Preparing for internship

So I got a little hint as to what we will be working on from my future manager…

“You guys will start work on a manifesting/tracking/tracing system. This system will consume EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) transactions which are multi-line, delimited text-files and map the data inside to a database that you will help to create. From there various pieces of reporting will be implemented on top of this to provide customers greater visibility to their supply chain.”

Any idea what this consists of and what type of skills/material I should be brushing up on?

As I understand it, your app will need to (1) fetch data from a remote resource, then (2) parse that data so it can (3) store it in a database and (4) later be retrieved.

For (1), look into HTTP client libraries for your chosen language and/or framework. If this is something that’s done at regular intervals rather than on-demand (per user request), you may want to study up on cron, but there could be someone in your company who’s already responsible for that sort of thing.

(2) should be trivial as there seems to be EDI parser libraries available already, but writing your own is an option, too. It’s just a “delimited text-file”, so look into string manipulation in your language and make sure you know how to split by a character.

(3) and (4) will be made easier by using an ORM (Object Relational Mapper) library. Which one will depend mostly on your language, sometimes on your framework, and possibly on your database. You’ll want to write as little of the query language as possible, but you need to understand some database terms like join, foreign key, and the n + 1 query problem.