DBA Classic EDI module FAQ's

What is EDI?

EDI stands for electronic data interchange. Developed in the 1960's, EDI provides a standard way for businesses and governmental agencies to exchange business related information. For more information, click here.

Why was an EDI interface developed for DBA Software?

Many DBA customers are either suppliers for major commercial corporations such as Sears, Lowe's, Home Depot or Allied Signal or wish to become suppliers for similar large corporations. Increasingly, these large corporations are requiring that certain transactions be sent via EDI as a requirement for doing business with them (or will "fine" those suppliers that submit "paper" invoices, for example). Because of the extremely specialized and complicated nature of EDI and because a value added network (VAN) is typically required to make EDI happen along with the EDI translation capabilities, DBA formed a working partnership with Technology Management Programs (TMP) and began working on an interface that would interact with TMP's translation software and third party interface software (Cando-EDI). The initial versions were released during the summer of 1999. We were the programmers that built the interface between DBA and the Cando-EDI software at DBA Software's request, and we continued to develop and provide updates via DBA Software for the following several years, and have continued to provide updates and support separately/directly since DBA Software abandoned the DBA Classic product. As of January 2012, TMP was no longer providing this services and DiCentral developed a compatible interface.

Should I be thinking about using EDI for my company?

It should generally be considered only if is a requirement of someone that you are doing business with (or want to do business with). While EDI may create efficiencies for large commercial concerns, the technical nature and costs involved likely do not make it a candidate for general use except with those companies that are requiring it.

What exactly does the DBA EDI interface do? What sort of transactions does it import/export?

The DBA "ED" module provides the ability to import purchase orders received via TMP's translation software and later to export shipping notice and invoice information back to the translation software. When initially imported, the user "views" the incoming order and validates the customer and part number information and then transfers that "EDI" order into an actual DBA sales order. That sales order is then processed as normal within the DBA system. Once that order is posted in the DBA system, it can then be exported via the ED module. Users have the option to either exactly match the part numbers of their EDI trading partners or to use DBA's part number cross reference capability (in which case the EDI trading partner's part numbers must be entered in order to be able to match them to internal DBA customer part numbers). Typically the DUNS number of the EDI trading partner is used as a cross reference to the DBA user's desired customer code.

DBA intends to add an export capability for purchase orders entered on the DBA side that can then be processed by Cando-EDI in the future.

In short, the interface helps to minimize the amount of double entry that would otherwise would be required if using Cando-EDI on a standalone basis.

What is Cando-EDI?

Note: as of January 2012, TMP migrated customers to DiCentral and Cando-EDI no longer applies.

Cando-EDI is the bridge or translation software that is provided as part of Technology Management Program's EDI service (and in fact can only be effectively used by DBA customers who sign up for that service). It is installed locally typically on the hard drive of the in-house person who will be on a day to day basis operating the DBA EDI module import/export (in the DBA DE - data exchange - module, a user indicates the path where the Cando-EDI software is installed). (When used on a local hard drive, that means that only one person will be able to perform the export/import operations and run the Cando-EDI software but usually that is the most desirable approach. Information is received and sent in batches so the Cando-EDI software would not have any need to run on a multi-user basis.) The PC on which it is installed or accessed from needs a modem or access to a shared modem so that orders can be received and shipping and invoice information transmitted. It can also be used to view or print incoming notes, verify the accuracy of information, make any manual adjustments and process any other special/general EDI transactions.

What does it cost?

The DBA 'ED' module is included as a part of DBA system and there is no additional cost for that. However, in order to use the module, a DBA user must sign-up with TMP. These costs involve (and which are typical EDI implementation costs):

Interested DBA users should contact DiCentral further information as to cost, EDI capabilities and options and further information. When talking to them you will want to specifically indicate the names of any/all commercial organizations that you are contemplating trading with. TMP is an independent company and arrangements must be made directly with them and not through DBA or anyone else.

What other things should I be thinking about?

You will likely have to comply with your trading partner's UCC labeling requirements, which may require the purchase of not only at least one thermal printer (impact/dot matrix printers are generally ineffective and ill-advised) and labels, but also software mechanisms for complying with those requirements.

A good general resource in this regard is Manufacturers Guide to Bar Code, Common Forms and EC/EDI

Unfortunately the requirements of different trading partners greatly vary making a single solution option almost impossible. We can however provide you with the tools you need to help meet these requirements in a completely integrated fashion directly from your DBA software (which is in our opinion the only truly effective and efficient approach to the problem).

If I use the EDI interface, who will provide support?

The primary contact for support is Technology Management Programs (TMP) who provides the VAN service and the Cando-EDI software. (TMP's technical support phone number is 804-642-1126.) If the problem appears to be on the DBA EDI module interface side, TMP will in turn contact us if necessary for resolution of the problem if the DBA EDI module in use is completely standard. If your DBA EDI module is customized, then it would be a combination of your programmer and TMP working together to resolve the problem. EDI module users should first first contact TMP. Support provided by us directly must be arranged on an advance payment or other agreed upon basis (there is no charge for support related to EDI updates purchased from us, nor initial/general questions).

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