Exact Online EDI Integration

Electronic Data Interchange (commonly known as EDI) is essentially the standard method for exchanging files with business and trading partners. EDI is used in industries ranging from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

But one step in EDI is often overlooked: processing or storing the data contained in the business documents. That's what RSSBus Connect does, and does especially well for Exact Online EDI integration.

This article provides an example of Exact Online EDI integration, giving you a walk-through for configuring RSSBus Connect to receive an EDI Purchase Order, inject it into Exact Online as a Sales Order, retrieve a Sales Invoice from Exact Online, and send it as an EDI Invoice to your trading partner.

Setting up the Exact Online EDI integration Sample

To begin, download and install the RSSBus Connect application (free, 30-day trial). Then download the sample project and extract and copy the contents to the "data" folder in the installation location for RSSBus Connect. For Windows installations, this will likely be C:\Program Files\RSSBus\RSSBus Connect. Please consult the documentation for the Java build of RSSBus Connect for Linux/Unix/Mac installations.

Next, modify the X12 document in the sample to refer to existing items in your Exact Online Administration. Use a text editor to open the 850.x12 file located in the Send subfolder of the X12_Wayne_Tech_IN folder, find the placeholder Account Code FILLER_ACCOUNT_CODE and Item Codes FILLER_ITEM_CODE_1 and FILLER_ITEM_CODE_1, and replace them with an actual Account Code and Item Codes from your Exact Online Administration.

Once you have filled in the X12 document with actual values from your Exact Online Administration, you need to ensure that you have configured your connection to Exact Online properly.

Connecting to Exact Online

If you have not already, you will need to install the CData ODBC Driver for Exact Online (you can download a free, 30-day trial). If you just downloaded and installed the provider, please restart RSSBus Connect before proceeding.

With the ODBC Driver installed, the next step is to configure your connection to Exact Online as an ODBC data source. You can create a new DSN from the ODBC administration tool for your operating system or configure your connection when you install the driver. For information on configuring the connection to Exact Online, refer to the online Help documentation for the ODBC driver.

Lastly, click the Ports tab and select the Exact Online database port from the port drop-down menu. On the Settings tab, you can configure your connection to your Exact Online instance. Click the ODBC radio button for the Connection Type and select the DSN you just configured from the drop down menu for the Data Source Name (DSN). To confirm your connection, you can click the Test Connection button.

Document Translation / Data Integration Walk-Through

With the inbound X12 document and connection to Exact Online properly configured, you are now ready to begin the walk-through.

Translate an X12 Document to XML

As we work through the sample, we start with the assumption that your trading partner has just sent you an 850 document (Purchase Order) in X12 format. This document is sitting in the Send folder of the X12_WayneTech_IN port, ready to be processed. When you select the document and click the Send button on the Send tab of the X12_WayneTech_IN port, RSSBus Connect will translate the standard X12 format into an XML format and place it in the Send folder for the MAP_850_IN port.

Translate an XML Purchase Order to an XML Sales Order

The MAP_850_IN port is a scripting port designed to translate the 850 document (in XML) from the X12_IN port into a Sales Order (in XML) that can be processed by the Exact Online database port.

Now that you have the XML file for the 850 document (a Purchase Order), you can use the script and template included in the sample to translate the document into a Sales Order formatted for use by the Exact Online database port. The XML elements used in the mapping template are derived directly from the column listing for the Sales Order table in Exact Online, as exposed by the ODBC Driver (see the online documentation).

How the Translation Works

The TranslationScript.rsb file maps the values at specific XPaths in the XML document to new fields, which will be used to create a new document, based on the SALESORDER.template file.

NOTE: The translation script also makes calls to Exact Online using the default DSN for the CData ODBC Driver. You can configure the script to use a different DSN (if you need to connect to a different Administration) by editing the translation script:
  1. Navigate to the Settings tab on the MAP_850_IN port.
  2. Find <rsb:set attr="db.conn" value="DSN=CData ExactOnline Source;"/> in the script and set your DSN.
  3. Click Save Changes.

Performing the Translation

To translate the XML 850 document, simply select the 850.xml document in the Send folder of the MAP_850_IN port and click Send. This will create a new document, SALESORDER_TIMESTAMP.xml, and place it in the Send folder of the Exact Online port.

Push a Sales Order to Exact Online and Retrieve a Sales Invoice

Now that you have a Sales Order in the Send folder for your Exact Online port, you can inject the Sales Order into Exact Online, generate a new Sales Invoice from Exact Online, retrieve the new Sales Invoice, and prepare it to be sent out to the trading partner.

Push the Sales Order to Exact Online

To insert the Sales Order into Exact Online, select the SALESORDER_TIMESTAMP item in the Send folder and click Send. This port uses the CData ODBC Driver to add the Sales Order, ready for processing, to the Exact Online Administration.

Generate a New Invoice

To generate a new Sales Invoice, open your Exact Online company and find the Sales Order that you just inserted. Once you have found the Sales Order, you can click Complete to walk through the process of creating the Sales Invoice that you will ultimately send back to your trading partner.

Retrieve the Sales Invoice from Exact Online

Once the Sales Invoice has been created in Exact Online, you can trigger the Exact Online port in RSSBus Connect to retrieve it and place it, prepared to be translated and sent to the trading partner, in the Send folder for the MAP_810_OUT port. To do this, you will need to first edit the SALESINVOICES Output Template: On the Settings tab for the Exact Online port, click the Edit button in the row for the SALESINVOICES template in the Output Templates table. Replace the date in the WHERE clause of the selectQuery attribute with the date that falls just before the time you created the new Sales Invoice for the Sales Order.

After you edit the SALESINVOICES template, you can click the play button to execute the template to retrieve the newly created Sales Invoice and create an XML document ready to be processed in the MAP_810_OUT port. The XML elements used in the mapping template are derived directly from the column listing for the Sales Invoices table in Exact Online, as exposed by the ODBC Driver (see the online documentation).

Translate an XML Invoice to an XML 810 Document

Like the MAP_850_IN port, the MAP_810_OUT port is a scripting port. In this case, the port is designed to translate a Sales Invoice in XML based on its Exact Online structure into XML that relates to the X12 format.

Because you already have the XML for the Invoice, you can use the script and templates included in the sample to translate the document into an XML format that is more closely related to the 810 document expected by your trading partner.

How the Translation Works

The TranslationScript.rsb file maps the values at specific XPaths in the XML document from the Exact Online database port to new fields, which will be used to create a new document based on the 810 template file.

Performing the Translation

To translate the XML Invoice, simply select the SALESINVOICES_TIMESTAMP.xml document in the Send folder of the MAP_810_OUT port and click Send. This will create a new document, 810_TIMESTAMP.xml, and place it in the Send folder of the WayneTech_810_Out port.

Translate an XML 810 Document to an X12 810 Document

The last piece of the sample is the process of translating the 810 in XML format into X12 format. This is accomplished by clicking on the 810_TIMESTAMP.xml file on the Send tab for the X12_WayneTech_OUT port and clicking Send.

It is at this point that the 810/Invoice is ready for transport to your trading partner. In a real-world, end-to-end integration, you would then use a communication port like AS2 or SFTP to transmit the file to the trading partner.

More Information & Next Steps

As you can see, with RSSBus Connect and CData Software, you can easily automate your business document exchange and directly integrate EDI with Exact Online. For more information on RSSBus Connect, visit our home page and for more information on the Exact Online ODBC Driver available from CData Software, visit the CData Software website. You can also see a full list of the data sources CData Software connects to with ODBC Drivers. Download your free, 30-day trials and start controlling your business document exchange today!



Download & Install Sample

Already running RSSBus Connect? This sample will setup RSSBus Connect with the data and port configurations referenced in this article: