Alternative way of working with Sybase ECMap

Some times ago I was working on a huge project for the Healthcare industry. HIPPA, 837s P/I/D and so on – hundreds of segments/elements, thousands of mapping rules. We used Sybase ECMap tool for the translation purposes. Some maps contained 6,000+ of ECMap rules – often it might take hours to implement/change/fix just one mapping rule.

One day 🙂 we had to switch from X12 4010 to 5010. One of the necessary changes was to increase the fields length (for example, REF-02 had to be changed from AN30 to AN50). It was a lot of manual work and I decided to try to find a workaround for tasks like this. I found that ECMap stores maps as MS Access database files, so I could use an alternative way of changing the maps – through MS Access interface with using of SQL queries. It took several hours to update the maps instead of days. And I was sure about my changes because I could check all of them in seconds.

The main file is the appfiles.mdb. There are several tables:

  • Filehdr – Application Files
  • FILEREC – links between Application Files and Application Records
  • Mapfile – links between Application Directories and Application Files
  • Mapmem – Memory Variables
  • MAPSYS – System Variables
  • RECFLD – Fields
  • RECHDRS – Application Records

As you can guess, to check/change the fields length you need to use RECFLD table.

I used this alternative way a lot for different purposes.

Gennady Kim