As a general contractor using TradeTapp, you can push backlog data from your enterprise resource planning (ERP) or accounting system to TradeTapp so you can automatically update your vendor’s internal backlog.
The vendor backlog amount will be displayed in your TradeTapp account both on the vendor profile, and on the Invitations dashboard. This means you can easily track against the vendor's internal limits.
You can automate the delivery of your internal backlog data to TradeTapp by creating a script or an automated task. An SFTP client can also be used to automate the sending of files. This must be done by your internal IT team.
This article features:
- How to import vendor backlog data from your ERP or accounting system to TradeTapp
- I’m having trouble connecting to the SFTP service. How can I troubleshoot?
- File Requirements for Vendor Backlog Data
- How quickly will the files be imported?
- Can we use an SFTP client to view the files we sent to TradeTapp via SFTP?
- Where will vendor backlog data be displayed in TradeTapp?
- I don’t see a vendor’s backlog data in my TradeTapp account. Why not?
- Do the Project Approval Request ‘Risk Assessments’ take Internal Backlog into consideration?
How to import vendor backlog data from your ERP or accounting system to TradeTapp
1. Send your public SSH key to TradeTapp Support
Your public SSH key allows you to establish secure connections between remote networks.
Please send your public SSH key with the .pub file extension here. The public key provided must be associated with a private key on the server that will be used to connect to the SFTP service to send files.
Our Support team will acknowledge the receipt. Once we have received your public SSH key, we will provide you with a unique username and address for your company in the format of email@example.com.
If you do not already have a public SSH key, please reference this article for steps on how to generate an SSH key pair.
2. Test your connection with TradeTapp’s directory
Once you have received your company’s unique username and address in the format shown above, you can test your connection with TradeTapp’s directory.
Open your Command Line Interface and enter the following command to confirm you can connect to TradeTapp’s internal backlog directory for your company:
To test uploading a file, please upload an empty .txt file then enter the following command. Please note that the full file path should be provided.
sftp> put FILE_PATH
Finally, enter the command below to view all files listed in your company’s internal backlog directory. If your connection was successful, you will see the empty .txt file listed.
I’m having trouble connecting to the SFTP service. How can I troubleshoot?
Some typical reasons for having trouble connecting to the SFTP service are:
- The correct SSH key pair is not on the server being used to connect to the SFTP service. The private key associated with the public key provided to TradeTapp must be on the machine you’re using.
- There are multiple public keys on the machine, and a different one was provided for set-up than the one configured for the file transfer.
- Permissions issues - the .ssh directory should have 700 permissions.
- If you are receiving an error while trying to connect using an SFTP client, try to connect via the command line. If you are able to connect using the command line, this will isolate troubleshooting to the client you are using.
File Requirements for Vendor Backlog Data
Once you have confirmed you have successfully connected to TradeTapp’s directory, create a file containing vendor backlog data. The file format requirements are as follows:
- The file should use the .CSV file extension.
- The text encoding in the file should be in UTF-8.
- The file name should be alphanumeric and can contain dashes and/or underscores
- The file name should not contain any spaces or colons ":"
- The file size should be no larger than 5MB.
- The file should be formatted as shown below. Column headers are required and must be sent exactly as indicated in the table below.
- Text fields should be enclosed in double quotes so that any commas inside the text fields will not be considered field separators.
Once your .CSV file is set up using the format above, your IT team will be able to create a script to automate the sending of the file to our directory using the SFTP service. An SFTP client can also be used to automate the sending of files.
How quickly will the files be imported?
As soon as a new file is received, TradeTapp will import the file and display the data in your TradeTapp account.
There may be around a 10-20 second processing delay, but the data should be available in your account shortly after the file is received.
Can we use an SFTP client to view the files we sent to TradeTapp via SFTP?
Yes. Using your preferred SFTP client, you can view your company’s home directory. The home directory is where you can see all the files you have sent to TradeTapp’s internal backlog directory.
To view your home directory using a graphical user interface (GUI), enter the following information in your chosen SFTP client when prompted:
- Server: sftp-upload.buildingconnected.com
- Username: the username provided to you by TradeTapp in the format of firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SSH Private Key: the path of your private key that corresponds to the public key you provided to email@example.com.
More information on configuring an SFTP client can be found in this article.
Where will vendor backlog data be displayed in TradeTapp?
The TradeTapp import service will aggregate outstanding balances across all projects (‘outstanding_value’ column) for each tax ID (‘tax_id’ column). The total dollar amount is displayed in the vendor profile header under 'Internal Outstanding Balance' and in the ‘Internal Backlog’ column of the Invitations dashboard. It also shows the number of projects that contributes to this total and when it was last updated.
The ‘Projects’ tab in the vendor profile will display all project information included in the file. The data will be displayed exactly as it was sent in the file. The following is how the columns in your file connect to the columns in TradeTapp.
- project_id = "Internal ID"
- project_name = "Project Name"
- project_city, project_state = "Project Location"
- start_date = "Start Date"
- end_date = "End Date"
- contract_value = "Total Contract Value"
- outstanding_value = "Outstanding Balance"
When a vendor approaches their internal total limit, a yellow flag will appear next to its backlog value. If a vendor has exceeded its internal total limit, an orange flag will appear next to its backlog value. You will also be able to see the date of the most recent import in the vendor profile and vendor grid.
I don’t see a vendor’s backlog data in my TradeTapp account. Why not?
There are a few reasons a vendor’s backlog may not appear. Our import service will skip rows if any of the following is applicable:
- the ‘tax_id’ is missing
- the ‘tax_id’ is not 9 digits
- ‘outstanding_value’ is left blank
If there are issues with ‘tax_id’ or ‘outstanding_value’ column, the TradeTapp team will reach out to let you know which rows were unable to be uploaded.
It is also important to note, that only data from the most recent file will be available in your TradeTapp account. If you do not see a vendor’s backlog in your TradeTapp account, it is likely that the vendor’s backlog wasn’t in the file most recently delivered to the TradeTapp SFTP directory.
Do the Project Approval Request ‘Risk Assessments’ take Internal Backlog into consideration?
Yes. If the request project amount plus the vendor’s internal outstanding balance will exceed their internal limit, this will be included as a risk.