Data Interface Requirements

Document Purpose

This document defines the complete set of data input requirements for NETSTOCK’s ongoing SaaS solution.
The exact requirements will differ from system to system (depending on what data is available) and from customer to customer (depending on the business structure). This should be finalised in conjunction with NETSTOCK during the initial requirements phase.

Data Extraction Timing

NETSTOCK operates on a daily refresh of data. The most appropriate timing for data extraction out of the host system is usually early in the morning. Files are exchanged with NETSTOCK using secure FTP which is facilitated by a program installed on a local server with internet access.

Lead Times

Lead times are crucial to NETSTOCK but in some cases it may prove difficult to source meaningful data, therefore there are several alternatives available (listed from most to least preferred):

    Provide lead times in the Stock file (if the data is relevant and available)
    Provide lead times in the Supplier file
    NETSTOCK can derive lead times by analysing the receipts of completed purchase orders in the Completed Purchase Orders file (assuming the data is provided)
    Manual configuration of lead times by supplier

Unit of Measure

All stock related quantities in the data provided are assumed to be in a common unit of measure (referred to throughout this document as the “NETSTOCK unit of measure”). This should typically be the stocking unit of measure, however it must be sufficiently granular to eliminate the need for decimal places in NETSTOCK. Any necessary conversions should be undertaken during the data extraction.

File Format

NETSTOCK requires data files in CSV format (i.e. comma separated values).
Here are some important guidelines:

  • File names must be precisely as specified (noting the all-lowercase lettering)
  • Field headings are to be omitted (except for custom ut_### files)
  • For fields that are not being provided, blank values must still be included to ensure conformity to the file specification (each field must be in its correct position). Blank values can be supplied by using an immediate comma to move to the next field.
  • All designated character fields should be wrapped in double quotes (for example, the value ABC123 should be supplied as “ABC123”).
  • If a double quote features within the data itself, replace it with two consecutive double quotes to distinguish it from the start and end double quote delimiters.

Data Types

Several basic data types are referred to in this specification.
The following table provides information on field sizes and formats:

Data type Comment
Char Variable length strings up to 255 characters long
Integer Numeric values without a decimal component
Decimal Numeric values with a 12 digit maximum including 4 decimal places. Decimal places must be delimited by a full-stop character
Date Date values should be formatted as YYYY/MM/DD E.g. 22 August 2011 should be represented as 2011/08/22
Bit Bit fields allow only the binary values of 0 (false) and 1 (true)

List of Files

The following table summarises the input files that drive NETSTOCK software.

Data File Name Importance Description
Locations location.csv Required Physical stocking locations (warehouses and branches)
Suppliers supplier.csv Required Active vendors
Product Master master.csv Required Basic product information
Stock by Location stock.csv Required The current stock position by location
Custom Groups group.csv Required Codes and descriptions for custom data
Sales & Issues sales.csv Required Sales and issues summarised by month (or the equivalent transactional data)
Outstanding Purchase Orders po.csv Required Outstanding purchase / production order lines
Outstanding Customer Orders co.csv If Applicable Outstanding customer order lines
Outstanding Transfers transfer.csv If Applicable Outstanding transfer lines
Completed Purchase Orders pohist.csv Preferred Completed purchase order lines and receipts
Meta Data ('Trigger' File) control.csv Required Information about the interface and data extraction
Bills of Materials bom.csv If Applicable The relationship between finished goods and raw materials
Supersessions supersessions.csv If Applicable Product linkages where a product(s) has been replaced by a new product
Custom Data ut_###.csv If Applicable Custom file(s) for customer specific business rules