Electronic data interchange (EDI) software is used in the electronic exchange of business data. EDI software provides a standard format and a method of transmission. In nearly all cases, the baseline concept of electronic data interchange is direct, computer-to-computer transactional processing requiring little to no human intervention. The cost of electronic data interchange software is based largely upon specifications and features. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products are relatively inexpensive. Customizable solutions are more expensive and are designed for specific types of industries and regulatory standards.
Electronic data interchange (EDI) software is used mainly in supply chain management for retailers, but is also suitable for business and financial transactions which rely upon ecommerce. EDI translation software is an important part of electronic data interchange software. EDI translators decrypt, convert and interpret the electronic data exchanged between trading partners. EDI transfers can use many different formats along with data exchange protocols such as X12, EDIFACT, and TRADACOMS. Today, many EDI software products use extensible markup language (XML), a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) open standard for data description, as the primary translation standard.
EDI mapping software is used to convert specific data fields into corresponding segments, elements, and qualifiers between two systems. In most cases, EDI mappers provide the information needed by electronic data interchange software to perform transaction processors. For example, a purchase order might contain data fields such as names, addresses, dates, terms, reference numbers, and monetary or percentage values, each which must be presented between EDI software technologies in order to permit communication between computer systems. Mapping requirements based on the exchange protocol. Most EDI software products use integrated solutions that contain both the translation and mapping features needed to facilitate successful EDI transactions. This includes connection points for the exchange of EDI documents, communications hardware and software, and tiered services in the information and data exchange process.