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Author's profile photo Joerg Ackermann

Integration Advisor – Automotive EDIFACT Subsets (JAIF, Odette, VDA) now available

I am happy to share with you the next extension of B2B libraries in the Integration Advisor (IA) and its support in the Cloud Integration capability of SAP Integration Suite: the Automotive EDIFACT Subsets. In this blog post I want to give you a short overview of these libraries and how to use them.

Automotive Subset Libraries

In the automotive industry, there are multiple national and international organizations that strive for a unification and simplification of B2B processes between their member companies. Some of them define so called subsets of the EDIFACT standard which are tailored to the specific requirements of the automotive industry.

Integration Advisor now offers the following EDIFACT subsets:

  • JAIF EDIFACT (7 versions) offered by the international organization JAIF (Joint Automotive Initiative Forum)
  • Odette EDIFACT (7 versions) offered by the European organization Odette
  • VDA EDIFACT (13 versions) offered by the German organization VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie)

Automotive Codelist Libraries

Additionally we provide specific codelists defined by these organizations which can be used in conjunction with these EDIFACT subsets.

Please note that these codelists are assumed to be mixed in different message implementation guidelines (MIGs). For example, if you build your MIG based on VDA EDIFACT, you can also refer to the Odette codelists or the JAIF codelists. Therefore these codelists were defined as separate B2B libraries (IA type systems) to allow for such a cross-usage.

Message Standards versus Message Guidelines

Most EDIFACT subsets distinguish between two types of libraries:

  • Message standards: The library of messages, segments, data elements and codelists which are required for the EDIFACT subset. This might particularly include subset-specific code values which are not part of the UN/EDIFACT standard delivery.
  • Message guidelines: Specific guidelines for countries and business processes which are defined in the context of the subset.

The Integration Advisor currently provides the message standards upon which you can build your own message implementation guidelines (MIGs).

Edifact Subset Usage in SAP Cloud Integration

In order to use these (or any other) EDIFACT subsets you should configure your integration flow in the same way as you would for UN/EDIFACT. Template flows for UN/EDIFACT (and other supported type systems) can be found on the SAP API Business Hub (https://api.sap.com/package/ICAPrepackagedContent?section=Artifacts).

In the EDI flow steps of Cloud Integration design time you need to reference an XSD file to be used for EDI <-> XML conversion. For processing of EDIFACT subsets we can distinguish two options:

  1. Subset-specific XSD file-name: You can define a specific subset identifier. To do so in your MIG, you need to enable node UNH > S009 > 0057 and assign either a fixed value to it or assign an appropriate codelist (like JAI016 or ODDC122(1)) and select a single code value (e.g. A18051 for the Odette ORDERS V5R1 message). In this case, Integration Advisor will create an XSD specifically named for this subset identifier (Example: UN-EDIFACT_ORDERS_D05B_A18051.xsd).
  2. Generic EDIFACT XSD file-name: Otherwise the XSD will follow a generic naming convention (Example: UN-EDIFACT_ORDERS_D05B.xsd).

Both variants will be accepted by Cloud Integration design time and runtime. And there won’t be a difference in processing. So the difference is more to the fact that you can distinguish between different subset messages based on the XSD file-name.

Note on Odette and VDA (old-style) Messages

With this update we provide the EDIFACT subset definitions from these automotive organizations. Before that (in the 1980s and 1990s), Odette and VDA had also defined proprietary flat-file message formats which are sometimes still in use. These messages are not part of the EDIFACT subsets and therefore not included in the current delivery.

More specifically,

  • Odette Messages (like ORDERR:2 or OFFERR:2) have already been part of the Integration Advisor and Cloud Integration offering since 2020 and can be used as well. (Read more in this blog post: Link)
  • VDA Messages (like VDA4905 or VDA4913) are not yet part of the Integration Advisor and Cloud Integration offering.

Conclusion

With this new content for the automotive EDIFACT subsets, you have the message standards and all the required codelists available in the Integration Advisor capability, you can build your own Message Implementation Guidelines (MIGs) for these subsets and you can convert EDIFACT messages based on these subsets in the Cloud Integration capability of SAP Integration Suite.

Further reading

https://blogs.sap.com/2019/03/12/integration-content-advisor-overview-of-components-and-further-reading/

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/02/07/integration-content-advisor-display-and-review-b2ba2a-standard-libraries/

https://blogs.sap.com/2020/12/22/integration-advisor-new-versions-for-b2b-libraries-asc-x12-and-un-edifact/

https://blogs.sap.com/2020/12/21/integration-advisor-odette-message-standard/

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