Kodiak Provides Clearer Picture of EDI Events

Robust AS/400 EDI translation tools exist in the market, but they typically don't provide systems administration capabilities. The ability to track and audit the movement of EDI documents between the translator and the outside world usually requires additional programming. That's why Kodiak Group (Pittsfield, Mass.), an EDI service provider, recently unveiled an add-on software tool that adds functions such as administration of EDI operations and trading partner coordination to a leading EDI package.

Kodiak's EDI Control/400 has been used as the backbone for the company's service center for the past four years. The package that resulted from this long "beta" runs with Harbinger's TrustedLink EDI/400 and provides tracking, monitoring, archiving, backup and recovery capabilities.

While packages such as TrustedLink/400 facilitate and translate EDI communications, EDI Control/400 serves as more of a "high-level EDI program management tool," says Bill Middlebrook, Kodiak's CTO. "It's a tool to manage the entire environment."

For example, EDI Control/400 can be used to view and audit how batches of EDI documents are moving between the application, translator and VAN. The tool also provides centralized tracking of EDI documents among single locations or multiple divisions, as well as multi-level document audit and control information. It provides for customizable EDI program management, enabling users to add EDI documents. Another function enables centralized EC gateway operations to easily develop multi-division billings and chargebacks.

EDIControl/400 is targeted at larger companies "that often have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building their own management tools," Middlebrook says.

Besides providing EDI backbone capabilities, EDIControl/400 tracks documents' progress from a VAN to the application, or vice versa. This audit trail system traps information for each EDI document that passes through the process, including the communications, translation, mapping, file transfer/routing, and billing/chargeback steps.