EDI technology is a tried and tested end-to-end digital document exchange solution.

EDI has helped countless companies and organisations across the world to achieve frictionless paper-free communications and drive transformation in their data transfer and processing.

Instead of raising orders and invoices manually and sending documents by email or post that then have to be keyed in by hand, EDI technology has automated the whole activity of sharing transaction data.

It has introduced universal time and cost savings by improving accuracy and eliminating the need for paper documents.

What is EDI Technology?

EDI technology brings significant improvements to data processing. Take for example the traditional exchange of a purchase order between a company and a supplier. Once the company buyer decides on their purchase, they typically send a purchase order to the supplier who then has to enter it into their order entry system and mail back an acknowledgement. The buyer is likely to need to print, or otherwise save, a copy of the order and acknowledgement for the audit trail. Based on manual processes, all this can take days to complete.

With EDI, there is no need to print the purchase order as the system automatically creates an electronic version and transmits it to the supplier. Likewise, the supplier’s system is updated automatically on receipt of the order, generating and transmitting the acknowledgement back to the buyer.

EDI technology (electronic data interchange) is the translation, mapping, and integration software that enables digitised information to be shared across internal systems and among trading partners.

Unlike the traditional approach, the frictionless EDI process can be measured in minutes rather than days.

Standard formats

EDI technology works by exchanging and translating data into standard file formats that can be validated by your internal systems and those of your trading partners. The main file format for Europe is called EDIFACT.

Data elements include items such as sender and receiver IDs. There are also hundreds of internationally recognised ‘message types’ reflecting the types of data to be transferred.

Your EDI software should also be based on a recognised protocol for secure, online data transfer such as AS2 or AS4.

Transalis is one of just a handful of UK EDI providers certified as meeting the AS4 standards of PEPPOL, or Pan European Public Procurement Online. This is a multi-national framework of technical specifications designed to make disparate tech systems interoperable.

AS4 supports all aspects of electronic procurement and supply chain management including the exchange of purchase orders, dispatch advice and invoice messaging. It also goes further than its AS predecessors in providing more support for metadata.


A mapping exercise is required to integrate different sources of data into your EDI technology and support it in file formats that your internal systems can validate.
Mapping involves locating documents in your ERP, connecting relationships between data and choosing the destination.

It can be a time-consuming challenge to configure how each file is to be translated and sent out, ensuring the system will know how to perform the process in future.

Your EDI provider should be able to remove this burden from you by automatically mapping the data output from the source file into the relevant EDI format and making the process ‘future-proofed’. Transalis cloud-based eDI™ does exactly that.

Built-in integration

A reliable EDI solution will ideally solve all the formatting, translation and mapping requirements of your internal systems and those of your trading network.

Transalis eDI™ will ensure all your business documents, including structured and unstructured data, can be exchanged without you having to learn the technical ins and outs.

As soon as your EDI solution is up and running, you and your partner or partners can be trading electronically within minutes, secure in the knowledge that you are supported by a robust, agile, scalable and high-performance platform.

Of course, EDI technology can’t by itself claim to conjure up consumer demand or deal with the impact of a pandemic on your trading network.

But achieving frictionless automation through EDI technology is a sensible, pragmatic choice that will help overall cost control and ultimately underpin your competitive advantage.

Want to find out more about the benefits of EDI? You can take a look at the Transalis eDI™ Products or you can reach our Customer Success team on 0845 123 3476 or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or email sales@transalis.com.

View our EDI Product Bundles