EXTOL Adds Automated FTP to EDI Translator
January 21, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that use the EDI translation tool from EXTOL to communicate with business partners and customers will find a new automated FTP function in the latest release of the software, EXTOL EDI Integrator for i (EEI) version 6.4, which the company unveiled in December.
For years, EEI has supported the capability to send and receive files via FTP, along with other B2B protocols, such as AS2, async, bisync, email, and EDI VAN services. With the new automated FTP function in EEI 6.4, the software will automatically poll remote FTP servers and create connections only when files exist on the remote server, the company says. This will eliminate the need to have FTP connections continuously on, thereby conserving bandwidth and minimizing security exposures.
Setting up EDI translations should be easier thanks to several new features in EEI, including the new work fields. EXTOL says the variables fields can be populated and used during translation, and are used to store and retrieve data. Support for repeating elements, which is part of the X12 standard, is also included with this release. The company says it now supports the full set of X12 standards.
Version 6.4 also brings new ways to search for messages, as well as enhanced user interfaces (the software supports GUI, green screen, and Web-facing UIs). The Web-based interface now features an “auto-enter” function and a new “commonly used options” menu, the company says.
Jeff Inns, vice president of product infrastructure at EXTOL, says the new features in EEI support the automation, reporting, and performance that IBM i shops need. “EDI is a critical business process that has to be reliable and easily manageable,” he says in a press release. “We believe these enhancements will further the level of quality and ease of use our customers have come to expect from EXTOL solutions.”
EEI is a native IBM i application designed to provide a full set of EDI capabilities for companies in the retail, manufacturing, distribution, and insurance industries. The base product consists of a translation engine, APIs for automation, a dashboard interface, and other UIs for provisioning, monitoring, and managing EDI workloads. The company sells add-ons for specific ERP systems, including JD Edwards, SAP, and TMW IES, and the healthcare industry, with its HIPAA offering). IBM i ERP software vendors VAI and Infor also offer integration kits for the S2K and MAPICS products.
EEI requires IBM i 6.1 or higher. For more information see the company’s website at www.extol.com.