Basically, TradeXpress from GENERIX is an EDI-oriented solution. In fact, it is a real toolbox that is very rich and very open. Sometimes even too much for some developers. It is open to all types of data flows and also to very complex specific developments.
Its robustness, simplicity and performance make it a reference platform today.
Here is a summary of my 20 years of experience with this software on the following subjects: Installation, Migration, Audit, Monitoring.
1 – The Installation
The installations of TradeXpress, which I was able to carry out on many occasions, are not easy. Indeed, these operations, which are supposed to be very quick and easy to perform via the installation tool, often involve a number of difficulties linked to the configuration of the different modules whose integration to TradeXpress was not planned as such.
So much so that I generally recommend using Generix services to carry out these tasks. Notably for warranty and support issues. However, in order to check that the installation has been carried out according to the rules of the art and that all the modules are working correctly, it is preferable to carry out all the verifications of good execution and to obtain the associated documents by a third party different from the installer.
Following this installation phase, it is essential to define the framework for future development operations before initiating a TradeXpress project. This allows you to adopt a few basic principles and build a standard around your needs (development standards, flow typology, routing, business visualization, rights, etc.).
In more than 20 years of experience with this software, I have seen many platforms that were not consistent in terms of development, implemented flows, access, etc. This resulted in unmaintainable code, unnecessary complexity in development and non-existent source management.
A little time upstream of your projects to gain in maintainability and consistency of your system.
2 – Migration
A version migration is never trivial and should not be taken lightly. It is often sensitive or even strategic flows that will be impacted.
Several migrations that we commonly practice can be envisaged:
Migration on the same server (no OS upgrade):
We work in case in big bang mode with symbolic links and or a modification of system variables by making the two versions of TradeXpress cohabit on your server.
- Reduced migration time
- No need to contact external partners
- Total rollback
- Risk of impacting all your flows.
This method is preferably reserved for “small” platforms.
Migration to a new server (with or without OS upgrade):
In this case, the migration involves the installation of a new server and a progressive migration of the flows. Different possibilities exist for the external links: routing by your infrastructure in all transparency for your partners or modification and migration partner by partner.
A routing is set up on your two platforms which then operate in parallel.
- Progressive batch migration
- A rollback by batch
- Impacts limited to migrated batches
- Need to control the duration of the migration so as not to use both platforms simultaneously for too long a period
- Obligation to maintain a permanent contact with the partners
3 – The Audit
An audit is a service that allows you to obtain an up-to-date status of your platform. We carry out this type of service at your request or as a subcontractor to the editor for customers who wish to keep an outside view of their existing TradeXpress.
Such a service brings more than its simple name can evoke. Thus, the audit makes it possible to :
Identify the various problems encountered and ensure their level of coverage
Highlight simple solutions to meet needs or situations that have been irritating until now
Reveal the current and future capabilities of your system
Recommend improvements, particularly in terms of monitoring
Verify that system administration processes, such as purging, are working properly
Suggest qualitative dashboard models
The audit is therefore a quick way to inventory all the concrete actions to be implemented in order to improve and simplify your TradeXpress practices.
4 – Monitoring
Predell’s Support-Monitoring team operates 7/7 – 24/24. For them, we have developed evolving monitoring tools that provide a very high level of reactivity within the framework of the service provided to our customers.
From experience, I know that the SYSLOG error check is not enough. We have therefore developed probes that feed dynamic dashboards available on our control screens in order to check that the TradeXpress system is up, that directories are not saturated, that links are working, etc.
To cover specific needs, we have also developed on-call SMS messages for specific types of flows. Beyond these examples, we adapt our systems as they are used with our customers in MCO (Maintenance in Operational Condition) mode in order to provide ever more prompt and complete responses to their requests.
Frédéric Charlet, Partner of Predell Services