How BOLD VAN’s API Can Improve Workflow

Once you add BOLD VAN’s API to your system, it will be hard to envision life without it.

By Molly Goad

Many gadgets exist today that just make life easier — smartphones, GPS, tablets, DVR and more. Although we survived without them at one time, now it would be hard to transition away from these technologies. (Can you imagine taking a road trip without GPS?!)

Adding an API to your business plan is another one of these items — once you have it, you won’t want to go back. 

In our last post, we touched upon API integration through our Bold Cloud platform. Here, we expand on this topic to show you how an API can help companies integrate EDI with their business applications from the value-added network (VAN) level. 

API, or application programming interface, is a standard technology used to sync applications in real-time. It’s a relatively new technology; modern web APIs came to fruition in the early 2000s. EDI, on the other hand, has been around since the early 1970s. EDI stands for electronic data interchange — it’s the transmission of documents in a common electronic format between two business partners. (To learn about the basics of electronic data interchange, see The ABCs of EDI.)

When perusing informational articles on the internet about API and EDI, you may come to the conclusion that API is the “new” EDI. But this isn’t quite accurate; as we pointed out earlier (see API and EDI: Why You’ll Need Both), EDI is here to stay and remains as valuable as ever. 

So, we know we need EDI, but how does an API fit in? Enlisting an API allows for an even more robust workflow. Without the help of an API, the customer has to take a translated file and integrate into their business application. When you add BOLD VAN’s API to the process, it takes care of that integration for you. Our clients have zero involvement, which means time saved and less room for errors. 

Here is the workflow incorporating the API: A trading partner generates an order and sends EDI data to BOLD VAN, BOLD VAN uses the API to transform the data into the required packet to insert into customer’s business application, the order then appears as a sales order and is ready to be processed, and finally, the reverse is executed as the customer sends their supplier an invoice, a ship notice, and so on. 

BOLD VAN integrates seamlessly with any ERP (enterprise resource planning software), business system, and accounting software that offers an API. There are many  pros of integration: maintaining compliance with all trading partner requirements while integrating transactions with any ERP; seeing your transactions at lightning fast speed; eliminating errors during data entry; settling any issues quickly and accurately; and an accelerated process order time. 

Using an integrated, cloud-based EDI solution with an API to expedite your transactions is a wise move in today’s fast-paced, constantly changing world. To learn more about how EDI and API outsourcing can improve your business, contact BOLD VAN: call 844-265-3777, email info@boldvan.com, or start your three-month trial.

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