Once the data analysis is complete and data structures understood, the ‘map’ is defined to the EDI translation software. For most EDI software packages or VAN services, the EDI Coordinator will be able to define the map.
The map defines how the data in the EDI transaction relates to the data in the internal system. The EDI software stores the map, usually in tabular form. When a transaction enters the system, the EDI Translator uses the map to determine where each incoming field goes and whether the data needs to be reformatted.
The major goal within mapping is to, as much as possible, avoid the need for custom interfaces as much as possible – especially custom edits per individual trading partner. The more standardised the data formats, the better the system performance and the less need for specific programming.