I know what you mean!  I was hoping to interface to the 400 (and we spent
half a year getting the interfaces setup!) and then the vendor changed the
EDI version and we're in the rewrite/remap mode again.  As much as I would
like to see EDI on the AS/400 or at least interfaced with it, I can't see a
justification for that amount of systems/programming time when you compare
it to maybe a weeks worth of keying for the year.  We have tried PC
packages, homegrown code on the 400 and currently web-based EDI.  I keep
trying to get a standard interface for EDI but forget about it, every
customer has a different VAN that they want to use or a different web-based
package or something that is out of the norm.  It's frustrating to say the
least.  We are paying $50/month for the web-based product and other than
initial instruction to the user and upgrading the browser or java runtime
environment once in awhile, I.S. is NOT involved.  EDI is one area that I
have no qualms or reservations about moving out to the users and forgetting
about.  Sorry for the ranting but EDI does that to me.

Ed Chabot
The Marlin Firearms Company
100 Kenna Drive
North Haven, CT 06473

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-admin@midrange.com
[mailto:midrange-l-admin@midrange.com]On Behalf Of Buck Calabro
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 2:40 PM
To: midrange-l@midrange.com
Subject: RE: EDI at midrange sites - Off Topic??

Al Mac had some excellent insight on how the trading partner can be your
worst enemy in the EDI process, and I'll add only one thing to his remarks:
Typically, EDI is driven by the larger trading partner.  When General
Electric says "You will use EDI" then you use EDI.  When General Electric
decides to use the Contact Name field to store the Purchase Order Number,
you're not likely to tell them to pound salt no matter how much the urge
strikes you.

The number one difficulty I had with EDI was NOT setting up the translation
tables (Premenos running on AS/400).  The main issue was _integrating_ EDI
into our daily operations.  When GE sent in a PO, it had to be translated
into our customer numbers, our part numbers and input into our order entry
system.  There's no existing function to do that in O/E, so we had to write
that.  GE wanted an acknowledgement, verifying quantities and prices.
Another new function.  GE wanted a shipping manifest.  Another new function.
Work payments into the picture and you can see that there are potentially
quite a few places your existing system needs to expose an interface to the
outside world.  Unless you simply detail somebody to hand-key the stuff into
the existing applications...

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