MuleSoft Applies API Integration Framework to EDI Transactions

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    Flawed Integration Can Destroy Data Quality and Reliability

    For all the hype surrounding the emergence of the digital business, most business-to-business (B2B) transactions conducted today still revolve around electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions. The challenge with EDI is that each transaction is cumbersome to set up and expensive to manage on an ongoing basis.

    To simplify that process, MuleSoft has announced that organizations can now use its Anypoint B2B integration framework to invoke EDI transactions using REST application programming interfaces (APIs).

    Ken Yagen, vice president of products for MuleSoft, says that while it’s unlikely that organizations will be getting rid of billions of dollars in investments in EDI applications, the rise of the digital economy has proven that there is a tremendous amount of interest in making EDI processes more accessible. In fact, Yagen notes that MuleSoft is trying to bring together all the attributes associated with the API economy and the robustness of the EDI frameworks that most organizations have relied on for decades to conduct transactions.


    As a byproduct of that endeavor, Yagen adds that organizations can also reduce their dependencies on value-added networks (VANs), which are often employed to reduce the complexity of conducting transactions over a B2B network. In their place, REST APIs make it simpler for many of those organizations to expose their EDI backend services to partners and suppliers without having to rely on a third-party network to provide that higher level of abstraction.

    In effect, MuleSoft is making a concerted effort to apply a modern platform—that is considerably lighter weight than legacy integration frameworks that were developed to support more point-to-point approaches—to integration. It seems that the days of trying to conduct transactions by exposing EDI protocols and services to customers may finally be giving way to a much nimbler API approach.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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