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Implementation (Technology) Options

Basics of Implementations: New Trading Partner

Special Notes:    

    Assess Capabilities
    Establish Trading Partner Agreement
    Identify Business Process to be Implemented
    Verify Versions Being Used
    Review Partner Implementation Guidelines
    Are Changes Needed to Back-end Applications?
    Are Changes Needed to Gateway?
    Are there partner-specific Messaging  (Transport and Routing) Requirements?
    Testing and Validation
    Move to Production
    Sample Test Cases
Back to Basics of eBusiness Implementations

These steps assume that you are bringing a new trading partner up on a business process that you've already implemented with one or more other trading partners.  Such an implementation has a higher probability of success than one where both trading partner and business process are now.  An implementation that is both a new business process and a new trading partner is feasible, and is not uncommon.  For example, the first eBusiness implementation of any kind is both new partner and new process.

  1. Assess capabilities, and specify requirements.

 

  1. Even if it determined that both partners have compatible technical and business process capabilities, being the process of getting the Trading Partner Agreement formally approved early.  Many times the contract is the item that takes the longest to complete.  The establishment of the TCA for automation of a business process is often the first time a partner's legal counsel review contractual terms that have been used in the manual business process since the dawn of time.
  1. Select a business process for the initial implementation with the trading partner. 
  1. A new-partner implementation is easier if the business process has already been implemented with another partner. 
  2. If both the trading partner and the business process functionality are being implemented at the same time, it will be more difficult to determine whether testing problems are because of the partner or because of the process.  A well-thought out implementation plan is crucial for success.
  1. Ensure that the both partners support the same version of the chosen standard. 

 

  1. Review your trading partner's business process model and mapping specifications.  Identify any difference between industry guidelines, your company-specific business models and mapping specifications, and your partner's mapping specifications.
  1. Work with your partner to resolve the differences.
  2. Determine whether any changes need to be made to your existing eBusiness solution as a result of the assessment and negotiation.
  3. If you are a seller, you may need to develop customer-specific maps.  However, this can be avoided if you can make a case to the customer for following industry guidelines.
  1. Determine if any changes are required to the back-end application or interface to the back-end application. 
  1. Such changes should be treated as a new business process or changes to existing business process functionality, and the steps for implementing new or changed business process should be followed.
  1. Determine if any changes are required to the gateway.  If the gateway is well-designed, adding new trading partners should not necessitate changes.
  1. Determine if there are any partner-specific requirements for messaging and transport.
  1. If not already done, exchange information needed for communications - sender/receiver IDs, digital certificates, encryption keys, URLs, communication ports, etc.  Get both production IDs and test IDs.
  2. Assess the impact on other implementations already in place.  If the gateway has been designed with sufficient flexibility and the partner's requirements are standards-compliant, there should be little or no problem supporting a partner-specific requirement.
  1. Perform testing and validation.
    1. The testing requirements can vary.  It may start with a gateway-to-gateway connectivity test with the partner, and then may proceed to an application-to-application test.  There may be multiple test cases for some business processes and/or document types.   All partners should agree on acceptance criteria - what constitutes a successful testing cycle.
    2. Confirm the results of testing with the trading partner.
  1. Move-to-production.
    1. Complete the Trading Partner Agreement first if it is not already completed.
    2. Register the partnerships in the local gateways or update status from 'test' to 'production.
    3. Perform any required cleanup and setup tasks for the back-end applications.

Sample test cases for standard purchase order:


Last updated 02 March 2003