UltraESB Automates AS2/EDI Based B2B trading for SKB Europe

After researching into many of the ESB/SOA providers, FPS selected the UltraESB, based on its extensive features, performance, and ease of development & use.

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SKB Cases Corporation was founded in 1977 in Anaheim California, and engineers cases for hundreds of companies involved in many diverse industries.

SKB Cases Corporation was founded in 1977 in Anaheim California, and engineers cases for hundreds of companies involved in many diverse industries. It produces and distributes Industrial Cases, Industrial Racks, Shock mount Racks, Transport Cases, Shipping Cases, Waterproof Cases, Military Standard Cases (MIL-STD Cases) and aluminium boxes in a wide array of sizes and configurations.

SKB Europe serves the European market for the SKB Cases Corporation, and is the exclusive distributor of the brand Defender, for aluminium boxes and the brand SKB for (water-tight) plastic cases, boxes and racks.

Background

SKB Cases Corporation offers Industrial Cases, Industrial Racks, Shockmount Racks, Transport Cases, Shipping Cases, Waterproof Cases, Military Standard Cases (MIL-STD Cases) and aluminium boxes in a wide array of sizes and configurations. The European market is served by SKB Europe.

Faes Packaging Solutions (FPS) develops PackAssist, a packaging information management system complementing Supply Chain Management; Online Proofing Systems, and custom tailor made solutions, ranging from EDI to Web design.

skb logo

Challenge

SKB Europe made a strategic decision to support automated Business-to-Business (B2B) Integration with its trading partners by accepting electronic orders based on EDI documents over the AS2 protocol. The initial trading partner to be integrated was Amazon, and this required EDI EDIFACT based Orders, Order Acknowledgements, Advanced Shipment Notifications and Invoices to be exchanged with Amazon via the AS2 protocol.

FPS was tasked with the selection of a technical platform for the integration, that also allowed the EDI documents to be integrated with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system used internally. Future support for other transports in addition to AS2 was an important consideration for the platform selection, and support for S/FTP protocols and Value Added Network (VAN) based integration were analyzed by FPS.

"This was our first AS2 based integration with a trading partner and AdroitLogic provided us excellent support throughout the process"

Oscar Dekkers
Managing Director
Faes Packaging Solutions

Solution

After researching into many of the ESB/SOA providers, FPS selected the UltraESB, based on its extensive features, performance, and ease of development & use. The UltraESB included detailed documentation and multiple samples to get started, and was backed by fast, responsive and helpful support.

Initially FPS used the free community based support forums to obtain support for the setup of a test AS2 station, and creation of a Proof-of-Concept implementation for accepting the AS2 invoices. Later on FPS approached AdroitLogic for assistance in integrating with Amazon Vendor Central, and subsequently implemented the full solution including the conversion between EDI and XML and subsequent import/export with the ERP.

Since the UltraESB allowed external libraries to be easily invoked during processing, FPS was able to use Altova MapForce based EDI to XML transformations exported as JAR files from within the ESB during processing. Similarly, FPS built a custom API library for the integration of the ERP APIs and linked it with the ESB processing.

The complete solution was then extended from supporting Order Acceptance, to include Order Responses, Advanced Shipping Notifications and Invoices. The FPS team was able to complete all functionality very quickly, and has since been able to cut down on data entry volumes to a large extent, with the automated integration support.

Future

In future, Faes Packaging Solutions expects other trading partners to be integrated via AS2 and other B2B integration protocols, and hopes to utilize the UltraESB for new systems integration activities, both within and outside of SKB Europe.

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