Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the structured, electronic transmission of business transactions, such as purchase orders and invoices, between computer systems. The technology supports a wide variety of business documents.

Benefits of EDI

  • Mature Technology - EDI is a well-established protocol for exchanging business data. EDI has a high level of security and well-defined data formats, data dictionary, and communication methods.
  • Business Integration - Since EDI can be integrated into a company's business structure, it can provide faster, better, and more accurate information. Furthermore, setting up EDI can provide trading partners with a better understanding of each other's business processes.
  • High Volume - EDI is the best technology for routinely sending large quantities of data, such as purchase orders and invoices.

Basic Requirements

  • Hardware - personal, mini, or mainframe computer 
  • Software - commercially available translation software 
  • Standards - ANSI X12 (North America) or UN/EDIFACT (International) 
  • Communication - Value-Added Network (VAN). A VAN is an independent company offering services for electronic transmissions of transactions.