This topic introduces the EDI Message Responder and explains configuration options that are unique to this type of Message Responder.

Sections include:

About the EDI Message Responder

EDI Message Responder is a Message Responder that is designed to simplify the use of EDI, which is often difficult to read, by allowing you to utilize XML. You can model your EDI response payload as an XML document; the responder then automatically converts the XML to EDI before sending the message. If the responder receives an EDI message, the responder can convert the message to XML so that you can define message correlations using XPaths or attach tools. Message Responders are protocol agnostic. The transport protocol or API to access a responder is defined in the deployment configuration of the PVA.

You can create a EDI Message Responder tool directly from the Add Responder wizards. 

The EDI format requires the Message Packs license feature to be enabled. The Message Packs license feature enables the EDI format in the EDI Responder and XML Converter.

About the EDI Format

Parasoft’s EDI format support covers the following standards:

For details on what versions and message types within each standard are supported, see EDI Support Details.

Basic EDIFACT Support

Basic EDIFACT support does not require a Message Packs license. It supports a subset of the dialects and versions that the Message Packs license covers. For example, EDIFACT is the only available dialect, and only versions 10B, 96B, S3, S4, and S41 are supported. 

Note that Basic EDIFACT and EDI conversions generate different XML representations of the same EDI data. As a result, you cannot convert from EDI to XML using "Basic EDIFACT" and then convert back to EDI using the "EDI" conversion. Likewise, you cannot convert from EDI to XML using "EDI" and then convert back to EDI using "Basic EDIFACT." 


There are two expected workflows that can be used to configure the EDI Message Responder...

Existing Literal EDI Message

(Recommended) If you already have a literal EDI message:

  1. Create a new EDI Message Responder.
  2. Switch to Literal mode and paste in your EDI message.
  3. Switch to Form Input or Form XML mode, which will then get populated based on the message you entered. You can now configure and parameterize your message as you wish.

Creating an EDI Message From Scratch

If you want to create an EDI message from scratch:

  1. Create a new EDI Message Responder.
  2. Select a message type using the Dialect, Version, and Message type fields, which will populate the Form Input view.
  3. Manually specify the message using Form Input.

Form Input will constrain your message to the schema for the selected message type, and will not allow you to add fields to the message that are not part of the message. It will also warn you when you are attempting to use value types that are not supported in a given field (like trying to put a string into an integer field). Form XML does not perform either of these checks.

Note that you will likely need to manually add fields that your message uses because Virtualize generates a minimal valid EDI message based on the message type you selected. The message will include default values, which you might want to modify. Using the right-click Populate option in Form Input is generally discouraged. It will add all optional fields to the message, but it will not necessarily add valid default values. After using Populate, you would need to manually review and enter the value of each field. For most EDI messages, this can be quite tedious.

Specifying the Response 

For recommended workflows for specifying the response, see Workflows.

Note that when you switch between Form Input or Form XML and Literal, the content in Form Input or Form XML is automatically converted to the native format, which is shown in Literal view. Content in Literal view is automatically converted to an XML format that is then shown in Form Input or Form XML.  

In EDI format mode, if you paste in an EDI message into Literal view and then switch to Form Input or Form XML, Virtualize will automatically detect the message type and automatically populate the Dialect, Version, and Message Type combo boxes. 

You can now configure the EDI Message Responder as you could configure any other Message Responder. For details on configuring standard Message Responder behavior (e.g., correlations, performance profiles, etc.), see Message Responder Overview.

If you want to send a custom EDI message, Form XML view will let you add custom fields that Form Input will not allow you to enter.

If you paste a message into Literal view, and switch to Form Input but Form Input does not get populated, then switch from Literal view to Form XML instead. Form Input will not be populated in the cases where Virtualize is not able to find a matching schema for the EDI message that was pasted in. However, with Form XML, Virtualize can often still support those messages.

Specifying Conversion Options

In EDI format, when an option is blank, the conversion will use the default option for that option. Otherwise, if a value is selected or typed in, the conversion will attempt to use that value. Note that if an invalid value is entered manually, you may get an error when trying to switch between Form Input/Form XML and Literal views, or when running the test.

For EDI, available conversion options are:

Note that no conversion options are applicable for Basic EDIFACT.