What is EDI?


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) stands for the electronic exchange of business documents, such as orders, invoices and messages or confirmations. Because these documents must conform to standard templates, it is often used for recurring transactions. This can be financial, logistical or commercial data. Think of invoices, orders/order confirmations, packing slips, notifications, insurance claims, et cetera.

Copernicus advantages

  • Years of integration experience
  • Flexible and scalable solutions
  • Friendly and clear communication
  • Experience with different industries

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EDI standards

There are a number of EDI standards such as EDIFACT, HL7 (for healthcare), TRADACOMS (for UK supermarkets), VDA and ODETTE (automotive industry). Within retail and logistics, a very large number of transactions take place via EDI. Many large (international) retailers want their suppliers to work with EDI for the exchange of orders, packing slips and invoices.

Benefits of EDI

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  • Faster information exchange
  • Less chance of errors by excluding human intervention
  • Less paperwork
  • 24/7 availability
  • Faster order turnaround time
  • Good stock management
  • Better competitive position

EDI Message formats

Organizations that apply EDI can use different message formats for this. Some EDI messages are specially developed for certain sectors, while other message types are more generic in nature.
In addition to the traditional EDI message formats, XML or JSON messages are increasingly used.

The advantage of XML is that this format can be easily validated against a schema (XSD) and can also easily be displayed in a web browser. In addition, XML is more readable than traditional EDI such as EDIFACT or X12.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight format for data exchange. This is also easy for programmers to use and easier to process for computers.

Data exchange

Data can be exchanged in different ways. Therefore, there are different types of EDI which are in reality the most used. This can be done via VANs, VPNs or standard protocols such as (S)FTP and EMAIL. Or via a synchronous approach such as via HTTP(S) (rest/web service) and AS2.

Various data communication methods are available for the transport of the messages. Where in the past people often used Value Added Networks (VANs), nowadays people more often use protocols based on internet technology (Transmission Control Protocol).

Outsource EDI with Managed EDI

How to integrate and implement EDI is still a challenge for many organizations.
At Copernicus we have a lot of experience with EDI. With Niklas, our own integration platform or Enterprise Service Bus, we design and implement all communication between different applications and systems ourselves.

For organizations where EDI is not yet a core competency, Copernicus also offers ‘EDI as a service’: Managed EDI, based on Niklas.
Managed EDI is available in a customized subscription form and suitable for both large and small organizations.

If you would like to know more about the possibilities of Managed EDI for your company, you can always contact us.