One of the core stones of the Link is the principle we call the Common Data Model (later referred to as CDM). The idea of this to define a central data format for each business entity interchanged through BizTalk / Link. This is what we in our terminology refer to as a “Document Type”.
The intention is that all documents received in the EDI Portal are stored in a database and transformed into the defined CDM format. Afterwards its transformed to the desired format of the document receiver. The primary advantages of this approach are:
The interactions with systems are loosely coupled.
Let us say a system is sending a given type of document, which there are implemented numerous output format of. If that system is to be replaced or if another system must be able to distribute the same data to the receiving systems, the only thing that is needed is a new transformation, transforming the new systems definition into the CDM format.
One of the big forces of the Link is the possibilities for setting up data tracking of the documents that are transmitted through the Link (this is explained in more detail later). The tracking is based on the CDM, and is therefore streamlined for each document type. So there is no need to configuration related tracking, when a new format of an existing document type is created. The data that is tracked based on the CDM can be used to search for documents in the web interface of the Link.
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