Message Mappings Can Be Simplified

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I have recently worked with a client, and we were going through one of those big mappings, to see what was going on in it. Sometimes, things were a bit unclear. Sometimes, it was difficult to understand, to help develop, and to realize what went wrong.

 

I wanted to show you just how complicated a mapping can get, so here’s an example of a mapping gone wild:

 

Message Mapping

Message Mapping

 

I guess you all know by now that when it comes to such a monstrosity, simplifying it can seem difficult at first.

 

You might think that jumping straight into the details is the best approach, e.g. in this case we need these values; in that other case, we also need to do this…this can often make the mapping burst with problems, such as fields and values appearing where they shouldn’t. Handling a mapping in which the simplifying process went wrong is doubly difficult.

 

In such a situation, you’d have to go through the entire mapping and clean up all the mess that has been created.

 

In the case of this specific mapping, we noticed it was receiving data from two different sources, list 1 and list 8. The input values we could get from each of these values was either ‘blank’, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then we realized that ‘blank’ and ‘no’ were the same, so if we created a fixed value from ‘blank’ to ‘no’, we could use ‘concatenate’, then ‘fixed value’, as shown here.

 

Message Mapping Simplified

Message Mapping Simplified

 

With this, we could go through all the different results and options we’d get. This way it was easier to spot the important details and assess the situation. We were basically looking at something that was a lot easier to understand.

 

I hope you also find the information shared here easy to understand. By simplifying the mapping, it becomes much more readable, and I can understand what it does easily.
Do you go through this simplification process for old mappings? I have to admit, a lot of time and resources are needed to do it – you obviously cannot simplify a mapping without constant testing. You have to make sure that what you’re doing doesn’t affect everything else, and you have to do it where you are able to simplify things a bit without consequences. So, do you revise your old or inherited mappings this way? I know it can cost a lot, but it pays in the long run, in the support area.

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