EDI with major retailers

Hi NAV Expert,

I am about to start working on integrating EDI functionality with Navision (not BizTalk). Our company is receiving EDI orders from 2 major department stores in Australia and currently a third-party warehouse is receiving EDI orders and processing them on our behalf. However, we would like to have a greater control over when we send acknowledgements to these EDI documents. Has any worked with EDI in Navision before? I have a few specific questions:

  • What EDI-Flat File mapping tool would you recommend?
  • Since the X12 850 Purchase Order / EDIFACT ORDERS file has more fields than you can map to Sales Order, is it a good idea to leave them in the EDI file or import all fields to one or more custom tables?
  • Would you be kind enough to let me have a look at a schema of your EDI-mapped table?

Thanks in advance.


Consider using the EDI module from Lanham Associates as the base for your integration. Then modify as required to meet your needs.

Or maybe find a service provider, such as SPS Commerce that could drastically simplify the process.

Hi Scott,

I’m working with the navision EDI add on from To-Increase with Tie Messaging Portal for converting and routing messages. It works great. In Navision, you have a standard solution to control all your sales and purchase documents (Order, Order Confirmation, Shipment, Invoice). It will export and import flat files (inhouse files), but the add on comes with mappings to EDIFACT, so you can easily use these mapping in the Messaging Portal (or other EDI messaging software).
With Tie Messaging Portal you have a great tool to control your message flow with almost unlimited protocols (File System, X.400, Secure Mail, etc.) and file formats (Flat File, EDIFACT, SAP Idoc, X12, XML etc.).
We use it in our company between subsidiaries (purchasing), and I’m starting to use it on the customer side this fall (sales). We convert Navision to EDIFACT to IDoc and vice versa.

To-Increase: http://www.to-increase.com
Tie: http://www.tiecommerce.com

Hi Babrown,

Thanks for your recommendation. I learned about Lanham Associates and know that they have a mapping tool that can run in Navision. We approached them before to inquiry about a product called E-Ship but never heard from them. I am under the impression that many MBS partners who have developed their own add-on solutions prefer to use MBS partners to deliver their solutions rather than work with end customer with in-house development capability. When it comes to EDI the implementation guides are always retailer-specific so it will always involves a certain level of custom development. A few U.S. based MBS partners we approached in the past weren’t quite keen on our request because they know they couldn’t provide a local service to us; they wouldn’t just want to resell us the license.


Lanham Associates won’t work with an end user directly, it must be through a solution center. I was on there web site and looking at credit card processing add-on, they have a link to schedule a web demo, and tried it and they responded to me that I could not view the demo, without a solution center online with me, and my solution center charges for everything they do, so I didn’t want to have to pay my solution center just to what a web demo. I explained this to Lanham Associates and they responded that I was out of luck then. No solution center, no demo.

Hi bruno77 and MFH,

Thanks for your suggestions as well. We are actually looking for EDI mapping and translation tools, SDK and do our custom mapping rather than a service. In Australia, many suppliers or third-party warehouse providers would go for turn-key solution (standalone application) rather than a native integrated EDI solution.

I just had a look at TIE but their EDI solutions seem to work with BizTalk Server only. I think if we only need to receive PO and send acknowledgement and ASNs, BizTalk Server may be an overkill considering its license cost alone is over USD10,000.00


I use Lanham EDI Generation1 - We use Sterling Commerce Gentran:Director to send/receive the EDI docs which are then transfered automatically into text files which are imported/exported into Navision. Works fine.

I believe the Generation 2 from Lanham you can eliminate the 3rd party Gentran completely. Which sounds great.

Here’s Gen1 Docs http://www.geocities.com/navision_attain/NavisionEDIMappingGuide.pdf

Here’s Gen 2 Docs http://www.geocities.com/navision_attain/EDIGen2Install-UpgradeGuide.pdf

Hi Harry,

Thank you very much for your info. It really helps me understand the mapping strategry one could use. BTW, would you happen to have a contact at Lanham Associates?

Thanks and regards,


Sorry I do not. You need to go thru your nsc.

Hi Scott,

BizTalk? No way! We chose for this solution just because we do not need BizTalk!

Hi Scott,

I fully agree with Michiel. You should really at the To-Increase functionality. They are an ISV and provide Dynamics solutions for NSC’s. They do work with an NSC in Australia as well, I believe.

Hi Gumboots,

From Auckland.

We use some Windows software from GE Information Services in North Sydney (61-2-9957 9200) to receive the orders and convert to a .txt file.


Our NSC wrote an import routine that then creates sales orders from the .txt file.

Works well. Also send invoices back the same way.


The first time I did EDI for a Navision user, they were quite adamant that they would only ever need one EDI documet, and thus much like this solution, we “hard coded” a text export, that was then read into an EDI converter and made into an EDI document.

Of course once they had EDI, and saw how great it was, they then wanted “just one more”. This kept going, and it eventually became impossible to go to a full EDI solution. Yes a Text import export works great, and is a lot lot easier than installing EDI. But look at your long term plans. If you feel that you are going to be working with more vendors in the future, and will need to create different documents in the future, then go for EDI solution as mentioned above. If you are certain it will never be more than three documents, then use the improt/exort text file method. (This is all just my opinion of course).

I just want to add that if you want to go for the Lanham solution, then you will HAVE to integrate their entire E-Ship solution. They do not sell EDI only.

Oops, I compleltely forgot that. Yes basically that maks Lanham EDI a no og out side of the US version, since integration into any other version would be a huge job. I understand the reasoning behind their decision, but it really does kill the option now. EDI it self is pretty easy to integrate to Navision.

So I guess take a look at the solution suggested my Michiel.