Mapping Entities / Structures from External EDI connections

Mapping Entities / Structures from External EDI connections

When conneting to clients and mapping entities we're currently using Tibco Designer; this is something I would really like Outsystems to be able to handle good too.

Tibco Designer has got a nice visual way of mapping / transforming data from one import / export type to another which also provides ways to convert data (e.g. "€ 20,00" to "20" or "Wallstreet 41b, 3442 BL Rotterdam" to "Wallstreet", "41b", "3442 BL", "RD" ) based on rules (e.g. on a client base or a incoming EDI type base).
See below a less advanced example.

It would be nice if Outsystems would get a more advanced (and visual) entity mapping / structure mapping functionality.
Outsystems has got regular expression extensions and the possibility to call public actions that will be a great help in 'molding' the data correctly.
(It would however be nices to have a kind of 'Data transformer' action type which separates itself from the regular public actions list.)

Above image gives a nice view of the mappings and, besides that, could enable a user see whether all of the mandatory fields are filled.
Although above image of Tibco is nice, I think you could do a better job; for the above shown 'link lines' to me are not linked very good.
A link as a default ERD schema looks like would be a lot better.
Besides that; creating a mapping in a separate popup screen having a two column "FROM Variable" => "TO Variable" structure would be way better than below example (Believe me; this is a start-up "easy" example):

Hi Eric,

First of all thanks for your feedback! This is the kind of feedback we are aiming at, and as you did, with a possible solution to improve this kind of tasks.

Increase productivity is one of our major and continuous goals, and this is a good example where we can improve. In the past we have created the "multiple assign" that provides us some intelligence to perform a multiple assignment in one click, thus automating the heaviest part, and then further mappings are done on a a case by case basis.

Yet, I would like to have more feedback from all of you to understand what is the most common scenario: for instance do you need to manipulate data attributes is each assignment or is a simple conversion?


Manuel Dias
Dear Manuel,

Mapping the data (a visual bulk data Assign function; or as you call it; a "multiple assign") would be one of the main assets.
Besides that following is very common in our line of business:
  • manipulating the datatypes CHAR(20) to DateTime
  • splitting up strings into multiple entities (and vice-versa)  CHAR(40) to Integer, Integer, Date, Char(5)
  • transforming data on a conversion table (Query) base for the conversion of External reference to Internal reference or Currencies for example   "PORT" to "Portugal" / "EUR" to "US DOLLARS"
  • File format conversion: CSV / Excel file to XML
  • Filetype conversion: Dos to Unix / Unix to Dos (This has to do with Carriage Return and LineFeed characters and the End Of File characters)
I hope this gives an idea of the common "problem" situations