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EDI Past and Present

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) enables organisations to exchange standard business documents such as Purchase Orders, Invoices, Shipping Notices, Inventory Updates, Credit Memos, etc., with their trading partners and customers without having to re-key data.

Traditionally EDI has been the stronghold of retail, wholesale distribution, manufacturing, automotive and logistics industries. However, in today’s modern cloud world, the term EDI no longer just represents the age-old EDI standards of EDIFACT, X12 or Tradacoms, but rather has become a much more generic term for the electronic exchange of all business data supported by ‘Any to Any’ integration. In fact, in today’s terms, modern EDI represents a completely integrated communication hub open to all parties that wish to exchange standardised, electronic communications.

Fig.1: Comparison of suppliers using traditional paper based methods V suppliers using electronic data interchange methods.


While the traditional EDI data standards of EDIFACT et al are still supported, and indeed still widely used in retail, wholesale distribution, manufacturing and logistics industries, modern EDI will also support the majority of additional file formats such as XML, CSV and flat files. Modern EDI solutions will also be built on SaaS/cloud based platforms to better support backend financial management and ERP systems.

The modern EDI solution provider will support API integration in tandem with traditional EDI ports. Therefore, the modern EDI solution provider becomes a complete, integrated communication hub to support all the needs of the customer, be it the ordering of goods from a factory, selling those goods to traditional retailers or on the online marketplace, selling their own goods and services on their own shopping carts and integrating with a 3PL for the storage and shipping of the aforementioned goods. 


Traditional EDI

Modern EDI

File Formats Supported

·       EDIFACT

·       X12

·       Tradacoms

·       EDIFACT

·       X12

·       Tradacoms

·       Peppol

·       oioUBL

·       XML

·       CSV

·       Flat Files

·       And much more….


·       Desktop

·       Limited Connectivity

·       SDK

·       ERP

·       WMS

·       Cloud Based

·       ‘Any to Any’

·       SDK and APIs supported

·       ERP

·       Accounting Software

·       WMS

·       OMS

·       Inventory Software

Communication Protocols

·       VAN

·       VAN

·       AS2

·       AS4

·       sFTP

·       FTP


·       High, used predominantly by large organisations who could afford it

·       Affordable and available to all

Industries Predominantly Served

·       Retail

·       Manufacturing

·       Automotive

·       Large Scale Wholesale Distribution

·       Retail

·       Online Marketplaces

·       Drop Shipping

·       eCommerce Shopping Carts

·       Manufacturing

·       Automotive

·       Wholesale Distribution

·       Healthcare

·       Insurance

·       Third Party Logistics (3PL)

·       Finance

·       Government

Fig.2: Comparison of Traditional EDI and Modern EDI

To learn more about how Celtrino’s cloud based, modern EDI solutions can help customers remove the need to re-key data, eliminate errors and further automate their supply chain processes please visit