ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE - FAQ

What is EDI? - Terminology


What is Edifact ?

Edifact is a language used to create message standards. Edifact is mainly used in Europe, while in North America ANSI X-12 is used. Today, XML is also increasingly used to create EDI messages.

What is XML?

XML stands for "Extensible Markup Language" and is a standard that can be used to create structured messages.

What are trading partners?

Trading partners are the partners with whom a company exchanges EDI messages. These can be all kinds of partners, such as suppliers, logistics service providers or customers, but also government agencies such as customs, port authorities or the Chamber of Commerce.

What is a VAN or Value Added Network?

A Value Added Network is a hosted network environment in the cloud that allows trading partners to exchange data with each other in a secure manner. A VAN will keep an audit trail of all steps of the message exchange; and all messages as well as senders and receivers are validated. A Value Added Network provides community enablement: it provides the necessary connections between trading partners and streamlines the information flows within the community.

The network Descartes offers is called the Global Logistics Network (Descartes GLN). The Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (Descartes GLN™) manages the real-time flow of commercial, logistics, customs and product information. It connects hundreds of thousands of logistics, transportation, manufacturing, distribution, retail, government and e-commerce companies in over 160 countries.

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface and is the collection of ways a computer program can communicate with another program. It is a newer technology/approach within the broader concept of Electronic Data Interchange

What is VMI?

VMI, or Vendor Managed Inventory, is an inventory management method in which the manufacturer or distributor manages inventory levels in its customer's warehouse. In this method, both customer and supplier have full transparency into the inventories and the standard ordering process is eliminated. The advantage of VMI is that the customer requires less administration and time to control and maintain inventories, while the supplier is assured that its products will always be in stock at the customer's warehouse. VMI consequently requires a relationship of trust between customer and supplier. The data exchange required for a successful VMI is done via EDI.

Looking to speak with a solution expert?


Learn more about EDI


Blog - 4 Benefits of Cloud-Based EDI Managed Services 
Tobacco
Solution - Descartes eInvoicing

Our Solutions


Commercial & B2B Messaging
Logistics Messaging

Customs Messaging
Descartes Global Logistics Network

Ready to see Descartes B2B Connectivity & Messaging in action?