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Integration Overview

Interface Definition | XML Schema | GIDs | Wrapper | Related Topics

Logistics systems require large amounts of data, including information about locations, geography, service providers, rates, itineraries, as well as transactional data such as orders and shipment status. Much of this data comes from traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems; however, some of this information now comes from the internet. In either case, OTM uses the following tools and techniques for data integration:

OTM uses XML to integrate with other systems through several interfaces that perform inbound and outbound processing.

XML documents are sent to OTM using an integration tool such as WebMethods, via HTTPS over the Internet.

To send or receive interface transmissions, a programmer creates an XML schema that matches the GLogXML schema. GLogXML Schema is the format in which you send interface transmissions to OTM. Each type of interface transmission you want to send to OTM or receive from OTM has a specific XML schema that must be used. This documentation describes the information that must appear in a particular schema, defines the pieces of the different schemas, and lists the data that must already exist in OTM for the transmission to function properly.

You can read the Integration Guide online on the OTN website. Note that you can view the interface diagrams directly through the GLogXML.xsd file. They are not part of the Integration Guide.

Interface Definition

An interface is a program that sends and receives properly formatted information from one application to another. OTM has separate interfaces that process different types of data. For example, the Transportation Orders interface (TransOrder) can import transportation order information from a foreign system into OTM. This type of interface is called inbound since data is imported into OTM. Outbound interfaces transmit data from OTM to other systems. For example, shipments planned in OTM can be exported to another system for additional processing.

To send and receive transmissions from OTM, you need to understand:

OTM XML Schema

The OTM XML schema defines the data elements that OTM sends or receives for each type of interface. Schema diagrams display the OTM data elements including their parent-child relationships. By viewing the schema, you can create XML documents (using data from other systems) that can be imported into OTM. Outbound data from OTM is saved in XML documents that follow the same schema.

View the OTM XML Schema

In XML, you must create documents that follow the structure and rules of the OTM XML schema. The GLogXML.xsd file documents the OTM XML schema. We recommend that you use an XML management tool to view the GLogXML.xsd file and understand the OTM data elements and relationships.

The following is an example of an XML diagram with unexploded elements. Elements such as ShipmentHeader and ShipmentStop can be expanded to show the parent-child relationships to other elements in the schema.

A few basics to help you understand the diagram notations are shown below:

Global IDs (GIDs)

GIDs are global identifiers that OTM uses to define various types of information (e.g., orders, shipments, locations, payment vouchers, etc.). A GID consists of the following three parts:

Transmission Template Wrapper

The transmission template wrapper takes plain XML and turns it into a valid OTM transmission. To send an actual shipment to OTM, it must include a wrapper surrounding the XML transmission. You can then send the actual shipment back to OTM.

Related Topics