Over the last few years, I noticed that quite a few companies still struggle with sending, receiving, and processing EDI files.  Some of them have tried to use tools such as BizTalk or Mirth to load or create EDI files, however that’s often overly difficult and/or very expensive.  There are inexpensive tools that don’t require specialized knowledge beyond EDI itself that can easily help to create, send, receive, and load EDI files.

On a recent contract, I was at a health services company that had never been able to successfully and accurately process current and historical membership information.  This had a huge impact on claim payments and services rendered.  They used SQL Server for their back-end database, so I decided to use SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to load the EDI files.  They received EDI X12 834 files from 40+ healthplans on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  I demonstrated how SSIS could easily parse the files and load them into the database using the COZYROC SSIS+ controls.  The controls cost only $399/year and any SSIS developer can work with them.  In a few months we were processing most of the files. This solution cost significantly less than BizTalk and the manpower required to maintain it was significantly cheaper.

On another contract, this time at a health plan, I developed an SSIS package that would create and send an EDI X12 270 request file to the state. This file contained all of the current health plan members.  Another package would receive the EDI X12 271 response file, parse it, and load it to the database.  Again, this solution proved to be much cheaper than other boxed solutions and beyond EDI, only general SSIS knowledge was required.

As you can see below, the packages to load EDI files aren’t all that crazy.

If anyone has questions about how SSIS can read or create EDI files, I’m happy to share some knowledge.  If you need extensive help creating this type of information flow, feel free to contact me about some consulting work.   I work on all things SQL Server.

***I have no relation with COZYROC, nor do I make any money by selling their products.  I just believe that they sell very useful SSIS controls and are reasonably priced.