Overview EDI Data Formats
There are several commonly used data formats for data interchange between business partners. A lot of them are text based formats combined with a description of their usage. We will give you an overview over some commonly used formats that are supported by Anveo EDI Connect. Even if a data format is missing in our list we probably have a way to support it in Anveo EDI Connect. Feel free to contact us.
Plain-Text/CSV – Comma-separated values
A lot of data interchange formats are text based. With Anveo EDI Connect you can import and export data as text from and to Microsoft Dynamics NAV. There are a lot of different ways to format the data. Examples are fixed length fields, using separation characters and record based formats. In Anveo EDI Connect you can specify the source and destination tables and fields of the data. You can define filters that the data is processed differently, for example, based on the record type of a line.
Example of a simple CSV-File:
# Record Type = CUST;Name;No. CUST;Smith, John;1000 # Record Type = ORDER;No.;Item No.;Qty ORDER;10023;IX3243;5 ORDER;10023;IX3241;1 ORDER;10023;IX3248;2
UN/EDIFACT – United Nations Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport
A commonly used format to exchange data between business partners, especially in Europe, is UN/EDIFACT.
There are a lot of systems that support data interchange via EDIFACT. With Anveo EDI Connect you can exchange data with any entity supporting an EDIFACT messages. There are a lot of different versions of the standard. Each version is named, for example, D96A. Anveo EDI Connect supports all versions of the EDIFACT standard.
The standard is grouped by Message Types. Commonly used Message Types are Orders (ORDERS), Order Responses (ORDRSP), Despatch Advices (DESADV), Commercial Invoices (INVOIC), and many more. Anveo EDI Connect supports all Message Types incoming and outgoing. For example, our customers are using remittance advises (REMADV), warenhouse shipments (INSDES), freight data (IFTMIN), sales reports (SLSRPT) and inventory reports (INVRPT).
There are also a lot of subsets. Like EANCOM, EDIELEKTRO, EDIGAS, [email protected], EDITEC, ODETTE and many more. With Anveo EDI Connect you are able to process also all subsets of EDIFACT.
The following example will show you the beginning of a typical EDIFACT file:
UNB+UNOC:3+1234567890123:14+0987654321098:14+120501:1324+1' UNH+777+ORDERS:D:96A:UN:EAN008' BGM+220+ORD111111+9' DTM+137:120501:102'
The data is structured into segments like in this example UNB, UNH, BGM and DTM. The actual data is stored in so called data elements, which are usually separated by the + and : characters. The data elements can be children of the segment in which case they are separated by the + character or they can be children of composites, separated by the : character. It is also possible to use different separation characters.
ASC/X12 – Accredited Standards Committee X12
The Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12) is responsible for maintaining a set of EDI standards. The X12 standards are mostly used in the US and by international companies. There are a lot of message types for different applications.
Standard message types are, for example, 850 – Purchase Order, 857 – Shipping and Billing Notice.
The data format is very similar to UN/EDIFACT, but X12 uses variable separation characters, which are defined in the ISA segment at the begin of the message. Anveo EDI Connect supports every message type of X12. The functionality of the assistant varies depending on the message type, but it is always possible to import the file, create the structure out of the example file and map the fields to Microsoft Dynamics NAV tables
ISA*00* *00* *01*0123456789 *12*1123456789 *100325*1113*U*00403*000011436*0*T*>~ GS*PO*1234567890*1234567890*20140411*1354*1704*X*004010~ ST*850*00001234~
XML – Extensible Markup Language
XML files are supported by a lot of systems. In XML you can specify the data in a structured way. XML is very flexible and allows a variety of different file formats. With Anveo EDI Connect you can import and Export XML in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Anveo EDI Connect gives you are flexible way of handling your XML files with a lot more options than the build in XML-Ports of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Example of an XML-File:
<Root xmlns="http://anveogroup.com/2014/examples/communication"> <Item No="IX3241"> <Description> Item description with <b>Formated</b> Text </Description> </Item> </Root>
XML uses elements, like <Item>, attributes like No=”IX3241″ and content nodes to structure the data. It is possible to define validation rules. XML supports namespaces and prefixes for more complex formats.
There are a lot of XML based data formats, like IDOC used by SAP, cXML, OpenTrans and many more.
IDOC – Intermediate Document
XML based data format used by SAP. XML is fully supported by Anveo EDI Connect, but this data format is quite difficult to setup due to the amount of transferred data.
cXML – Commerce XML
XML based data format used, for example, by Ariba. XML is fully supported by Anveo EDI Connect. But cXML also specifies the communication channel, which might require additional software.
XML based data format. XML is fully supported by Anveo EDI Connect.
VDA – Verband der Automobilindustrie
The VDA is an organisation that released some standards used in the automotive sector. The original file format is a fixed-length Plain-Text/CSV file format. The files are often times mainframe coded. The file format is in general supported by Anveo EDI Connect. The different messages types, like shipments, invoices etc. have names like VDA4906, VDA4913 etc. Newer versions also encode the data as UN/EDIFACT.
Communication and Data Transfer
File-based and message-based communication
There are two variants to send EDI data. One is to send files to the business partner, the other one is to send messages.
The difference between file based and message based data transfer is the metadata provided with the transmission.
FTP – File Transfer Protocol
FTP is a file based communication protocol. The channel is unencrypted for standard FTP. The protocol is client/server based. The client can access the files on the server. It is possible to create directories, read and rename files and delete them. For an encrypted version of the FTP protocol see FTPS and SFTP.
Anveo EDI Connect supports FTP over an optional add-in that is included with every license. The add-in can act as a FTP client and supports various properties of the FTP protocol, such as active and passive data transfer mode.
FTPS – FTP over TLS
FTPS is an encrypted version of the FTP protocol. Like FTP it is file based. There are several options for the encryption of the communication channel. The implicit mode establishes the secured channel before sending any other data, whereas the explicit mode establishes the encryption explicitly by calling a command on the server.
Anveo EDI Connect supports FTPS over an optional add-in that can act as an FTPS client.
SSH – Secure Shell
SSH is an encrypted network protocol that allows the execution of commands on the remote server. One can use SSH to tunnel other protocols like SFTP over a secured channel. Another possibility is to use SCP for the encrypted transmission of data.
SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol
SFTP is a file based, encrypted network protocol that provides functionality for transferring and managing files over a secure data channel. For this it uses the FTP protocol over an SSH secured connection.
Anveo EDI Connect can support SSH and SFTP via an optional add-in. If you required this feature please contact us.
SCP – Secure Copy
Allows a file-based, encrypted data transfer. For this It uses the SSH protocol.
Anveo EDI Connect can support SCP via an optional add-in. If you required this feature please contact us.
X.400 – Message Handling System
Is a message-based, encrypted data exchange system. X.400 is a mailbox system and is used for file sharing of Anveo EDI Connect messages.
Anveo EDI Connect allows the connection of external communication components. For the X.400 data transfer you’ll need a X.400 client software or a service provider. In general, we recommend a service provider which can be accessed directly by the Anveo EDI Connect add-in to allow a complete error monitoring inside of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
AS/2 – Applicability Statement 2
Allows secured message based data exchange via the Internet. It generates envelopes for messages that can request the confirmation of the transmission. AS/2 is designed primarily for business use, features like MDNs provide evidence of the transmission of data.
Anveo EDI Connect supports AS / 2 currently only via external software or service. This is mainly for technical reasons, since a server must listen for responses of the remote site and it is not recommended to host such servers from inside NAV. A complete integration of external software, including error monitoring is possible.
OFTP – Odette File Transfer Protocol
OFTP is primarly used in the automotive sector. It is a message based transfer protocol that supports various data channels. It can encrypt and compress messages before sending them. Unlike the name suggests it is technically very different from FTP. OFTP can handle very large files, can resume a failed message transfer and supports integrity checks.
Anveo EDI Connect can work with external OFTP software. It is possible to integrate the software into the communication architecture of Anveo EDI Connect to ensure that the user is able to monitor the file transfer from inside Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
POP3 – Post Office Protocol 3
POP3 is a message based communication protocol. It allows to retrieve e-mails from a mail server. It is very limited in functionality because it only allows listing, fetching and deleting e-mails on the server. SMTP is the counterpart to send messages. POP3 can be used in an encrypted or unencrypted mode.
Anveo EDI Connect supports POP3 via an optional add-in.
SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SMTP is used to send e-mails. Thus it is a message based protocol. It is possible to encrypt the communication channel before sending data. To retrieve messages POP3 or IMAP is used.
Anveo EDI Connect Anveo EDI Connect supports SMTP via an optional add-in.
MDN – Message Disposition Notification
Delivery notification, for example for AS/2 transmissions.
IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol
Network protocol for retrieving email messages.