When an EDI communications provider abruptly ceases operations, what are the alternatives?
There are several strategic alternatives from the clients and tools/VAR/services resellers point of view:
1. Alternative competing VANs can be contracted, with the concomitant re-mashing of Trading Partner ID’s
2. More EDI Tool-smiths and software providers will turn to Open API’s to ease the conversion and provide rapid services cut over
The benefits of API-based management of EDI network functions are as follows:
A) List of QID’s that are slated for expiry can be read and reassigned via software control, and immediately given new network and QID reassignments, if desired
B) The routes and interconnections previously in place can be massaged through the API, with Interconnection Record References stored for redeployment
C) Routes can be tested, verified, and placed into production, all from within native commerce applications. The beauty of the API component approach is entirely manifest here.
In summary, Web Services API’s like ECGridOS (and soon others) allow Network Operations to be invoked by client applications, thus automating and empowering the core of your business, enhancing your application’s resilience, thus helping to differentiate software products in substantive ways.
It would be very gratifying indeed if ecommerce communications operators met future challenges head on by offering commerce messaging via the fine-honed interfaces of ECGridOS. Loren Data Corp’s president, Todd Gould, fully expects to be working with many industry colleagues to expand the horizon of software APIs for all aspects of B2B ecommerce.
When the full spectrum of commerce communications can be invoked as defined services, combined into composite applications, and flexibly contracted for, then we shall see the true maturation of our industry is fully reflected in our ability to innovate.