Biztalk IT PM Management Consultants

Case Study: Integrating Apple Inc. with its suppliers via X12 EDI

Business scenario

We recently integrated a client of ours with Apple Inc. across the supply chain. The client is a high tech manufacturer that sells chips to Apple Inc. Organizationally, Apple sells a semi-completed board to them, the client completes this and sells it back to Apple Inc.  Apple is integrated with most of its suppliers in this way. The interaction involved:

  • Purchase Order (X12 850) sent to Apple,
  • Advance Shipment Notification (X12 856) sent to Apple,
  • Invoice (X12 810) sent to Apple
  • Purchase Order (X12 850) received from Apple,
  • Goods Receipt (X12 846) received from Apple
  • Acknowledgements (X12 997s) are sent back and forth in both directions and retries are done in case of technical and functional failures.

The client uses JD Edwards as the source of data for POs, Invoices and ASNs. All incoming POs and Goods recipients are also added to JD Edwards. Their JD Edwards instance used an Oracle back end database.

EDI Flow

The project’s implementation used the Allied EDI framework to execute the project in 8 weeks. The Allied EDI framework is a set of templates, tools and best practices that accelerate the implementation of EDI projects in a multi-shore implementation scenario. BizTalk also provided OOTB support for JD Edwards connectivity.

EDI Analysis

Microsoft BizTalk Server and Sharepoint Server 2010 were the technologies at the heart of the solution. BizTalk was chosen because it provided an accelerated path to implementing the sFTP and AS2 protocols and provided extensive schematic support for the X12 version required by Apple.


 Business benefits

  • People-less entry of POs, Invoices, etc.
  • Compliance with Client’s (Apple’s) Vendor Management Standards
  • Scalable and Flexible architecture for Vendor and Client onboarding