An EDI translator has traditionally been used to take data from a
business application and map it into EDI standard formats. The EDI
translation software will often also come with communications
software to connect to a VAN (Valued Added Network) or to communicate
EDI over the Internet.
During the 1990's there were many commercially available EDI
translators and a majority of trading partners maintained an in-house
EDI translator. Today translation can also be obtained as an
service. Many of today's EDI translators do more than simply map EDI
transactions. They have the capability to do any-to-any mapping
from almost any file format to another, including XML. However, to be a valuable EDI
translation software package, it should include as a minimum, standard
maps for the X12 EDI transactions.
An EDI translator often come with maps, sometimes referred to as
overlays or templates. A map can be a generic X12 map, as an
example, an X12 4010 850 Purchase Order or it can be a specific map,
such as a Sears Version 4010VICS 850 Purchase Order. The availability of
these standard maps can save a lot of start up time in implementing a
new EDI trading partner.
The process of developing a map is called EDI mapping and the EDI
software is sometimes referred to as an EDI Mapper. Some
EDI translators (mappers) come with the ability for the user to generate the maps and
some do not, requiring the user to purchase maps from the vendor.
We provide a list of
EDI Software and
Service Providers who offer either EDI Translation Software or EDI
Contact the EDI Center