool widely available on UNIX and other platforms) to
replace the 'ORDERS NUMBER' in the template with the appropriate
field extracted from the incoming EDI file.

      The EDI message generator operates automatically, i.e., given
an input EDI file, it generates a valid EDI response file.  The tool
works in the following stages:
  1.  Receive the incoming EDI file
  2.  Preprocess the incoming EDI file
  3.  Generate a 'changes' file
  4.  Use the 'changes' file as input to 'sed' to generate
       the EDI response file
  5.  Post-process the response to produce a valid EDI file
  6.  Send the EDI response file

      The following describes the above processing stages using the
case where the incoming EDI file has the filename 'Rcv':
  1.  Preprocess the incoming EDI file
      o  The EDI file is split into a multi-line document, so
          that each segment resides on a line by itself.
           This is necessary to simplify subsequent processing,
          since line-oriented tools (such as 'sed') are widely
          available on UNIX.
           Splitting an EDIFACT file into multiple lines is
          quite easily accomplished using the sed t...