What is EDI? - Technical Questions

There are many different EDI standards. How do I know what standard to use?

Many industries have their own standards, which were agreed upon and accepted internationally. For example, in retail and in Healthcare the GS1 standard is used, in the automotive industry the standard is determined by ODETTE, in air cargo it is IATA.

Once you have determined the standard you will use, you need to check if your system can handle this standard. If not, you can use message mappings to ensure the standard will work with your internal systems.

What communication protocols are used in EDI?

The communication protocol is going to determine the way the connection is set up to exchange EDI messages. The most commonly used protocols are AS2, SFTP, HTTPS and APIs.

Can I integrate EDI with my ERP?

Yes. The purpose of EDI is to reuse data as much as possible, reduce retyping and thus avoid errors. Descartes offers standard interfacing with a number of leading ERP systems and also works closely with partners who provide other business critical software.

What knowledge do I need to use EDI?

When a company wants to set up EDI connections, one is immediately confronted with the problem that different partners wish to communicate in different ways. Partners are usually connected via international or local EDI networks and often use different communication methods. Setting up the link between all these networks and monitoring the different communication methods also requires a lot of investment. The management of this communication situation should certainly not be underestimated either.

To set up EDI a company will therefore need to have IT communication specialists available. The alternative is to outsource this to an EDI Service Provider, who will relieve the company of the burden and will take care of all the set-up and monitoring.

What solutions are available to do EDI?

EDI solutions are available in different types depending on a company's EDI adoption rate. For companies that were not yet doing EDI and want to start with it, WebEDI is an ideal entry-level solution. Companies that exchange a lot of EDI are more likely to choose an integrated solution with their ERP, whether or not fully outsourced to an EDI service provider.

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Learn more about EDI

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