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EDI testing Services and DevOps

Deepa Joshi
June 16, 2020

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the standard electronic format to exchange documents between business partners. EDI offers major benefits to busiensses by lowering costs, improving speed, accuracy, and business efficiency.

There are several EDI standards, including Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12), EDIFACT, HL7, RosettaNet, TRADACOMS, etc. These EDI standards describe the formats, character sets, and data elements used in the exchange of business documents.

Over 85% of all the electronic business transactions take place using EDI. It is an ideal process to exchange business documents quickly and securely with anyone, anywhere. There are many iPaas applications readily available in the market for handling these EDI challenges such as Dell Boomi, which is one of the best platforms to automate the EDI transactions between Trading Partners and Suppliers.

One thing that is common amongst all the platforms and tools, is the data validation and accuracy, which is a key to successful project integration. However, a manual process of file validation involves verification of transmitted EDI records and storage, which is a difficult & complicated procedure. Tests must be executed to compare the segments, elements, and sub-elements in files, between the baseline file and the latest generated file. Test engineers must develop test automation tools, to specifically test EDI applications for increased efficiency and effectiveness.

Business needs for EDI Testing:

Business planning, to leverage available, matured IoT solutions. This needs a quick integration between the backend systems.

EDI implementation Often involves a complex data set having a multi-layer hierarchical structure. Multiple Upstream and Downstream systems are integrated with Numerous file formats used by the Enterprise which may not be understood well by their partner systems

Valuable data exchange between the systems needs to meet the compliance and security guidelines.

High volume of disconnected, distributed, diverse data sources and types are involved. While migrating the data from Legacy System to the modern system, there is a fear of losing history or some very important data in the process.

Deploying workflow seamlessly, without bringing down the whole system and authenticating each transaction is of utmost importance for the large and medium setup.

  • Evolving IoT solutions:
  • Multi-layer Transactions:
  • Compliance and Security:
  • Data Migration and Integrity:
  • Seamless Integration and Orchestration of Data across application:

Automation of EDI Testing Services:

There are several tools available for automation of testing EDI files of various formats which provides file analysis, error identification, and documentation.

Several Automation tools are used for the testing EDI application. Some of them are commercial tools that allow a user to address some of the EDI validation needs. few of them are developed to address few focused domain validations like Healthcare EDI requirements.

Factors to consider while choosing EDI Automation Framework –

There are tools available in the market which claims to be full-fledged EDI testing Enablers but, none of them can address all the testing requirements. While selecting a tool following point are very important to be considered-

Most of the time big and medium-size Enterprise operations and development project has its own tool landscape. Introducing a new tool may add to the complexity, It’s important to see if the toll supports existing tools. example if tickets are tracked on JIRA, GIT is used for code repository then the testing tool needs to be compatible with existing tools.

How easy is the scripting or automation of test cases? is it very complex and needs trained resources for that tool?

With Agile methodology in trend, customers are now looking for Development and Operations process to go hand in hand. This will help reduce the cost and achieve better ROI with fewer Production defects. It is a crucial next step to shorten the software development lifecycle for all connected intelligent systems, ensuring the continuous delivery of secure high-quality software.

Software delivery involves development and operations teams to collaborate, build, test, deploy, and monitor applications with speed and accuracy. DevOps Concept has come in existence to enhance the agile Methodology achievements.

  • Test Coverage -
    • Spec validation
      • Segment sequence
      • Element count against each segment
      • Length of the values
    • Data Validation
      • Compare JSON or XML file generated with the EDI file
      • Loop the elements across the structure and assertion
  • Scalability –
  • Usability –
  • Right Shift of Testing landscape –

DevOps Process for EDI and Tools

DevOps plays an important role for any kind of software project irrespective of architecture, platform, or purpose. Common Use Case in EDI systems is the Purchase to Pay, Invoicing, Supply chain, or Healthcare. Successful DevOps implementations generally depend on the set of various tools that are a part of the Development and operation life cycle. It is important for the automation framework to integrated DevOps tools available.

Jade Global Framework for EDI File Formats

The client selected Jade Global to support test Automation process improvement for their supply Chain APIs.The format specification for X12 alone has different formats every time for their customer. They also looked to have the flexibility to trigger the automation from the Dell Boomi environment. this was a unique requirement for us as it needed development into Dell Boomi.

The client has the data generated in JSON files which are picked by Dell Boomi and converted into EDI X12 format. The client desired an automated solution that could identify errors in these files with a high rate of accuracy, but the options of developing complex parsers or acquiring commercial tools came at a huge cost. Jade developed a Framework for parsing such files into meaningful components without creating an unnecessarily complex solution. Such a framework allowed the client to spend less time on manually verifying file contents, integrating file comparison and transforming into automation, to maintain a high credibility in results of the automated tests.

This section of the framework is intended to enhance growth and can be easily expanded to support additional file formats. Now, these Specs are seamlessly deployed and tested through the CLI integrated into Jenkins. Defects are raised on JIRA automatically and the email is sent to developers and QA groups.

Dell Boomi, TIBCO, and other iPaas OEMs are making a considerable effort to meld DevOps and API management to simplify the deployment of the Workflows runtimes on which the iPaaS platform depends to integrate applications and services.

Jade’s EDI Framework is Scalable and can be utilized for any such iPaas Applications to provide End to End Automation solutions for Testing. Read relevant blog: Integration Testing – Do's and Dont's

About the Author:

Deepa Joshi is the QA Delivery Head at Jade Global. With over 18 Years of Experience in QA Delivery Management, Deepa holds domain expertise in areas of the software lifecycle such as software/product development and maintenance. Of these, she has dedicated over 8 years in building practices in Independent QA across telecom, energy utilities, and services. She has worked as the Delivery head for Technology Services Unit spanning QA, Mobility, Product Engg, Cloud Services. She is also highly experienced in leading cross-functional program teams and managing schedule/open issues. Several teams that she has managed have been working on current IT/ Technology trends such as DevOps, AI, RPA, BI.

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