EXTOL Adds Dashboard Views to EDI Software
March 18, 2008 Alex Woodie
How would you like a graphical view of your company’s outbound deliveries continually updated throughout the day? It could help you spot costly errors, especially compared to reading printed manifests one by one, or monitoring EDI transactions. Such an application is possible with the latest release of EXTOL‘s i5/OS-based EDI translation software, EDI Integrator 6.2, which introduces a new real-time graphical dashboard capability.
For companies in certain industries, such as consumer goods and automotive, EDI transactions are the lifeblood of the organization. Employees don’t produce and machinery doesn’t roll until those purchase orders, invoices, and shipment notices are sent and accepted.
For years, EDI Integrator has handled those EDI transactions, acting as an I/O adapter of sorts for inbound and outbound EDI activity for hundreds i5/OS-based ERP installations. Now, with version 6.2, EXTOL is tapping into the circulation of EDI documents to show customers information about how their B2B operations are flowing, in real-time.
EXTOL foresees the new Java-based dashboard being used by customer and supplier account managers to view specific data about partner transactions, processes, compliance, and events. For example, it could be configured to display information about orders placed, orders shipped, and transaction turn around time, for specific partner accounts. Shipments, deliveries, payments, and supporting orders could also be called up based on pieces of data entered by the managers, such as time frames, customer account numbers, and other reference data.
The new dashboard will give managers the capability to spot exceptions and errors immediately, says Mark Denchy, director of product management for Extol. “The EEI [Extol EDI Integrator] dashboard adds a new dimension of visibility and manageability for business professionals, who can use it to manage customer and supplier account relationships,” he says. “Monitoring of partner compliance, response times, and other supply chain performance parameters is straightforward. As a result, Extol customers can manage by exception, rather than by brute-force administration.”
The new dashboard is based on the JBoss portal, and complies with the JSR-168 portlet standard. It can be viewed in any standard Web browser.
The dashboard has received positive feedback from early testers, says Denchy. “It’s a novel experience for non-IT people to be able to have a near real-time view of operations, and to have the data they need to make decisions and respond proactively, versus reacting long after the fact to a situation,” he says.
Besides the dashboard, other new features in EDI Integrator include better management of trading partner information, and more effective management of transaction errors and messaging.
EXTOL EDI Integrator 6.2 is available now. The software supports i5/OS V6R1, V5R4, and V5R3. Pricing typically ranges from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the size of the System i server and the number of trading partners the customer has. For more information, visit www.extol.com.