November 21, 2014

EDI Expert Video Series Episode 6: What is a Map?

EDI Expert Insights with Tom Guzik, Manager B2B EDI Solutions 

This issue’s video defines a map.  Click here or on the video above to watch.  If you have any questions you would like answered in a future segment, submit your topic to

Q: What is a map? 

A: A map is, basically, a file that is created that parses data from one format into another. So it becomes like a road map. You’re getting an application file from your Oracle system, your SAP system (whatever your ERP system) outputting a purchase order file, for example. The EDI map takes that format and converts it into the EDI format – putting it in the proper sequence, matching it to the segments and the qualifiers. That way, when it is sent, the recipient of the file has an EDI map that then takes the EDI X12 format that you created, and then kind of reverses it and puts it into the format of the recipient’s ERP system. So essentially, it allows an application file to become an EDI file and an EDI file to become an application file, so that each system can go over and understand those files.

Q: What kind of map does IDEA use? 

A: IDEA uses a couple mapping tools. We have Gentran, and we also have the B2B Integrator on the IDX. However, you don’t necessarily need to have a similar mapping tool to work with IDX, because, once it’s created, it’s following the X12 standard. So, really, whatever mapping software you choose is up to your own needs and what your price thresholds are. Because, once you’re at the standard, they are all compatible. ​

Want to learn more about EDI or IDEA’s IDX services? Contact Tom Guzik at