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Electronic Data Interchange
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Prosperity, and even survival, for small businesses depends as never before on the ability to respond with speed and certainty to the challenges and opportunities that are presented by competitors and customers. Electronic Commerce provides an opportunity to increase competitive edge and consolidate and enhance both business to business and business to consumer trading relationships.

In the current competitive & fast moving world of E-commerce & Electronic data transfer , comes a highly relevant , yet , under-utilised system of data exchange -the Electronic Data Interchange , or the EDI.

EDI has no single consensus definition .Two generally accepted definitions are :

1.Standardized format for communication of business information between computer applications .

2.Computer- to- computer exchange of information between companies, using an industry standard format .

In short , Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business information using a public standard. EDI is a central part of Electronic Commerce (EC), because it enables businesses to exchange business information electronically much faster, cheaper and more accurately than is possible using paper-based systems.

Electronic Data Interchange, consists of data that has been put into a standard format and is electronically transferred between trading partners.Often ,an acknowledgement is returned to the sender informing them that the data was received. The term EDI is often used synonymously with the term EDT. These two terms are indeed different and should not be used interchangeably.


The terms EDI and EDT are often misused .

1.EDT, Electronic Data Transfer, is simply sending a file electronically to a trading partner.

2.Although EDI documents are sent electronically, they are sent in a standard format.

This standard format is what makes EDI different than EDT.

EDI vs E-Commerce

EDI is also often confused with E-commerce itself , though , of course by those who are relatively novices to the technology . However, they may not be faulted as, even now, this method has not found use in many such areas where it may work wonders .

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