It is rare for a company these days to have only one internal application to manage its business. Most have several for different purposes.
Many companies who have recently been involved in mergers or acquisitions find they have a whole range of different applications, often in different locations and running on different operating systems. The ultimate goal may be to merge the different systems to one preferred platform, but this is never a fast or cheap process, and business needs to continue until such a project is completed.
Although there have always been procedures in place to exchange data within a company, many of these are bespoke scripts or other unsupported mini-programs. They are also often unmonitored (how do you know that it ran properly?) and intolerant of temporary issues – a server being rebooted at the wrong moment, or a short-term network outage. Hence the increasing need by many companies for a single application that can handle interfacing between many different applications, with different file formats, on different machines in different places using different communications between different operating systems. This requirement is being referred to (this week) as middleware.
One application – complete solution
In PathFinder, you have a complete tool for the job. It can run on many different platforms. It has a wide variety of protocols to allow it to communicate with different servers. It can trigger external applications to process the files it has produced. It can handle any document, be it binary or formatted, and route it to its destination. For any document in a flat (fixed length fields), delimited or XML format, it can identify, split and transform the document according to requirements, and deliver the resulting document to where it is required. And it can be monitored both automatically via email notifications of problems, and manually via the PathFinder client and monitor.
PathFinder is increasingly used by our customers as a complete, universal and controllable middleware solution. More examples and information can be provided on request.
For more information on using PathFinder as an EDI Interface or as a data exchange tool, please see the sidebar.