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Blog October 20, 2022

Stedi Guides: Shareable EDI implementation guides for modern EDI integrations

Headshot of Mohan Pichika
Mohan Pichika

The first step in any EDI relationship is agreeing on a set of EDI specifications. These requirements are typically shared as a PDF document, which is helpful for human reference but does not enable automated translation or validation of EDI documents.

Stedi Guides is a new product that enables users to quickly and accurately create specifications using a visual interface. These specifications can be used to programmatically parse and generate EDI documents via API using a modern JSON Schema format, or to validate EDI manually in a web browser against interactive documentation.

Features of Stedi Guides

  • Machine-readable JSON Schema artifacts to read, write, and validate EDI documents.
  • Built-in support for all X12 transaction sets and releases, allowing you to configure X12-conformant specifications without custom development.
  • Customizable specifications, so you can make the standard work for you and not be constrained by strict X12 interpretation.
  • No coding experience required to build a Stedi guide using the visual interface.
Guides UI
Guides UI

How Stedi Guides can help your business

If you are reading this, you probably encountered one of these situations:

  • You’ve received EDI requirements from a trading partner in a PDF document, and are wondering about how best to incorporate those into your development workflow.
  • You meticulously built and sent an EDI file to your trading partner, only to be told days or weeks later that the file has errors.
  • You receive EDI files from a partner and want to validate and parse them according to your specifications.

Stedi Guides is built to address these use cases, and more.

The fundamental problem with EDI is that while conforming to EDI specifications is critical to every EDI implementation, PDFs are a poor format for communicating a schema. Trading partners are left trying to visually validate an EDI file against a PDF and attempting to capture the nuances of a complex guide in custom validation logic. To complicate matters, EDI specifications almost always differ from one trading partner to another, making it unmanageable to keep track of differences while generating accurate EDI files for every partner.

Stedi Guides solves these problems by giving you a visual interface for building robust artifacts – guides – to encapsulate EDI specifications, while making them available for programmatic access.

Stedi Guides is natively integrated with the EDI Translate API, which allows you to generate outbound EDI that conforms to a specified guide, and to validate and parse inbound EDI against a guide defined by you or your trading partner.

Using Stedi Guides

In the browser

Creating and publishing a guide: You can create a Stedi guide based on a PDF guide from a trading partner, or from scratch.

Using the guide builder UI, you can create a new guide starting with the X12 release (e.g. 5010) and transaction set (e.g. 810 Invoice). You’ll then select the necessary segments and elements and, if necessary, customize each of them based on your requirements. For more details, see the user guide.

guide builder UI
guide builder UI

You can publish the guide privately within your organization for others to access it as an interactive documentation on a web page.

guide preview
guide preview

Validating EDI files in the browser: Once you’ve built a guide, you can use the Inspector view to validate an EDI file instantly, without having to reach out to your trading partner.

To use Inspector, click the EDI Inspector link within the guide builder, or on the published guide page. The validation and error messages will be specific to the underlying guide.

EDI Inspector in Guides
EDI Inspector in Guides

Via API

To generate EDI: To use a Stedi guide to generate EDI, you can call the EDI Translate API with the guide reference (guideId) and a JSON object, and the API will return a conforming EDI file – or a list of validation errors encountered during translation. See the demo for writing EDI for a detailed walkthrough.

// Translate the Guide schema-based JSON to X12 EDI
const translation = await translateJsonToEdi(mapResult.content, guideId, envelope);

To parse EDI: Similarly, you can call EDI Translate API to parse or validate EDI by passing the EDI file and the guideId, and the API will return a translated JSON representation of your EDI file. See the demo for reading EDI for a detailed walkthrough.

const translation = await translateEdiToJson(ediDocument, guideId);

Stedi Guides is now Generally Available

Stedi Guides is the foundation of every modern EDI system. Stedi Guides allows you to build integrations that are reliable, easy to troubleshoot, and scalable as you onboard with new trading partners and transaction sets. The no-code interface makes it easy for anyone to create and maintain EDI specifications, regardless of their technical ability or EDI knowledge. In addition to reading and writing EDI programmatically, Stedi Guides renders human-readable documentation in the browser, allowing for real-time validation of EDI files using Inspector.

Try it for yourself by creating a Stedi guide using the guide builder interface. Creating guides and sharing them within your organization is entirely free. Validate EDI files for free using the Inspector – or use the EDI Translate API to parse and generate EDI files programmatically. The EDI Translate API also has a generous free tier, so there is no need to worry about costs when experimenting (see pricing).

For more details, check out our user guide.

Start building today.

Featured
Guides
Define and share EDI requirements

Define EDI requirements easily using a no-code visual interface. The output is an artifact that can be used to share interactive documentation, or for parsing, generating, or validating X12 EDI documents.

Try Guides Learn more 
EDI Translate
Translate data between JSON and EDI

EDI Translate can convert any incoming X12 EDI document into JSON and JSON into EDI, so you can work with the familiar JSON format. Use EDI Translate with Stedi Guides to validate incoming and outgoing EDI documents against your trading partner specifications.

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