Have you ever wondered how you can connect with your partners without having to code? Anypoint Partner Manager is MuleSoft’s solution for business-to-business (B2B) integration. You can work with a variety of data formats, including ANSI ASC X12, UN/EDIFACT, and JSON.
And you can communicate over a variety of protocols, including AS2, SFTP, FTP, and HTTPS. This is offered in a single, unified platform with a no-code configuration driven experience. Partner Manager extends the power of application networks with partners across both EDIs and APIs.
What is B2B integration, and why is it important?
As organizations embrace digital transformation, partners are turning to the web. New technologies are leading to an increase in partner and customer expectations. Paper communication is no longer the norm, and support for legacy technology is key.
Businesses must be flexible in working with a variety of partners using different technologies. Automations are also replacing manual data entry processes. Amid this comes the need for a system that communicates with all partners more consistently. This system must take into account the many different formats used in business communication today, and the many different protocols that partners may be using to connect.
To simplify this task, businesses must look at B2B integration platforms. The goal here is two-fold. First you want to digitize your manual, paper based processes and modernize your legacy digital formats. This is usually done by creating APIs that allow you to send and receive data with partners and customers in their preferred formats.
Second, you want to do it in a consistent and expandable way. This requires using a tool that can easily onboard new partners, monitor all integrations, and track all communication. Ensuring consistency across partner communications allows business to unlock the true potential of B2B integration.
The benefits of digital connection with partners
Connecting with partners via a B2B integration platform comes with many benefits. Let’s explore what they are.
Once you have a platform and process in place, you can repeat for other partners. This means that expanding the business is quicker and easier than ever before.
One of MuleSoft’s key value-adds is composability. This means not “reinventing the wheel”. Once a team member has developed an integration or API, you can use it as part of connecting with a new partner without having to rebuild from scratch.
Greater speed and accuracy
Computers can, of course, replicate and move data with 100% accuracy. This eliminates errors in data entry or delays that may come from manual processing. Anypoint Partner Manager is integrated with the Anypoint Platform. Using MuleSoft’s development capabilities, adding automations to your business processes is easy.
End-to-end monitoring and transaction traceability
Tracing transactions and monitoring system uptime is key to smooth sailing in business. The Anypoint Platform provides end-to-end transaction traceability and real time monitoring.
Anypoint Partner Manager’s configuration-driven experience
Selecting the right B2B integration platform is the first step in partner integrations. Anypoint Partner Manager was designed from the ground up with the business user in mind. This means that most configuration is available through clicks not code. It is easy to onboard new partners, setup message flows, and configure message validation.
Connecting with a new partner
Onboarding new partners is configuration driven, right from the Partner Manager homescreen. You can select partners from the left, and then select Create Partner to get started. You are immediately given options to add an identifier for the new partner. Next is their profile page with options to configure more identifiers, endpoints, message types, and custom attributes.
Consistency across partner messaging
Now you must configure message flows telling the system how to process transactions. Each message flow carries data from a source to a target, with data transformations. MuleSoft’s proprietary data transformation language – DataWeave – makes transformations and format conversions easy. You can upload a DataWeave script and Partner Manager will take care of the rest. The experience is consistent with little-to-no coding needed.
To further ensure consistency, Partner Manager comes with out-of-the-box message validation capabilities. This means that each incoming and outgoing message is configured to meet a standard.
EDIs and APIs can coexist
Even though new online shopping technologies are emerging, EDI messaging still dominates. It accounts for 78% of digital sales. Older companies still rely on EDI while startups may not invest in legacy EDI technology. IT managers must ensure their partner management solution is up to date and backwards compatible.
In some cases, we also see the same organization adopting EDI and API for different message types. EDI may be used for load tenders and invoices in the transportation industry. APIs may be used for shipment statuses for real-time freight tracking. With Partner Manager, integrations built can support any incoming and outgoing data format. Partner Manager converts the message into the correct format before ingesting or sending it.
Digital partner integrations are a must for businesses in today’s connected world. Choosing the right B2B integrations platform can make a big difference in the formats and protocols you support. Such a platform can also make it easier for business teams to onboard and work with new partners. At the end of the day, consistency across partner messaging is important.
Anypoint Partner Manager provides a configuration driven, low-code experience for partner ecosystems. Built with expandability and composability in mind, Partner Manager ensures consistency across partner messaging. It also leverages the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform to provide best-in-class API management features, and end-to-end transaction traceability and monitoring.
To take a closer look at Anypoint Partner Manager, check out this video tutorial: Low-code B2B integrations with Anypoint Partner Manager.