|ePortal Scheduled Maintenance Notification
ePortal may be unavailable between 9:00am and 3:00pm EDT for planned maintenance.
During this time documents will be received but not processed. Once the maintenance is
Thank you for selecting eBridge as your provider of business-to-business solutions.
Similar to the saying ‘Call Before You Dig’ we would like to remind all of our customers to ‘Call Before You Upgrade’. A lot of companies are upgrading their ERP systems or adjusting their eCommerce, EDI or CRM applications so that their company can be using the best and most intuitive software available. eBridge Connections is a firm believer in staying on top of innovative technology but when it comes to making upgrades that may affect your integration, you should always call your eBridge Integration Specialist before making any changes. This will ensure that the upgrade does not interfere with your solution because that ends up creating headaches for both us and you.
The aftermath of upgrading without letting your Integration Specialist know beforehand can vary. Sometimes nothing changes and it’s business as usual, but unfortunately, it usually ends with your integration needing some work done so that it can run properly again.
Here are the most common issues eBridge runs into when you make upgrades without letting us know:
- The integration adapters often have a version check, so while there may not be changes at the database level from version to version, upgrading can cause the solution to fail based on this alone
- An old version of Windows or SQL server may not be compatible with the adapter, however, if the ERP officially supports a particular version of Windows or SQL, this shouldn’t be an issue
- If the customer updates and we haven’t released that version of the adapter, they can be production down for several days…or weeks
- If the customer forgets or isn’t aware they have customized their ERP database in a way that required a customized adapter, this could compound the delays
- It’s possible that the integration will appear to work but some of the data fields will not map to the correct location anymore
If you have any questions about your current solution or are planning an upgrade during the new year I advise you to call your eBridge Connections representative right away. This is because if any changes need to be made to your solution, it can be scheduled ahead of time to avoid any down-time or problems with your integration. If you are not sure which representative you should contact about your integration, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward your inquiry to your proper specialist.
CRM Integration, EDI - Our Customers Trading Partner Series, EDI Buyers Guide, EDI Integration, EDI Tips and Tricks, Education, General EDI, Integration, Support, Webstore Integration, eBRIDGE Blog, eCommerce
From time to time Support Services will request a Versions Report for your eBridge software.
Providing the Versions Report ultimately saves us time in troubleshooting the issue you are experiencing with your integration solution.
The Versions Report, amongst other things, allows us to see which Application Adapter is in use, exactly which eBridge components are installed, and where the installation itself is located.
This can be a vital piece of our investigation, and the good news is that it is a relatively simple piece of documentation to retrieve.
Open the Bridge
Navigate to the HELP file menu
From the drop down select BRIDGE VERSION REPORT
Click on the ENVELOPE icon
You will be presented with the option to print the report to a variety of different file formats. Please choose text or .pdf format and then choose the location for the file to be saved to from the LOCATION drop down
The file will be created in the specified format and saved to the exact location specified
I am sure that over time many of our valued eBridge Connections customers will find this to be very useful information.
Our goal in Support is to arrive at prompt resolutions and to maximize the leverage gained through your integration solution. We understand the need to stay competitive in this market, and we fully relate to the fact that your time-spent is an important part of that mix.
If you require any assistance at all, please do not hesitate to call the eBridge Help Desk at 1-800-755-6921.
Our experienced Support Services staff are standing by to guide you through these processes and arrive at positive outcomes.
Take care for now!
eBridge Help Desk Administrator
This week in our Support blog we will continue to highlight some of the central documents which are exchanged between the eBridge Help Desk and our clients.
Last week we highlighted the importance of the ‘export only’ function, which allows us to view the raw data being sent from your ERP – we use this data to troubleshoot a compromised transmission.
The log report is similarly vital: it tracks the entire process from start to finish and will provide a snapshot of any errors or anomalies which could be halting the process, both inbound and outbound.
If there should ever be an issue with either your inbound or outbound profiles, providing a log report to the Help Desk is a fundamental first step for launching an investigation.
Below are the steps for retrieving a log report:
Open the eBridge application:
Navigate to Reports on the File menu:
Highlight the process that you wish to export:
Double click on the process and the report will appear, click ‘OK’:
Click on the ENVELOPE icon:
You will be presented with the option to print the report to a variety of different file formats. Please choose text or .pdf format and then choose the location for the file to be saved to from the LOCATION drop down. Click ‘OK’:
You are now ready to send the report to email@example.com!
I hope that you have found this information helpful.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any issues with your integration solution.
You can call me directly at 905-631-8057.
Have a great week!
Help Desk Administrator
Over the next few weeks in our Support blog, we would like to highlight and clarify some of the documentation which is typically requested of our valued customers when they log a Support Case with the eBridge Help Desk.
For some, logging a Support Case can be a somewhat stressful exercise, and we take very seriously the fact that we are dealing with our clients’ vital business documents – which can be subject to strict timelines, and involve significant sums of money which are dependent on sound relationships.
We also appreciate that the issues which arise can be fairly technical in nature, and their solutions are oftentimes no less simple. It is because of this fact, however, that our Support Specialists sometimes require a range of technical documentation to troubleshoot an issue and come to a prompt resolution to the satisfaction of you and your trading partner.
One of the main pieces of documentation which is often requested is referred to as an ‘export only’.
An export only is usually requested when there is an issue mapping business data from your accounting package out to your trading partner. Accordingly, an export only is usually only requested if there is an issue with an outbound profile (exporting invoices, purchase order acknowledgements, shipping notices, etc.).
The issue is often caught by our ePortal system, which will recognize non-compliant data and send it to your non-compliant outbox, triggering an email notification which is sent to you informing you of the problem. Secondarily, the issue will sometimes be brought to you by your trading partner. If the relationship is primarily EDI, you will most likely receive an 864 text document indicating a document you sent was non-compliant according to their protocols, or the accepted EDI standards. In other instances, your trading partner will contact you directly via email.
An issue with the data being sent, or the map being used to send it, is usually the culprit; although a document can be rejected for a variety of reasons – including changes in the EDI standards accepted by your trading partner, a change in the business relationship, or changes in taxation, pricing, discounts, and other promotional details which are subject to change.
An export only allows our Support Specialists to view the raw data being sent from your accounting package. This data is evaluated independently for errors or inconsistencies, and it is also compared against the map being used, the data which arrives on ePortal, and the standards insisted upon by your trading partner.
The process for retrieving an ‘export only’ of raw data from your accounting package is quite simple.
The process is executed through the eBridge desktop application through the outbound profile, ‘export only’. Please find the steps below:
- Open the bridge program.
- Choose process from the file menu.
- Select outbound run from the drop down menu.
- You will see a Profile ID dropdown-please select the export only or export profile id.
- Then run the outbound profile.
- Select the document type for the type of documents you wish to export (810, 855, 856, etc.)
- Put in any other criteria you wish for retrieving these documents (date range, trading partner, etc).
- Click the retrieve button.
- You will see your screen start to process and then it will populate with data.
- Please highlight the documents you wish to export.
- Then click export.
- The file will export to C:\Program Files\eBridgesoft\eBridge200x\Data\export.txt – please email this file
This documentation is essential to the troubleshooting required to determine what the issue is and to locate a resolution as quickly as possible.
We hope that you have found this information useful and that you will now have some background on the rationale behind our requests from the Help Desk.
Thank you for reading and make sure to check in next week for more information about the nuts and bolts of your interaction with the Help Desk and Support Services generally.
Take care for now,
Help Desk Administrator
This week in eBridge Support Services we have been dealing with a number of cases related to Data Lookup tables.
Data Lookup tables require ongoing maintenance to ensure transaction stability with all of your EDI trading partners.
Data Lookup tables are essential to the smooth exchange of information between trading partners because different parties using different accounting applications will store information in different ways.
For example, you may sell an “ItemABC” to your customer, but your customer may refer to the same item as “Item123”. The eBridge application uses Data Lookup (or Translation) tables to check equivalencies for the following information:
- Ship To Address
- Inventory Item
Upon initial installation of your eBridge application, these Data Lookup tables are empty and must be populated so that all mandatory fields on inbound and outbound documents contain valid information. This is typically completed during the implementation process.
However, these tables require ongoing maintenance, and this is where Support Services enters the picture. If these tables are not kept current, errors will result.
Updates to your Data Lookup tables are required in the following cases:
- When your accounting application is updated with a new EDI trading partner;
- When a new Ship To address is used by an EDI trading partner; or
- When a new Inventory Item is to be ordered by an EDI trading partner
This information must be added into the Data Lookup table to avoid errors and ensure timely exchange of vital information. Should you be undergoing any of these changes, do not hesitate to contact Support Services and we will be happy to guide you through this process.
If you have any questions related to Data Lookup tables, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and we will be happy to address your concerns!
Until next week,
Help Desk Administrator
We just received a tip from Accolade Publications detailing some important expiration dates for support from Microsoft for both MS Dynamics GP and SQL products. If you are using any of the products mentioned below, we recommend looking into an upgrade as soon as possible.
Important Dates for Microsoft Support Expiration
Microsoft only supports the most recent two versions of most of their software products. This includes not only MS Dynamics GP but also tools like MS SQL. Here are some support expiration dates of interest. If you are on any of these versions (or earlier) you should contact your partner and schedule updates.
One of the most common reasons we receive calls in Support is Data Lookups (aka translation tables). Incorrect or missing Data Lookups can prevent orders from posting to your Accounting Application or cause outbound documents, such as invoices or ASNs to be rejected. Here is a brief overview of eBridge Data Lookups and what to do if you encounter problems.
What are Data Lookups?
eBridge Data Lookups match up the codes sent by your Trading Partner to the codes in your Accounting Application. Typically, your Accounting Application does not store information the same way as your Trading Partners do. For example, you may sell an “ItemABC” to your Trading Partner, but your Trading Partner may refer to the same item as “Item123”. eBridge Data lookups allow you to match up these items codes, so your orders can post to your Accounting Application with your item code and your outbound documents, such as invoices, can be sent back to your Trading Partner with their item code . There are 3 types of Data Lookup: Partner, Ship Address and Items. Anytime a new Partner, Ship Address or Item is added, you will need to remember to update your Data Lookups, or you may encounter problems.
Sage Product Management has just released the first ever public road maps for the Sage MAS 90, 200, and 500 ERPs. The roadmaps are living documents that are intended to communicate the future plans and progress in the development of each package.
Each document is broken out into approximately 18 brief slides that offer a wealth of information regarding the Sage products. Sage has made clearly stated commitments to improve and add features with defined timelines for implementation. This degree of transparency at the development level really conveys how dedicated the Sage Product Management team is to improving their products and ultimately their customer’s experience.
I encourage any Sage MAS 90, 200, or 500 users to have a look at the following PDF files to find out more:
Assistant Marketing Professional
1. Designate an ‘EDI Person/Captain’ within your business as a go-to contact for your EDI provider – creating a single contact allows for quick resolution to issues that may arise. This will ensure that your EDI is up and running promptly.
2. If you are already dealing with a VAN – ensure that your provider has all the information they need to communicate and setup with your VAN.
3. Ensure that the translator/communication software is installed on the computer to be used for EDI.
4. Give advanced notice to your EDI client or trading partner to allow them to respond quickly during the testing phase of the project.
5. Label software and label printer if required need to be installed for ASN’s.
6. Expect a certain level of commitment on your part for the initial setup and implementation of the EDI process.
7. Make sure the lines of communication are open - expect phone calls and emails from your EDI provider – delaying the response time can impact the project timeline.
If you would like to add to this list, please feel free to leave a comment.