Meanwhile, also watch as the UK’s OFT and our FCC listen and nods, and drag feet, while having the power to act. meh… Let’s celebrate innovation.
In the EDI Communications sector, the incumbent networks have made a fine art of sitting on their laurels. But Todd Gould, President of Loren Data Corp, engineered and nurtured ECGridOS, the only EDI Network management API that has grown to over 150 well disciplined functions.
The project started in 2005, just as Web Services started maturing as a robust method for remote method invocation. Todd did not garner a great deal of encouragement from the industry’s leaders – quite the opposite, really. At several VAN Summits and X12 meetings, an un-maskable interest manifested alongside a kind of ‘facial disparagement’ by the ‘EDI cognoscenti’, all due to Todd’s massive engineering chops in creating the ECGridOS API.
ECGrid® (Loren Data Corp’s Advanced EDI network) was already a tour de force in the VAN world – it is the EDI Network preferred by large service providers – even the ones that don’t currently use ECGrid wish they did (and before long, they probably will).
Evangelizing the concept that B2B programmers and integration specialists are all aspiring EDI Network Owner / Operators. These professionals simply desire sufficient autonomy over their EDI network operations and connectivity, so they can service their clients by operating their own Virtual VAN, without the need to build racks, negotiate internetwork agreements, etc.
Therefore, Todd’s node-based ECGrid architecture with a OS/ Kernel like RMI, is congruent with modern SOA philosophy: Grant developers operational control over their user space, allow flexibility in the management of metadata, network processes, and payloads, while maintaining ECGrid as a safe, secure, multitenant universal comms host.
However, when Todd initially went to market, there were few kudos. The VAN universe remains thus: strictly limit network functions and resources. And, of course, as we see today, uploads and downloads are the sum total repertoire of the functions offered by most EDI Comms providers (at the Comms layer).
There is not one other VAN in today’s EDI market that offers a programmable interface – and unified As2 + VAN message routing with complete message status and directory services (name to QID / GLN / To name resolution) via a function call. The implications are that now, EDI Comms and Trading community management can be embedded into software, such as ERP systems, as Loren Data ECGridOS partner NetEDI has shown, and many others have proven. See the use cases on this site.