IATA PADIS Connector

Version 24.1.8906


IATA PADIS Connector


International Air Transport Association (IATA) Passenger and Airport Data Interchange Standards (PADIS) connectors support generating PADIS documents from XML and converting PADIS documents into XML.

Overview

When receiving PADIS documents, IATA PADIS connectors validate document interchange headers and convert the PADIS document into XML. This is useful as a staging step, because XML is the primary format that CData Arc uses to manipulate data in a flow. The IATA PADIS connector automatically reads the input file to determine the appropriate PADIS schema, then parses the document according to this schema. IATA PADIS is a subset of the EDIFACT standard, so many of the features and functionality of the IATA PADIS connector are shared with the more general EDIFACT connector.

When generating PADIS documents, IATA PADIS connectors convert XML into PADIS document syntax and apply the appropriate interchange headers. This is useful as the final step for creating a PADIS document, after the XML data has been fetched and transformed elsewhere in the flow.

Note: Interchange header validation can be avoided by enabling the Test Indicator setting.

An IATA PADIS connector can also automatically generate acknowledgments to incoming PADIS documents. For more information, see IATA PADIS Acknowledgments.

Connector Configuration

This section contains all of the configurable connector properties.

Settings Tab

Translation Configuration

Settings related to the core operation of the connector.

  • Connector Id The static, unique identifier for the connector.
  • Connector Type Displays the connector name and a description of what it does.
  • Connector Description An optional field to provide a free-form description of the connector and its role in the flow.
  • Translation Type Whether the connector should convert PADIS documents into XML, or generate PADIS documents from XML.

Interchange Settings

Settings related to the IATA PADIS interchange headers. When generating PADIS documents from XML, these settings are used to generate document headers. When parsing PADIS documents, these settings are used to validate the incoming document.

  • Syntax Identifier (UNB1.1) Identifies the character set used in the PADIS document.
  • Syntax Version (UNB1.2) In combination with the Syntax Identifier, determines the syntax to be used in the PADIS document. Based on your selection here, other interchange setting options appear or disappear on the Advanced tab.
  • Sender Identifier (UNB2.1) The unique Id identifying the sending party in the PADIS communication. When you are generating a PADIS document, this should be your identifier.
  • Sender Code Qualifier (UNB2.2) The qualifier for the Sender Identifier, which provides context to the value (for example, an EAN location number).
  • Recipient Identifier (UNB3.1) The unique Id identifying the receiving party in the PADIS communication. When you are generating a PADIS document, this should be your trading partner’s identifier.
  • Recipient Code Qualifier (UNB3.2) The qualifier for the Recipient Identifier, which provides context to the value (for example, an EAN location number).
  • Test Indicator (UNB11) Whether the interchange is in test mode or production mode. If you check this, interchange headers are not validated when documents are received.
  • Functional Group Check this to automatically add the sender and recipient identifiers to the Functional Group Settings on the Advanced tab.

Acknowledgments

Settings related to generating and requesting acknowledgments.

  • Technical acknowledgment (CONTRL) Whether a technical CONTRL ACK should be returned (when receiving) and requested (when sending). A technical acknowledgment serves as a receipt of the interchange.
  • Functional acknowledgment (CONTRL) Whether a functional CONTRL ACK should be returned (when receiving) and requested (when sending). A functional acknowledgment serves as an indication of acceptance or rejection of the received interchange.

Automation Tab

Automation

Settings related to the automatic processing of files by the connector.

  • Send A toggle that instructs the connector to automatically send files when they are ready.
  • Resend Interval The interval the connector waits before resending a file that received a negative ACK. For example, if a trading partner receives the file but something is wrong with it and they send back a negative ACK, this setting specifies how long to wait before sending the file again.
  • Max Attempts (async) The maximum number of times the connector processes the input file when a functional ACK is requested. Success is based on the return of a functional ACK within the Resend Interval. If a successful functional ACK is not returned, the connector resends the file until Max Attempts is reached. If this is set to 0, the connector resends the file indefinitely.

Performance

Settings related to the allocation of resources to the connector.

  • Max Workers The maximum number of worker threads consumed from the threadpool to process files on this connector. If set, this overrides the default setting on the Settings > Automation page.
  • Max Files The maximum number of files sent by each thread assigned to the connector. If set, this overrides the default setting on the Settings > Automation page.

Alerts Tab

Settings related to configuring alerts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Connector Email Settings

Before you can execute SLAs, you need to set up email alerts for notifications. Clicking Configure Alerts opens a new browser window to the Settings page where you can set up system-wide alerts. See Alerts for more information.

Service Level Agreement (SLA) Settings

SLAs enable you to configure the volume you expect connectors in your flow to send or receive, and to set the time frame in which you expect that volume to be met. CData Arc sends emails to warn the user when an SLA is not met, and marks the SLA as At Risk, which means that if the SLA is not met soon, it will be marked as Violated. This gives the user an opportunity to step in and determine the reasons the SLA is not being met, and to take appropriate actions. If the SLA is still not met at the end of the at-risk time period, the SLA is marked as violated, and the user is notified again.

To define an SLA, click Add Expected Volume Criteria.

  • If your connector has separate send and receive actions, use the radio buttons to specify which direction the SLA pertains to.
  • Set Expect at least to the minimum number of transactions (the volume) you expect to be processed, then use the Every fields to specify the time frame.
  • By default, the SLA is in effect every day. To change that, uncheck Everyday then check the boxes for the days of the week you want.
  • Use And set status to ‘At Risk’ to indicate when the SLA should be marked as at risk.
  • By default, notifications are not sent until an SLA is in violation. To change that, check Send an ‘At Risk’ notification.

The following example shows an SLA configured for a connector that expects to receive 1000 files every day Monday-Friday. An at-risk notification is sent 1 hour before the end of the time period if the 1000 files have not been received.

Advanced Tab

EDI Delimiters

Settings that specify which characters separate elements, segments, etc.

  • Data Element Separator The character that separates individual data elements in the document.
  • Component Element Separator The character that separates elements within a composite data structure in the document.
  • Segment Terminator The character that indicates the end of a segment in the document.
  • Release Char The character that releases (escapes) the next character, overriding its usual meaning. This allows reserved characters to appear as data within documents, as long as they are preceded by the Release Char.
  • Repetition Char The character that indicates repetition of element values.
  • Suffix Appended to the Segment Terminator to distinguish segments.

Interchange Settings

Additional settings related to the IATA PADIS interchange headers. These options appear or disappear based on the Syntax Version specified on the Settings tab.

  • Service Code List Directory Version Number (UNB1.3) Further specifies the syntax to be used in the PADIS document. Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Character Encoding (UNB1.4) Specifies how characters are encoded (such as ASCII or UTF-8). Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Address for Reverse Routing (UNB2.3) The optional address in the sender’s system to which responding interchanges should be sent. Only applicable for PADIS syntax versions prior to version 4.
  • Sender Internal Identification (UNB2.3) An additional sender identifier to facilitate internal routing of response interchanges. Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Sender Internal Sub-Identification (UNB2.4) Further identifies the sender when sub-level identification is required. Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Routing Address (UNB3.3) The optional address in the recipient’s system to which interchanges should be routed. Only applicable for PADIS syntax versions prior to version 4.
  • Recipient Internal Identification (UNB3.3) An additional recipient identifier to facilitate internal routing of received interchanges. Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Recipient Internal Sub-Identification (UNB3.4) Further identifies the recipient, for when sub-level identification is required. Only applicable for PADIS syntax version 4.
  • Recipient Password (UNB6.1) Reference or password to gain access to the recipient’s system.
  • Recipient Password Qualifier (UNB6.2) The qualifier that provides context to the Recipient Password, if applicable.
  • Application Reference ID (UNB7) Identifies the application group to which the messages in the interchange relate.
  • Processing Priority Code (UNB8) Code for requesting processing priority for the interchange.
  • Communication Agreement (UNB10) Defines the type of communication agreement controlling the interchange.

Functional Group Settings

Settings related to the functional group headers of PADIS documents. These optional identifiers can help group similar interchanges together or facilitate sub-addressing within an organization.

  • Application Sender Identifier (UNG2.1) Identifies the application sending the document (such as a division, branch, or computer system).
  • Application Recipient Identifier (UNG2.1) Identifies the application for which the document is intended.

Advanced Settings

Settings not included in the previous categories.

  • Batch Transactions An interchange can contain multiple transactions. When this is not checked, the connector creates a separate output file for each transaction in the interchange. When checked, the connector groups all transactions into a single output file. Only applicable when the Translation Type is IATA to XML.
  • Encoding Specifies the character encoding (such as ASCII or UTF-8).
  • Expand Qualifier Values When checked, XML elements containing an EDI qualifier include child elements containing the qualifier code and value. For example:
    <N101>
     <Code>ST</Code>
     <Value>Ship To</Value>
    </N101>
  • Functional Acks By default, all functional acknowledgments (997, 999) are routed to the connector selected in the flow diagram, and XML translations are not received in the Output tab. Check this to have the translated acknowledgment also be included in the Output tab. This allows functional acknowledgments to be integrated into a destination source in addition to new PADIS documents.
  • Generate Description As When translating PADIS into XML, descriptions of the PADIS segments and elements can be provided as context for the PADIS data. Use this dropdown to choose whether to add this context as an XML comment or as XML attributes.
  • Local File Scheme A scheme for assigning filenames to messages that are output by the connector. You can use macros in your filenames dynamically to include information such as identifiers and timestamps. For more information, see Macros.
  • Nest Loops When checked, the connector detects PADIS structures that have hierarchical relationships embedded in the PADIS data, and generates XML with these hierarchical relationships represented as parent-child relationships.
  • Processing Delay The amount of time (in seconds) by which the processing of files placed in the Input folder is delayed. This is a legacy setting. Best practice is to use a File connector to manage local file systems instead of this setting.
  • Strict Schema Validation Whether the connector should Ignore, Warn, or Fail when the following are detected: repeat counts above the allowed number, missing required elements or segments, invalid qualifier and code values, disallowed element lengths, and invalid element values. Choosing Disable turns off the schema validation checks.
  • Track UNB2.1 Whether to add UNB2.1 values as tracked headers to processed messages. These headers are required when running reports.
  • Track UNB3.1 Whether to add UNB3.1 values as tracked headers to processed messages. These headers are required when running reports.
  • Track Transaction Types Whether to add transaction types as tracked headers to processed messages. These headers are required when running reports.
  • Validate Identifiers Check this to ensure that the identifiers in the translated document match the identifiers in the connector’s configuration.

Message

  • Save to Sent Folder Check this to copy files processed by the connector to the Sent folder for the connector.
  • Sent Folder Scheme Instructs the connector to group messages in the Sent folder according to the selected interval. For example, the Weekly option instructs the connector to create a new subfolder each week and store all messages for the week in that folder. The blank setting tells the connector to save all messages directly in the Sent folder. For connectors that process many messages, using subfolders helps keep messsages organized and improves performance.

Logging

  • Log Level The verbosity of logs generated by the connector. When you request support, set this to Debug.
  • Log Subfolder Scheme Instructs the connector to group files in the Logs folder according to the selected interval. For example, the Weekly option instructs the connector to create a new subfolder each week and store all logs for the week in that folder. The blank setting tells the connector to save all logs directly in the Logs folder. For connectors that process many transactions, using subfolders helps keep logs organized and improves performance.
  • Log Messages Check this to have the log entry for a processed file include a copy of the file itself. If you disable this, you might not be able to download a copy of the file from the Input or Output tabs.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous settings are for specific use cases.

  • Other Settings Enables you to configure hidden connector settings in a semicolon-separated list (for example, setting1=value1;setting2=value2). Normal connector use cases and functionality should not require the use of these settings.

Converting Formats

The following sections detail the process of converting PADIS documents to XML and vice versa.

PADIS to XML

Setting the Translation Type to IATA to XML instructs the connector to parse incoming PADIS documents into XML. The connector first reads all of the header information for the Interchange and Functional Group sections of the document and validates them against the configured connector settings (unless Test Indicator is enabled). The connector then parses out the specific PADIS schema used in the document and loads the schema from the ‘edifact_schemas’ folder on disk (additional schema files can be downloaded from our website for free).

Using the schema, the connector generates XML representing the structure of the document, populates the XML with the values from the document, and provides context to each value either as XML comments or as attributes in the XML elements (based on the value of Generate Descriptions As).

To see this process with a set of test PADIS documents, navigate to the Input tab of an IATA PADIS connector (with Translation Type set to IATA to XML) and select More > Create Test Files. PADIS documents for an an invoice, purchase order, purchase order acknowledgment, and shipping notice are automatically generated and placed in the Input directory. After these test files are processed by the connector, navigate to the Output tab to see the resulting XML.

Once PADIS documents are converted to XML, the data can be transformed and manipulated in many ways. Commonly, PADIS data needs to be stored in a database or other back-end application system. Since Arc uses XML to represent inserts into these back-end systems, storing the PADIS data becomes a matter of mapping one XML structure onto another. This is typically done with the visual designer-driven XML Map Connector.

XML to PADIS

Setting the Translation Type to XML to IATA instructs the connector to generate an PADIS document out of an XML representation of the document. After the connector has constructed the PADIS message out of the data parsed from the XML, it adds functional group and interchange headers according to the configured connector settings.

To see this process with a set of test XML files, navigate to the Input tab of an IATA PADIS connector (with Translation Type set to XML to IATA) and select More > Create Test Files. XML files representing an an invoice, purchase order, purchase order acknowledgment, and shipping notice are automatically generated and placed in the Input directory. After these test files are processed by the connector, navigate to the Output tab to see the resulting PADIS document.

IATA PADIS Acknowledgments

The following sections detail the two types of IATA PADIS acknowledgments (ACKs), and how Arc expects, processes, and generates ACKs.

Technical versus Functional Acknowledgments

Technical ACKs, sometimes called interchange ACKs, are an indication that an interchange has taken place between the two parties, although not necessarily that any individual message has been exchanged. These serve as a receipt to the sender indicating that the PADIS message was successfully received, but it does not specify whether there were any issues with processing the message content.

Functional ACKs are an indication that an interchange has been processed by the receiving party. They can report acceptance, acceptance with issues, or rejection of the received document. These serve as both a receipt that an interchange was successfully received and that it was fully processed.

Expecting, Processing, and Generating Acknowledgments

Expecting Acknowledgements

IATA PADIS connectors operating in XML to IATA mode can be configured so that technical and/or functional ACKs are expected for a message. When one or both Technical acknowledgment (CONTRL) and Functional acknowledgment (CONTRL) are checked in the Acknowledgments section of the Settings tab, the connector maintains a Pending ACK status for a transmission until the appropriate ACKs have been returned and processed. This means that the connector status can be used to determine whether the recipient has confirmed that they received the interchange. See Expecting Acknowledgments for a detailed description of this feature in the EDIFACT connector. The IATA PADIS connector works the same way.

Processing Acknowledgments

In a typical flow, PADIS ACKs arrive at an IATA PADIS connector operating in IATA to XML mode. This IATA PADIS connector can be configured to automatically route any received acknowledgments to the IATA PADIS connector that originally generated the document being acknowledged. Routing ACKs between IATA PADIS connectors is configured visually on the Flows canvas by dragging the gray dot at the bottom of the IATA PADIS connector in IATA to XML mode onto the IATA PADIS connector that is in XML to IATA mode.

Once the connector in XML to IATA mode receives the routed ACK, it pairs the ACK to the original message and changes its state from Pending ACK to Sent.

Generating Acknowledgements

When an IATA PADIS connector in IATA to XML mode receives a message and generates the corresponding XML, it can automatically generate CONTRL acknowledgments for the received message. To accomplish this, check Technical acknowledgment (CONTRL) and/or Functional acknowledgment (CONTRL) in the Acknowledgments section of the Settings tab. These acknowledgments must be routed to another IATA PADIS connector (in XML to IATA mode) to finalize the ACK. The connector to which the ACK is routed applies interchange headings and passes the ACK along to the next connector in the flow like any other IATA PADIS message. To route the ACK appropriately, drag the gray dot at the bottom of the IATA PADIS connector in IATA to XML mode onto the IATA PADIS connector that is in XML to IATA mode.

See Generating Acknowledgments for a detailed description of this feature in the EDIFACT connector. The IATA PADIS connector works the same way.

Macros

Using macros in file naming strategies can enhance organizational efficiency and contextual understanding of data. By incorporating macros into filenames, you can dynamically include relevant information such as identifiers, timestamps, and header information, providing valuable context to each file. This helps ensure that filenames reflect details important to your organization.

CData Arc supports these macros, which all use the following syntax: %Macro%.

Macro Description
ConnectorID Evaluates to the ConnectorID of the connector.
Ext Evaluates to the file extension of the file currently being processed by the connector.
Filename Evaluates to the filename (extension included) of the file currently being processed by the connector.
FilenameNoExt Evaluates to the filename (without the extension) of the file currently being processed by the connector.
MessageId Evaluates to the MessageId of the message being output by the connector.
RegexFilename:pattern Applies a RegEx pattern to the filename of the file currently being processed by the connector.
Header:headername Evaluates to the value of a targeted header (headername) on the current message being processed by the connector.
LongDate Evaluates to the current datetime of the system in long-handed format (for example, Wednesday, January 24, 2024).
ShortDate Evaluates to the current datetime of the system in a yyyy-MM-dd format (for example, 2024-01-24).
DateFormat:format Evaluates to the current datetime of the system in the specified format (format). See Sample Date Formats for the available datetime formats
Vault:vaultitem Evaluates to the value of the specified vault item.

Examples

Some macros, such as %Ext% and %ShortDate%, do not require an argument, but others do. All macros that take an argument use the following syntax: %Macro:argument%

Here are some examples of the macros that take an argument:

  • %Header:headername%: Where headername is the name of a header on a message.
  • %Header:mycustomheader% resolves to the value of the mycustomheader header set on the input message.
  • %Header:ponum% resolves to the value of the ponum header set on the input message.
  • %RegexFilename:pattern%: Where pattern is a regex pattern. For example, %RegexFilename:^([\w][A-Za-z]+)% matches and resolves to the first word in the filename and is case insensitive (test_file.xml resolves to test).
  • %Vault:vaultitem%: Where vaultitem is the name of an item in the vault. For example, %Vault:companyname% resolves to the value of the companyname item stored in the vault.
  • %DateFormat:format%: Where format is an accepted date format (see Sample Date Formats for details). For example, %DateFormat:yyyy-MM-dd-HH-mm-ss-fff% resolves to the date and timestamp on the file.

You can also create more sophisticated macros, as shown in the following examples:

  • Combining multiple macros in one filename: %DateFormat:yyyy-MM-dd-HH-mm-ss-fff%%EXT%
  • Including text outside of the macro: MyFile_%DateFormat:yyyy-MM-dd-HH-mm-ss-fff%
  • Including text within the macro: %DateFormat:'DateProcessed-'yyyy-MM-dd_'TimeProcessed-'HH-mm-ss%