What is a VAN?

VAN stands for Value Added Network and they are a network of companies who serve the purpose of EDI communication. A VAN is used by companies to send and receive their EDI documents with their partners. VANs offer other services as well, but these differ largely from one VAN to another.

All VANs work out of a network address database that they share with other VANs to create an interconnected network. Each VAN lists their customers and provides them with a unique ID to identify them on the network. When another VAN is sending a document, they will use this unique ID to find the receive VAN location. Once identified, they will send the message to the receiving partner’s VAN, thus delivering the message to the correct recipient.

Unique IDs are made up of two parts, a qualifier and an ID. The qualifier tells you what kind of ID to expect, and the ID is the value itself. For example, a qualifier of 01 indicates that the ID will be the company’s DUNS number.

Babelway and VANs

Babelway is not a VAN, but realizes that in the world of B2B integration, it’s likely that you will encounter a customer who will only transmit documents via their VAN. Because of this, we’ve added support for VAN communication as a standard gateway.

Babelway gives you the ability to send documents to the VAN network and route to your receiving partner’s VAN based on the EDI ID you use in the document. For inbound documents, we give you the ability to deploy a gateway that will receive all EDI documents for a EDI ID that you input into the gateway.

Here is how the setup looks in Babelway

Babelway takes care of a lot of the work for you, all that you need is an ID and Qualifier to use for your EDI VAN transactions. When sending to a receiving party via VAN, there is no gateway setup, you just ensure that your receiver’s IDs are within the file.

Easy setup and monitoring

Deploy your connection in seconds, making it ready for testing immediately

  • Define a few simple parameters and create your connection
  • Access more advanced settings to adjust your connection requirements
  • Define specific polling times to ensure prompt delivery or receipt of your files
  • Monitor all file connections from one unified monitoring section

Transform any format

Use simple drag & drop tools to map your message to any other format for easy import/export in/from your database

  • 12+ formats to choose from: CSV, XML, UBL, Excel, IDOC, EDIFACT, etc
  • Hundreds of transformation functions available or build your custom functions
  • Use lookup tables tables to replace data sets
  • Change your file structure without loosing your transformation maps

Connect to anyone

Connect your Babelway environment using any EDI or non-EDI communication protocols

  • 12+ communication protocols supported including X400, VAN, AS2, FTP, VPN, etc.
  • Define retry strategies for maximum robustness
  • Get notified and intervene immediately in case of processing or delivery issues

And last but not least:

Get extended support from the experts

Babelway is not only a great Self-Service platform, it’s a team of expert individuals to make you succeed

  • Spot the ‘reuse and save time’ zone on the right of the screen? Import messages and maps from our catalog
  • Access on-demand, online training material through BabelAcademy – check out the program here.
  • Access our support helpdesk anytime and ask your questions

“I have to say how helpful Babelway support is. It was amazing how quickly I was getting answers to my questions. Sometimes even at all hours of day and night.”

IT Department, Vandeputte

Free for 30 days