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  • Moving from Ancient B2B Gateways to TIBCO BusinessConnect

    Deepesh Tiwari

    Table of Contents

    Some customers of TIBCO are evaluating the possibility of migrating their EDI business transactions from Sterling Gentran (owned and hosted by IBM) and other ancient gateways to TIBCO BusinessConnect. EDI has been around for decades, but in this day and age, there are valid reasons to want to transition.

    Reasons to Move

    • Fear that your ancient EDI Gateway is put on maintenance mode by the new owner, e.g., in the case of Sterling Gentran, fear that IBM will not invest in modern features such as cloud containerization, visual reporting
    • Desire to bring the gateway on-premise to exercise more direct control over your transactions and capacity management. For example, since Gentran is hosted by IBM, everytime you want to deploy new machines or get transaction monitoring reports, you will have to go through the host (IBM), which becomes a major hassle
    • Desire to make adoption by trading partners easier, by making partner configuration web-based, and making partners self register and manage their own profiles
    • Desire to combine EDI transactional data with other business data via APIs for internal or external consumption

    Piece of Cake or Pain in the Neck?

    Doing this kind of migration project is somewhere between a piece of cake and a wisdom tooth extraction. It is not painless, but it is not entirely a pain in the neck, either. Our mission is to make this kind of transition less of a pain in the neck, and more like a piece of cake. What are the factors you have to consider?

    • The complexity of your business agreements
    • The variety of message types (850, 214,, etc.) and their customization levels, a.k.a. "maps"
    • The number of trading partners and the level of their configurations

    Fortunately, TIBCO has some built-in products and service-ware that can make the transition less painful. On the product side we have REST-based, web-enabled trading partner configuration APIs that allow you to load partner profiles easily, in bulk. On the service-ware side, our Professional Services Group consultants have developed translation- and other service-ware that can ease the transfer of your old maps into new ones.

    Conclusion: Don't Get Deterred

    No transition is 100% pain free, because while their EDI software is ancient, their cashflow from you is perpetually new. The ancient vendors won't share their maps freely and easily. Don't let that rob you of the opportunity to move forward. Our TIBCO experts have had experience doing this kind of complicated project before. They can help bring your EDI gateway and translation engine to the second decade of the 21st century: to the world of visual analytics, cloud deployment and monitoring, and APIs.

    Please post your questions and leave your email so we can contact you if you are curious about this topic.

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