An EDI translator has traditionally been used to take data from a business application and map it into EDI standard formats. The EDI translation software will often also come with communications software to connect to a VAN (Valued Added Network) or to communicate EDI over the Internet.
During the 1990's there were many commercially available EDI translators and a majority of trading partners maintained an in-house EDI translator. Today translation can also be obtained as an EDI out-sourced service. Many of today's EDI translators do more than simply map EDI transactions. They have the capability to do any-to-any mapping from almost any file format to another, including XML. However, to be a valuable EDI translation software package, it should include as a minimum, standard maps for the X12 EDI transactions.
An EDI translator often come with maps, sometimes referred to as overlays or templates. A map can be a generic X12 map, as an example, an X12 4010 850 Purchase Order or it can be a specific map, such as a Sears Version 4010VICS 850 Purchase Order. The availability of these standard maps can save a lot of start up time in implementing a new EDI trading partner.
The process of developing a map is called EDI mapping and the EDI software is sometimes referred to as an EDI Mapper. Some EDI translators (mappers) come with the ability for the user to generate the maps and some do not, requiring the user to purchase maps from the vendor.
We provide a list of EDI Software and Service Providers who offer either EDI Translation Software or EDI Outsourcing Services.