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Where is the project on edifactoring 2.0 ?
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Article extracted from In-Sight February, by Ciprian Radu, FCI Manager Business and IT Solutions

I believe it is time, since the project Edifactoring 2.0 is gaining strength and speed, to share more in-depth details of this project.

Let me start by providing a quick overview. The project approach is based on Prince2 and Agile software development principles. Having these two at base, the best of two worlds is found in the current project: from Prince2 we have gained the structure, control and direction while from Agile we have gained short-terms progress results with incremental achievements and a closer involvement of FCI in the project with the participation of ComCom team and later this year with members involvement for further tests.

The main phases of this project are: Definition and design, Realization and Acceptance.

The “Definition and design” phase was closed near the release of the last article and since that moment we are under Realization phase. Realization phase contains 13 Iterations and as of now, five iterations have been finalized, with two demos delivered. It is important to say that It is too early to claim that we have a fully developed testing version due to the fact that we have incremental achievements based on pre-defined elements and the demo environment lacks many of the current Edifactoring features. For instance, we are at a stage where the development environment has a new graphical user interface well defined and almost all messages are available to be generated and yet, we have no backend connection to the test database and functionalities are not yet implemented.

While the initial stages were designed to be foundation stages, starting with Iteration 6 the building of Edifactoring 2.0 turned towards integration into the new home for the well-known functionalities of Edifactoring and also some improvements that will be revealed later in this article. Based on the current development flow, I am happy to announce that there are no delays to be reported and everything is on schedule with an expected launch date by the end of the project scheduled for October 2021 even if there were some understandable interuptions  caused by the C19 environment.

In the following lines I will start sharing more details on the project intention to improve the experience for the users inline with the scope of the project.

The most important aspect I would like to underline is the fact that the current messages and reports will not be subject to any change. There will be no changes made to the structure and purpose of the existing messages and reports to ensure that the communication for those who prefer to interact with the current system via automatic interfaces will not be affected. The automatic interface will remain a “restful” interface (i.e. like the current interface, http based) but with improved security and is targeted to be available for testing somewhere in May/June. Also, it is understood that even when Edifactoring 2.0 will go live, there will be a transition period of approximately 6 months after the Go Live date to provide to the members enough time to adjust their own interfaces to communicate to the one developed under this project.  I am available to all members, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me.   

It is time for me to raise one important question: What will be the new things that manual user might encounter when he will log in to Edifactoring 2.0?

Before I answer, please know that this not a complete list that can be found in the next release but rather highlights of a success project story. Time will tell.

First of all, we will have an empowered Dashboard from where we can raise support tickets, we can see a work stock to get our error messages, hold messages, ready messages. Reports and messages will be auto-retrieved upon log in and during our work session.

Next, the classic Folders display will get enhanced filtering allowing multiple filters, drag and drop messages feature between folders, personalized user view column customization so each user can have his own desired selection and position of columns that are provided. Also, we will have a message preview so there will be no need to actually open a message to see the content, for a faster navigation. Another special treatment, available here, will be the Inbox grouping messages. Upon activating a predefined switch, the folder view will change into a view of all messages, regardless of the folder in which they reside, grouped on FSBC key. Within each FSBC group, the messages will be ordered chronologically. What a nice way to see a message history of a FSBC group.

There will be only one button to create New message. The creation message layout was also transformed to a new layout that can filter, if needed, by chars a Correspondent factor or messages and even by your Role the messages. You will be able to isolate all the Factor codes that contain string 100 for example or messages or Factor names that contain Credit in their description, combined or not, as desired.

A special care was also provided to the Messages in terms of display and interaction. For instance, those messages that contain auto-totals checks are now enhanced with real time validation for the user input, if desired. A special layout was made to keep the original fields displayed but with a twist, maintaining in front all the highly used fields while those less used in the additional part (please note that this is still a work in progress). Another upgrade related to messages is for those that contain loops like the MSG09. It will be possible for the user to see in real time, the table of items upon item entry with an enhanced user-friendly approach, based on Invoice and Credit note grouping.

We are still under development and we have a long way until the end of the project deadline, October 2021. There can be surprises awaiting us that can alter what was generated or envisioned so far but I am confident that whatever was shared here will be present in the end. Pleasant surprises are still on the table and I hoped I gave more details about this exciting project.

More things will be shared in the future with our usual communication channels and please stay tune for a Circular that will be a Call to Arms for Testing. Please respond positive, we need your help to make this a successful release. Thank you!