In the course of sending and receiving EDI data, software is involved which runs through a set of actions to verify and accept the files. This process is called “data translation.”
Data translation includes managing the EDI standards and trading partner requirements, supporting different communications protocols, implementing the conversion of inbound and outbound transactions, validating transactions when they arrive or before they are sent to your trading partners, sending and receiving Functional Acknowledgements, and more.
Translation – Taking Action on Inbound and Outbound Data
Sending and receiving EDI transactions involves a number of actions above and beyond the transmission itself. These are all different functions of EDI data translation.
Translation of inbound EDI transmissions includes these steps:
The file must be broken down (or “parsed”) to identify everything it contains, and what actions should be taken.
- The individual transactions and their senders are identified.
- The senders are validated as legitimate trading partners.
- The file structure and individual data fields of each transaction are validated as proper according to the EDI standards.
- Typically, a Functional Acknowledgement (FA) is sent to the trading partner.
Only after translation is complete is the data mapped and applied to your internal business system.
A similar process occurs for preparing an outbound file for transmission, ensuring that the data fields and file structure are valid. The translator will prepare the transaction(s) and await receipt of the appropriate acknowledgements.
Read about EDI Standards and EDI Mapping. You can also download EDI 101.