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Creating your EDI mapping layout

In the previous blog we discussed the importance of knowing your data and business requirement needs. This is one place where that becomes important. If you already know your needs it makes it much easier to start your data mapping.

First you should contact your trading partner. They should have some type of functional specs which state what they expect to send to you or receive from you  or these are specs they will request from you.

Let’s begin with the layout of the transaction set for outbound data. I have found that the best way to start is to take the segments of the transaction set and put them in an Excel spreadsheet, keeping in mind to maintain the segment looping structures. Once you have the segments in your document you can then flesh them out further by putting in the individual data elements and sub-elements for that segment. As you are doing this it would be a good idea to mark each data element as to whether or not they are required, optional or situational. This will help you determine what needs to be present when creating the final product.

Now that you have the transaction set laid out in an editable format you can start marking those fields that fit the identified business needs. You can now use this document to cross reference to your trading partners’ specs as well. Keep in mind that if the data element states it is a required field you must have it populated with data.

Once this layout is complete it is time to start cross mapping to your database. Chances are you will be mapping to numerous tables based on the database layouts where each business unit utilizes their particular data, etc. These should all be reflected in your document and you should be working with your database administrator to make sure everything is being placed into or pulled from the proper table and field as well as whether or not any additional fields will need to be added to the database tables.

Now that you have your document complete you should review once again with the vested parties to make sure everything is as expected. This is a good time to identify any additional requirements or changes that need to be made before you start the actual mapping process.

You are now ready to start working with the mappers to create the transaction set.

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