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ECS/EDI Processor for iSeries

EDI maximises the efficiency of exchanging business transactions, within your trading community and across enterprise boundaries. It enables the application-to-application exchange of information removing the need for human intervention.

EDI can change the way your company does business without any major re-development to the architecture of your existing business application software. To stay ahead in today's market, companies are choosing EDI because it offers speedy transactions, accurate information exchange and cost savings. EDI can help your company to manage your supply chain more effectively and supports initiatives like Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing and Efficient Consumer Response (ECR).

The ECS/EDI Processor is an extension to ECS/integrated email especially written for the IBM iSeries (AS/400) it provides seamless integration for your AS/400 Business Application to exchange EDI transactions with the outside world.  The ECS/EDI Processor generates and validates EDI messages sourced from AS/400 applications. Inbound EDI messages are mapped to DB/400 files ready for posting to the AS/400 business application. The ECS/EDI Processor is event driven with proactive error notification for fully automated operation. 

Implemented properly, EDI can save companies a lot of time and money in both personnel and material costs. Because incoming orders, invoices, etc. no longer have to be entered into a company's computer system manually, the labour cost of the data entry personnel is saved. Furthermore, there is no possibility of typing errors. For outgoing documents, all of the paper and paper handling costs associated with printing and mailing the documents are saved. There are costs associated with transmitting EDI documents, but these are small compared with the paper, paper handling and mailing costs.

The ECS/EDI Processor can be integrated with any AS/400 Business Application. Integration is performed by developing mapping programs to map the data from the Business Application (shown in the following diagram in Yellow).  The point of application integration with the ECS/EDI Processor is the same for either Inbound or Outbound transactions, with two DB/400 physical files. To aid a smooth and rapid implementation, a working Sample application is supplied complete with mapping programs and documented source code demonstrating how Conversion and Selection programs are built,  these can be used as templates and adapted to suit your EDI and Business Application requirements .

Management of Trading Partner relationships and communications is performed using ECS/integrated email (ECS/ie). EDI Interchange files can be exchanged via email, FTP'd, published on a Web Server or transmitted via a supported Value Added Network (VAN), such as IBM Expedite. 

An EDI Trading Partner Event must be defined  before Inbound or Outbound transactions can be processed. The Trading Partner Event defines the definition of the transaction, for mapping, validation and communications. An administrator is assigned to each Trading Partner Event, who is automatically notified by email or paged if an error occurs. 

The ECS/EDI Processor is supplied with a predefined EDI Standards database containing the UN/EDIFACT  & Tradacoms Message, Segment, Element & Code List tables used for Message Validation and data conversion.   

Outbound Processing

The ECS/EDI Processor requires the Transaction and Control records to have been created by an external user developed Generation program. The Generation program is closely linked to the Business Application and should be designed/developed according to the Business Application & EDI Message Agreement requirements. The ECS/EDI Processor is responsible for compiling the EDI formatted Messages, validation, consolidation, packing and handover to communications application for transmission.

The ECS/EDI Processor will perform the following processing, in three stages, to translate the AS/400 Business Application data to a formatted and validated EDI Interchange:


Stage (1) - Message Generation

  • Reads through control file selecting Outbound mapped EDI Transactions

  • Retrieves related Transaction records

  • Perform Element data cross reference

  • Insert required release characters into element data

  • Perform individual character translation for Syntax Set

  • Compose Segment records using Transaction Detail & message definition

  • Compress Segment Records to remove redundant delimiters

  • Generate Individual Message(s)

Stage (2) Message Validation

  • Segment Tag Identifier

  • Populated Elements

  • Coded Elements against related code list table

  • Element Minimum & Maximum lengths

  • Validate individual characters against Permitted Character set

Stage (3) Interchange Pack

  • Insert Message Envelopes

  • Consolidate Messages into Interchange

  • Insert Interchange Envelope

  • Generate Interchange in Output folder, ready for transmission

  • Update EDI Control file (IEXC)

The configuration of the EDI Trading Partner Event is performed centrally,  within ECS/integrated email. The following is an example of the configuration of an Outbound EDI Trading Partner Event: 



Inbound Processing

Inbound Interchanges are placed into an Input folder by the communications application, Inbound EDI Trading Partner Events are configured to scan an Input folder, which is automatically performed on each cycle of the ECS/EDI Processor. The Inbound EDI Interchange is selected, matched to a Trading Partner Event, Unpacked into individual messages, validated and finally converted to the AS/400 database ready for mapping to the Business Application.   

The ECS/EDI Processor will perform the processing of Inbound EDI Interchanges, in three stages, to achieve the target of converting Inbound EDI Interchanges to AS/400 database format in preparation for mapping to the AS/400 Business Application: 


Stage (1) Interchange Unpack

  • Read interchange header, locate related Trading Partner

  • Extract Messages into individual files

  • Read message header, locate related Trading Partner Event

Stage (2) Message Validation

  • Segment Tag Identifier

  • Populated Elements

  • Coded Elements against related code list table

  • Element Minimum & Maximum lengths

  • Validate individual characters against Permitted Character set

Stage (3) Message Conversion

  • Reads through control file selecting Outbound mapped EDI Transactions

  • De-Compose Segment records using Transaction Detail & message definition

  • Remove release characters from element data

  • Perform Element data cross reference

  • Write Transaction records containing data and element references (IEYT)

  • Write EDI Control Record (IEXC)



All errors encountered during Inbound and Outbound processing is proactively reported by email to the Event Administrator. Data control and Error Maintenance is performed using EDI Transaction Control. 


Supported EDI Standards 

  • EDIFACT (including subsets, such as EANCOM, EDIFICE etc..)

  • Tradacoms

Supported EDI Communications 

  • email

  • FTP

  • MQSeries

  • POP3 / SMTP

  • IBM IE TCP/IP (Expedite)

  • Cleo Lexicom

    • FTP with optional SSL/TLS for security (FTP/S)

    • HTTP with optional SSL/TLS (HTTPS)

    • AS2 eBusinessReadyTM, certified by Drummond Group

    • IBM Information Exchange

    • Global eXchange Services

    • Sterling Information Broker

    • UCCnet

    • and many more

ECS/EDI Processor is fully integrated with the Cleo Lexicom robust communications tool, supporting the widely used IP based protocols FTP, HTTP, HTTPS and AS2 as well as all major EDI Value Added Networks (VANs) 


View the full Online Product Documentation.

View the Online documentation

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For more information contact Electronic Commerce Solutions

IBM Business Partner in Development for iSeries AS/400 ecommerce solutions  




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