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Streamlining B2B EDI Communications with MuleSoft

Customer Scenario

While trading partner and customer communication have improved thanks to technology, exchanging valuable information between businesses can still be a long and arduous process. With a variety of protocols and message formats to configure, B2B messaging can take days or weeks to onboard and configure. Yet document exchange is a critical piece of a transportation and logistics company’s business, and our customer was no exception. They were looking for a process for 2-way communication between them and their customers. It needed to accommodate Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) communications with TXT, CSV, and other file formats over a variety of protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and AS2.

Solution Approach

EDI for B2B communications is an improvement over sending paper invoices, bills of lading, and so forth. However, each document has a different format and interface, may need specialized transformation rules, and to accelerate the process, should be routed to the proper target system automatically. By combining MuleSoft and Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions, end to end message receipt, processing, and reporting was streamlined. We configured MFT to manage the inbound and outbound message handling with customers and communicates with MuleSoft’s core API endpoints. APIs were developed for MuleSoft to take in the incoming messages, perform transformations, and route the messages to the appropriate target system. For outbound messages, the MuleSoft APIs communicate with MFT. The MuleSoft solution also manages the tracing, tracking, logging, for message status transparency, and error handling.

Results

The MuleSoft and MFT solutions resulted in a decrease in the time to deliver B2B messages by 50%, significantly accelerating communication with clients. At the same time, the delivery of Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) interfaces went from days to hours. Importantly, the robust automated process eliminated customer message payload loss on inbound and outbound communications.

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