Food Service Distributor Modernize Its Legacy EDI Platform Leveraging Azure Integration Services


VNB assisted a leader in food service distribution replace its legacy EDI platform using Azure LogicApps,  MS Azure Integration Services Account, Azure Storage and Azure Monitor.


Customer Profile

The Customer expressed interest in MS Azure Integration Services. Customer is a leader in the foodservice distribution industry with the power of 200-plus independent distributors. They provide unparalleled support and innovation for their distributor members, producing value, savings and aggregated buying power so the members can better compete with national corporate distributors. The Customer expressed interest in MS Azure Integration Services.

Customer Situation

Customer has been using old legacy EDI platforms for its EDI processing, which was costly, not every scalable and took a lot of resources to maintain. Any new change took weeks to implementing resulting in loss of business. Customer partnered with VNB a leader in integration services using Microsoft platform to build a serverless, economical and rapid development platform.

VNB Solution

VNB proposed architecture followed a Service Oriented Architecture approach and utilized Microsoft Azure cloud as computing platform. MS Azure Integration Services (Logic Apps and Integration Account) was used to build EDI processing for food industry transactions such as 875, 880, 856, 830 etc. and partner management. Integration Account was configured to setup trading partners profiles and configurations. AS2 protocol was configured on the trading partner management to communication with the trading partners. Certificates, encryption and signing were also configured as part of the AS2 communication setup. Azure Logic Apps workflows were created to tie all the receive, transformations, enrichment, send functionality together with capabilities like fault tolerance, audit logging and alert/retry capability. Connections were setup with on-premise Dynamics Great Plains (GP) to send the grocery orders (875) transactions using on-premise data gateway. Apart from the standard EDI transactions acknowledgement were also configured using trading partner management to send MDN’s and 997’s. The proposed solution also enabled a monitoring EDI Dashboard using Azure Log Analytics for the ease of support and operations. Out of box log analytics enabled on the Logic apps to generate further analytics using Azure monitor (aka OMS). The EDI on Azure Monitoring dashboard was an enabler for operations to monitor the flow of messages. The design helped to create a completely de-coupled Environment on Azure platform. All received or sent EDI transactions were archived using MS Azure Integration Services storage for review and resubmit in case of any operational requirement.

Customer Benefits

  • No Down Time: Any addition or change to EDI on Azure platform for the customer will be undertaken with very less or no downtime of existing Integrations. Business processes will not be impacted.
  • Easy to Understand: MS Logic Apps is an easy to understand tooling with design and development capability with low code development studio powered by Azure and with just the browser as a tool.
  • Easy to Maintain: VNB provided Customer team training on the development solution. The team feels with clear monitoring capability and a robust and fault tolerant solution with proper alert mechanism it would be much easier to maintain an EDI platform.
  • Rapid and Agile development cycle: The solution was designed so that it enables subsequent development cycle for other partners to be rapid and agile. In a matter of few sprints the solutions enables capability to onboard new trading partners and different EDI documents which in due course would be a great value to the overall member and distribution network of the customer.

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