Electronic Business Transactions
Why Is This Important?
Information exchange has always been fundamental to business,
but in today’s day and age, the volume and speed of data is
greater than just a short time ago. In
the case of a pharmacy, permission must be sought from insurance
operating employee drug plans before prescriptions can be filled and
the benefits plan. Authorization is
required from credit card providers before purchases can be charged to
cards. Or, in the case of Ontario’s
retail electricity market, retail customers must be enrolled with
electricity use data must be provided to retailers for billing, and
bill items must be communicated to utilities for billing to end
customers. These are just a few examples
importance of data exchange through electronic means, and areas where
Fundamental to the success of any data exchange is a clear concise definition of the data formats and transport mechanisms to be used by all parties. It is not sufficient to define the transport mechanism or data format alone. A good standard will define both, and will relate these clearly to the business rules under which the various data exchanges take place. The objective of a complete data exchange standard is to define the business conditions under which the various data transactions should be sent, and how the recipient should respond. The definition will ideally include the timing of responses (i.e., how long after receipt of a data transaction should the response be returned) and the data to be returned. The transaction definitions should specify the data contents of each transaction, the meaning of the data and the type of data expected.
Every transaction sent needs to have a defined response, both at the transport level and the business (application) level. In this way, it is possible to determine that the data message was received correctly (the transport level response) and that the business logic (application level) processed the data in an appropriate fashion.
Vital to any business to business data
exchange is P.A.I.N.,
and if the data exchange is properly engineered, the pain should be
avoidable. So what is the PAIN that is
needed to avoid pain? Simply:
Other characteristics of a good business to business data exchange system include reliability, high performance, fault detection and recovery, retransmission, archiving, audit trails and reasonable cost. ExtenSys strives to incorporate these characteristics in its data exchange solutions.
For more information on Electronic Business Transactions Including B2B, contact Jim Stewart at (416) 481-1546