Introduction to EDI

This page will cover the definition of EDI and why you may want to know about it.

What is EDI?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a set of standards that defines common formats for information to be exchanged electronically between two organizations that do business together—or “Trading Partners.”

EDI is usually required to do business with larger companies.

EDI defines types of documents exchanged between Trading Partners, for example:

  • Invoices
  • Purchase orders
  • Advance shipping notifications
  • Shipment tenders
  • Healthcare claims

The most commonly used EDI standards are:

  • X12 - Mostly used in North America
  • EDIFACT - Mostly used in Europe

Why do you need to know about EDI?

Orderful customers usually choose to integrate with Orderful using JSON, so you don’t need extensive knowledge of EDI.

However, your partners will most likely trade EDI (X12 or EDIFACT). This means that you will need some basic EDI knowledge to:

  • Communicate with your partners while onboarding them.
  • Understand your partner’s requirements.
  • Troubleshoot live transmission and data issues escalated by your partners.

What’s Next