Who knew that EDI Notepad, Softshare’s EDI editing utility, would find its way to Iceland? Or Tunisia? Ecuador even. Apparently, a good EDI editor knows no geographical boundaries because, since Softshare made EDI Notepad available as a free download from our Web site, more than 25,000 people around the world have put this intuitive EDI editing tool to work for them.
Softshare isn't surprised by EDI Notepad's popularity. A nifty EDI editing utility—especially a free one—comes in handy for the occasional need to edit an EDI document or track down a syntax error.
But we are a little surprised at all the ingenuous ways EDI Notepad is being used beyond the occasional edit and review. Softshare has heard from numerous happy people whose everyday EDI operations are benefiting from EDI Notepad. For example, one small company told us that they use EDI Notepad to generate required functional acknowledgments rather than purchasing a translator.
And although there are a lot of small companies out there using EDI Notepad—often to fill in the gaps of an EDI solution or even as a substitute for one, EDI Notepad's biggest audience has turned out to be EDI professionals who are using EDI Notepad to do things their large-scale EDI integration solutions can't do—or at least not gracefully. One of those things is HTML rendering of EDI documents. A mapper has no way of taking an EDI document and displaying it in HTML (unless the mapper supports HTML as a target data type and EDI to HTML maps are specifically written for each type of EDI document); but EDI Notepad does this automatically.
For this reason, Softshare has seen a lot of companies use EDI Notepad to distribute human-readable versions of EDI documents throughout the company. An EDI consultant once wrote us about an instance where, as he put it, "EDI Notepad came to the rescue." The trading partner of the company he was working for changed the format of the purchase orders it sent—without notice. But the company's translator keyed off the missing data to run required map rules. As a result, the "customer service reps were in an uproar because the report they received was failing to include necessary information like order quantity." Unfortunately, only the trading partner could correct the problem, but it was past 6:00pm and the weekend was coming. The solution: "We took the ORDERS and read them into Softshare EDI Notepad, printed the HTML representation to a PDF and e-mailed it to our user in Colorado to key into Oracle."
HTML rendering isn't the only view mode winning favor. EDI Notepad's edit view, which displays EDI transactions in a segment-by-segment columnar format, is a great way to explore EDI. Softshare knows of several hubs that routinely ask their suppliers to download EDI Notepad in order to better understand the EDI being required of them—especially when errors arise. Similarly, an instructor at the EDI Academy recently asked Softshare's permission to use (and recommend) EDI Notepad as part of the course he taught because it was proving to be a great tool for teaching EDI basics. We said yes.
What can Softshare EDI Notepad do for you? See for yourself by downloading it for free at www.softshare.com/software/edinotepad.