Watch the Visionary Create New Architecture, while the laggard incumbent cuts internetwork pathways.

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.

Yet, being the indefatigable and  dogged engineer that he is, Todd persevered and evolved ECGridOS, and a slow adoption followed, at first, but the early adopters were more than simply enthusiastic – they were “betting the farm on the ECGridOS API”, and they were building their new businesses on Todd Gould’s network OS API Kernel – which is still the only EDI API for trading community management and EDI communications.
Never one to rest and say, “88 functions, what more could anyone want?”, Todd has debuted (in beta) a coup de grace,  Unified VAN and As2 message routing.That’s right, rather than spending 100’s of M$$$K$$$$ in VAN contracts and the As2 expenses of software licenses, suport, machines, labor, etc. just to service a diverse cohort of trading partners, ECGridOS encompasses  the Virtual As2 channels, unified  with VAN message routing via the ECGridOS API.Any programmer can now answer that age old question asked by every client since the stone age: “where get partner communications without breaking the bank and taking on massive internal infrastructure.?” The answer is easy….tell your customers that their EDI Comms and partner management is built into your software, or B2B SAAS, or has been always been integrated into the system you just installed! Programmers and B2B consultants can deliver the services the clients always needed, via a system that is more powerful, flexible, and extensible than any current VAN. Your clients will love you more than ever before.

So, to address the adoption curve and lifecycle issues of API initiatives…….put a hard headed visionary in front of the project…..Todd did, he did it himself, against all odds.
See more about the ECGridOS API at http://ecgridos.com and the docs at http://ecgridos.net
Advertisements