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Existing EDI communications / generation handled by a mix of the following products; CLEO (VLTrader) for AS2 & FTP communication with VAN and customers. Emanio (Trading Partners Workgroup) Generate / translate data to / from X12 format Lots of custom code that interfaces between our SYSPRO (ERP package) & SQL server to trigger & produce the raw data.

What we have is working, but isn't as stable or scalable as it should be for a company growing at our pace.

I came from an EDI world where everything was handled with custom Cobol code, and an onsite set of programmers to support it.

The current world as I described above, is modified by Third-Party consultants at an increasingly high rate, in very dated VB code.

I know this will be an expensive press, and will take time, but how do I determine, WHEN to switch to a new environment to support EDI communications, and WHAT 'packaged' solutions offer the flexibility & growth a legitimate business needs to continue?

Gentran / BizTalk / ???

SYSPRO as an ERP is not going away, and the Micsrosoft SQL server will remain as the data collection point.

Educate me on how to spend the company $. Thanks

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I think this is a question that belongs on Stackoverflow. – FortunateDuke Oct 20 '09 at 14:48
what are your business requirements? – Nick Kavadias Oct 20 '09 at 14:54
Microsoft centric site. Currently exchange documents with 45+ customers and growing. 204/210/214/940/945/943/944/856/990 document types AS2 & FTP communications support. Need a system that is supportable by more than just 'those in the know' within the company. Stability mixed with scalability, as the company actively expands with new corporate acquisitions. Being able to maintain current operation while transitioning to better long term solution. Cost (long term) is NOT a prevailing determining factor if the best solution is found for longevity. – DavidGrove Oct 20 '09 at 16:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Investing in new EDI infrastructure depends on a few things

  • Cost (Most importantly)
  • Time
  • IT Support
  • Hardware
  • Modifications to current network infrastructure

IMO - Small size business with one or two trading partners is better off offloading (rendering) the service to a 3rd party, providing that the count of invoices, PO etc stay withing budgeted amounts. The VANS these days are very costly indeed (per character or KBs).

EDI is gradually moving to XML no doubt. While this is on the move, BIZTalk is taking strong hold. This is allowing companies to provide the services in-house. BizTalk is not for the faint at heart though. It's a complex piece of technology and requires some overhead (Hardware, licenseing, training).

If you have a medium size businness and a few trading partners, SQL Server 2005 in place, and a very good programmer (VB or C#), then just shell out some cash and purchase a library like the one from EDIDEV...thats what I did. And it's working out just great. I saved on hardware and licensing. There is another library called DotNetEDI, but I just couldn't get them to respond to my emails, perhaps you might be lucky.

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