Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the most commonly used messaging protocol in B2B data exchange. BizTalk has native support for EDI’s primary standards X12 and EDIFACT. BizTalk also has support for popular standards such as HIPPA and KEDIFACT which are derived from X12 and EDIFACT respectively. For more information on BizTalk EDI support, refer article “BizTalk Server EDI Functionality
BizTalk has EDI Status reporting capability built on top of BAM to help the support personnel to know the status of EDI transactions, interchanges and acknowledgements correlated. You can find these reports in the Group Hub page of BizTalk Administration Console. For more information on EDI reporting capabilities refer article “EDI and AS2 Status Reporting
also has these reporting capabilities in its web console and adds data monitoring capability on top of that. For more information on EDI reporting capabilities in BizTalk360, refer the article “EDI Reporting Capabilities
”. For more information on Data Monitoring capabilities of BizTalk360, refer the article “EDI Data Monitoring
However, if you have used these reports on day to day basis, you would have realized that there are few gaps which are left open and those would have been really helpful for the support personnel. BizTalk360’s constant endeavor has been to identify such gaps and fill them to help BizTalk support personnel. With this goal, BizTalk360 team has spent lot of effort in bringing few new reporting capabilities into its upcoming release v8.3.
In this article, I will be explaining about a gap in Functional Acknowledgment Status Reporting and show you how it will be addressed in BizTalk360’s upcoming release v8.3.
Functional Acknowledgement Status Reporting as-is
Consider a B2B scenario where Fabrikam sends out an X12 interchange containing multiple functional groups and transaction sets to its partner Contoso and expects a technical Acknowledgement (TA1) and functional Acknowledgements (997) for each functional group.
Please refer the article “Configuring Trading Partner Agreement
” to know how to configure trading partners to receive acknowledgements.
Suppose if Technical acknowledgement indicates successful reception of the interchange, the Interchange/ACK Status report will be as shown below.
However, at this point, it is not clear about the status of the Functional acknowledgements. This is because the Interchange/ACK Status report only indicates the status of Technical acknowledgement and not the Functional acknowledgements. Suppose the validation of one or more groups or transaction sets fail at Contoso, it may send functional acknowledgement with error status. To look at the status of these functional acknowledgements, one has to right click on the individual record and navigate to functional acknowledgements as shown in pictures below.
- Right click on the individual record
- In the Interchange status and ACK details window, select Functional ACK(s).
Clearly there are two functional acknowledgements one with Rejected
and another with Accepted with Errors
- Think from the perspective of a support personnel who have to identify the interchanges for which the negative functional acknowledgements are received or no functional acknowledgement is received. This is nearly impossible as he/she will have to click on each interchange record. This has led many people to write their own SQL queries or SSRS reports. One such example you can see in a blog article here.
- Also support personnel might want to receive an alert when there are negative functional acknowledgements. Currently this cannot be achieved through BizTalk admin console.
The two issues discussed above are pretty common with our customers who are using EDI functionality. BizTalk360 addresses these issues in its upcoming release v8.3 by introducing couple of new features.
- Functional ACK Status Report: A brand new type of report is added to existing EDI reports to display the status of functional acknowledgements in the grid itself.
- Data Monitoring of Functional ACK Status Report: When you create data monitoring alerts on the Functional ACK Status Reports, you will be able to receive alerts when negative functional acknowledgements are received.
Functional ACK Status Report
BizTalk360 adds a brand new type of reporting called “Functional ACK Status
” Report to the existing list of EDI reports.
When you select this report, it lists the interchanges with functional acknowledgement status as shown below.
At this point (in the current version of BizTalk360
), support personnel can filter only those interchanges for which ACK status is Rejected. When he clicks on the Properties (eye icon) for that record, he will be navigated to functional ACK details in a new blade.
Data monitoring on Functional ACK status report
Now in EDI Data monitoring section of BizTalk360, you can create Data Monitoring alerts to receive warning or error alerts when there are rejected functional acknowledgements. Below is a snapshot that shows configuration of one such alert.
With above configuration, you will be able to receive alerts when there are negative acknowledgements for specific parties. If there are more than 1, you will receive a warning alert and if there are more than 2, you will receive error alerts. For more information on data monitoring refer the article “EDI Data Monitoring
In summary, we hope that these two additional features will make life of support personal easy in terms of handling functional acknowledgements. These features are already being developed and undergoing a testing cycle. If you have any feedback, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
. There are few more EDI features planned in for upcoming release v8.3. We will be blogging about them in coming days.