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 typeComment
CharVariable length strings up to 255 characters long
IntegerNumeric values without a decimal component
DecimalNumeric values with a 12 digit maximum including 4 decimal places. Decimal places must be delimited by a full-stop character
DateDate values should be formatted as YYYY/MM/DD
E.g. 22 August 2011 should be represented as 2011/08/22
BitBit 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.

DataFile NameImportanceDescription
Locationslocation.csvRequiredPhysical stocking locations (warehouses and branches)
Supplierssupplier.csvRequiredActive vendors
Product Mastermaster.csvRequiredBasic product information
Stock by Locationstock.csvRequiredThe current stock position by location
Custom Groupsgroup.csvRequiredCodes and descriptions for custom data
Sales & Issuessales.csvRequiredSales and issues summarised by month
(or the equivalent transactional data)
Outstanding Purchase Orderspo.csvRequiredOutstanding purchase / production order lines
Outstanding Customer Ordersco.csvIf ApplicableOutstanding customer order lines
Outstanding Transferstransfer.csvIf ApplicableOutstanding transfer lines
Completed Purchase Orderspohist.csvPreferredCompleted purchase order lines and receipts
Meta Data
(‘Trigger’ File)
control.csvRequiredInformation about the interface and data extraction
Bill of Materialsbom.csvIf ApplicableThe relationship between finished goods and raw materials
Supersessionssupersessions.csvIf ApplicableProduct linkages where a product(s) has been replaced by a new product
Custom Dataut_###.csvIf ApplicableCustom file(s) for customer specific business rules
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