Covast EDI Accelerator was built in early 2000 to run specifically with Microsoft BizTalk Server. Covast was implemented along with BizTalk Server version 2006 and prior to enable the processing of EDI Data (X12 and EDIFACT). Covast filled that gap with this EDI accelerator to enable EDI processing for customers who wanted to use BizTalk, and also wanted to process their X12 and EDIFACT documents to/from their Trading Partners (Customers, Vendors and Suppliers) to facilitate B2B and Ecommerce.
At the time, customers chose Microsoft BizTalk Server over other older middleware tools to lower their integration costs and consolidate their communication layers with a data processing layer (mapping and BPM). BizTalk also enabled true ESB and SOA patterns. XML based protocols, data and standards were becoming popular during the early 1990’s and BizTalk became a robust alternative to other software platforms. Inclusion of Covast EDI Accelerator toolkit made perfect sense in that environment.
Why didn’t Microsoft Build EDI support for X12 and EDIFACT standards?
X12 and EDIFACT are flat file based standard documents. With advancements of XML and internet based protocols, these EDI standards were presumed old and formats that were unlikely to be continued in the future. Therefore, EDI support was not built into the prior version of BizTalk 2000 through version 2006.
Change in Microsoft BizTalk strategy
Almost two decades later and EDI still is far from dead!
X12 and EDIFACT EDI standards still exist and are becoming even more important as some of the sectors such as retail and healthcare consolidate - wanting to become more efficient in their integrations with other businesses. As a result, Microsoft bought the rights from Covast and built native support for EDI in BizTalk 2006 R2 onwards. This marked the end of Covast.
Microsoft continued to invest heavily in BizTalk by refining and streamlining its X12 and EDIFACT support in all subsequent versions after BizTalk version 2006 R2 up to current BizTalk 2016.
Time to Update Technologies: The Aidant Advantage
Aidant Technologies developed a platform based on deep experience supporting clients with transitions from Covast as well as building EDI natively. We are uniquely positioned to help customers that are still running Covast or other old versions of BizTalk Server to migrate to the latest version of BizTalk without using unsupported versions of BizTalk/Covast. Aidant executes these migrations at lower cost and low impact to business while training EDI staff to use the new version of BizTalk along with the Aidant DI.Platform.
The Aidant DI.Platform
- Simplifies EDI integrations
- Streamline change management
- Accelerates new customer EDI on-boarding and mapping
- Lowers TCO (license + infrastructure costs)
- Allows our clients to quickly realize significant ROI on new platform implementations
Aidant solves the complex migration by:
- Creating automation to migrate maps from Covast to BizTalk
- Forming testing tools to lower impact on final migrated maps
- Managing all business logic and routing of messages
- Providing true visibility into EDI acknowledgments and end to end tracking to drill down into Batched EDI messages
- Creating Trading Partners setup in new BizTalk from historical analysis
- Providing our professional services team with experience in Covast - among the very few who can still operate Covast to get information out for migration