The state of Open Source EDI

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It looks to me like Open Source EDI is finally starting to see the light. First off AS2: Now technically its not really ‘EDI’ but it is an often used method of exchanging EDI documents. To me I think of it as a glorified FTP server. Why oh why then is it so dang expensive? Well lets say you want to use AS2 with Wal*Mart, they require your app to be Drummond Certified. Drummond certification is a wonderful bit of lockin where the people who created the AS2 standard also created the certification and therefore are the only ones that can certify an app. One test from Drummond will cost you $10,000.

Hopefully someday, things will change. Ideally the large companies will realize that AS2 certification isn’t all that important and start letting their suppliers use what ever they want. Second best would be an open source implementation of an AS2 client becoming certified. $10,000 divided across a few companies would start to get economically feasible rather quickly, especially when you consider the cost of say a single Cleo Lexicom AS2 host license of what $1000?

One up-and-coming open source star of AS2 is m-e-c AS2

It seems to be very reliable, and I would be interested in hearing anyone with experience running it in production.

Once your communication channel is setup you need some sort of document translation as well as document management package. One interesting open source package that I have been watching quickly be developed is bots

My dream OS EDI app would be a more expanded version of bots (it would contain a screen to monitor docs, sort by document type, trading partner, sent date, and status (Ack, no ack, or rejected) it would also update the status of the document based on the the 997. Basically a web interface clone of TrustedLink for windows.

Bots would then integrate with mec-as2 and also be aware of the status of the AS2 transmission either straight from the mec-as2 database or through the MDN.

That would be cool.


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