Tallan's Technology Blog

Tallan's Top Technologists Share Their Thoughts on Today's Technology Challenges

Category Archive for "Enterprise & System Integration"

X12 EDI Databases for HIPAA Transactions

The X12 HIPAA transaction set is used across the healthcare industry to transmit claim, enrollment and payment information. Given the importance and ubiquity of these EDI files, you might assume that translating them from ANSI to a relational database format would be well-supported with a range of options.
In practice, a task as common as parsing a claim or encounter and storing it in a database can quickly escalate into a significant problem.
One solution we’ve seen involves archiving a snapshot of the EDI file using filestream storage. This can satisfy some retention requirements, but provides little in terms of fine-grained tracking or analytic capabilities.
A more complete approach is to parse the X12 file into its discrete elements and store them in a relational database. The ideal solution captures the full extent of the EDI transactions while also applying a reasonable leveling of flattening to keep in the number of table joins under control.

SNIP 3 835 Balancing

835 and 837 EDI transactions have transformed the adjudication cycle for providers and health plans over the last two decades, but challenges remain in reconciling payments with claims. Today we’ll focus on the 835 Claim Payment/Remittance Advice. Health plans submit 835s to providers (or their intermediaries) to explain which claims are being paid, and any reductions to the submitted amount and the reasoning for the adjustment. This is an important function – a significant pain point experienced by providers is the reconciliation of their income against claims submitted.
Before this valuable information can be loaded in practice management software, the 835 should pass validation checks. Common issues affecting 835s are balancing errors between the header and detail payment amounts. Imbalanced 835s lower the quality of reporting and can lead to billing errors and lost revenue.
WEDI describes up to seven levels of validation,…

Overview of Azure Information Protection

Jason Zandri

Azure Information Protection allows administrators to define rules to classify corporate data, documents, emails, and other digitally stored information in the cloud, so that the information is protected automatically when the applicable criteria is met in an enforced configuration. Administrators can also set up the configuration so that end users with access to the originating documentation, can have the same options to do so on their own (when optional enforcement is permitted), based on suggestions when criteria matches are found within the sensitive data (e.g. structure of the numbers look like Social Security numbers, patient numbers, credit card numbers, wording in the document using terms like “confidential”, etc.).
Once protection labels are made, applied, and the data is protected, administrators can track the movement of the data and analyze where it flows, where it is stored, copied, shared, etc. This allows you to have a better understanding what kind of behaviors…

Low Code: Integration at the Speed of Business

Dell Boomi clients wanted to launch new technology capabilities that will rapidly deliver a competitive edge. Unfortunately, project backlogs and multiple priorities often slow the pace of innovation. Overworked and understaffed IT teams often compound this problem, resulting in employee turnover that makes it even harder for businesses to retain the best and brightest IT staff.
Ultimately, the cycle of pressing priorities and strained IT resources leads to a skills gap that causes many companies to lag behind.
And integration is central to this issue. These days organizations need to be extremely agile in how they integrate their applications and data to drive digital transformation. The volume and diversity of integrations necessary for running a digital business are growing exponentially. Social, mobile, analytics, big data, IoT and AI technologies all require integration into core business systems.
And integration is fundamental for any organization…

An example of BizTalk360's home dashboard

Introduction to Biztalk360

BizTalk360 is a browser-based monitoring application for Microsoft’s BizTalk integration platform. The out-of-the-box monitoring functionality can be difficult to navigate both for new users and experienced admins, and is complex and time consuming to set up for multiple users with varying access rights. BizTalk360 combines the Admin Console and Event Log, with some added analytical and notification functionality, to create an easy to navigate operational tool.
In this overview of basic BizTalk360 setup, I will assume you have a BizTalk application already deployed that contains at least one receive port and send port. Although there is a huge amount of configuration and monitoring that can be done through BizTalk360, this article will focus on initial configuration and simple environment health monitoring.

BizTalk 2016 Feature Pack 1 Management REST API Tutorial

Kevin Morillo

One of the great new additions of the recently released Feature Pack 1 for Microsoft BizTalk 2016 is a REST API, which can be used to administer BizTalk Server.  Longtime users of BizTalk may have experience with using ExplorerOM.dll or WMI based scripts to manage their BizTalk environment.  The REST API introduced in Feature Pack 1 provides a more flexible alternative, including a Swagger definition providing rapid implementation of an application to consume the API.  In this post, I will walk through the process of installing the API as well as using Swagger to generate a C# client and demonstrating a simple command.

Integration a Key to Unlocking Big Data

When the term “big data” first burst onto the scene about seven years ago, experts predicted that organizations could dramatically improve how they operate by capturing and analyzing vast arrays of rapidly growing information.
Fast forward to 2017. It turns out that “big data” wasn’t just another buzzword. Now an established term in the IT and business lexicon, big data is bigger than ever. By some estimates data volumes are doubling every three years.
But organizations have yet to fully capitalize on the value of data for more informed decision-making, operational efficiencies, and personalized systems of engagement with customers and partners.
“Most companies are capturing only a fraction of the potential value from data and analytics,” according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, “The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Driven World.”
Connecting Data for Competitive Advantage
For organizations that want to survive and thrive…

Making the Case for Entity Framework in the Enterprise

Recently, I was met with some friction by the IT department at a client where, they asserted, that a decision had been made years ago to ban Entity Framework. Like many enterprise environments, this client was understandably concerned with the potential pitfalls of embracing Entity Framework. That meant that my job was to convince them otherwise – not to discount their apprehension, but quite the contrary – to demonstrate how EF can be leveraged for its advantages, and avoided for its shortcomings.
Entity Framework (EF) is a broad framework with many optional parts. There are several aspects of EF that provide great benefit, while others are a source of great consternation – particularly from the perspective of the database purist. As the cliché goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and so this blog post explores different aspects of EF, and…

Test Harnesses and the Use of Exception Shapes

While testing an integration it is always important to perform a series of negative test cases to ensure the process can fail gracefully through error handling. It is not always possible for endpoint environments to be set up for quick and easy testing. For this reason, a useful step in the development process is to create test harnesses. These can act as the implementation of abstract test cases beyond simple shape-to-shape testing. Test harnesses are also incredibly useful for regression testing.

Introduction to Windows Server Active Directory Domain Services and Active Directory Health

Jason Zandri

For most corporate networks, Windows Active Directory Domain Services is the critical backbone for the support of your enterprise information structure. An improperly performing Windows Server Active Directory can be the cause of the most minor of nuisance issues, up to and including as much as the complete failure of your corporate environment’s security and authentication structure and the loss of access to your data, systems, and network shared resources.
This introduction post on the subject of the health of your Windows Server Active Directory Domain Services is part one of an occasional series of blog posts that I will have on Active Directory Health.
Performing an Active Directory Health Check in small and midsize environments can be somewhat problematic for the local, in house network and resource administrators. Often times, those smaller businesses don’t always have dedicated, full-time Active Directory administrators,…