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A transformation map (or just “map”) provides a standardised way to transform one document format into another through the use of pre-defined document definitions.

A single transformation map typically encompasses separate source and destination document definitions, a field-by-field “mapping” from the source document to the destination, and metadata such as the name of the map, what collection it belongs to and which people and workflows can access it.

It is common to “develop” new maps and document formats to cope with document formats unique to a specific organisation, trading arrangement or industry.  (The term “development” is still typically used with maps in the file transfer industry, even though most mapping interfaces are now 99%+ drag-and-drop.)

BEST PRACTICE: Most transformation engines (especially those tuned for a particular industry) now come with extensive pre-defined libraries of common document formats and maps to translate between them.   Before investing in custom map development, research available off-the-shelf options thoroughly.