Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the concept of businesses electronically communicating information that was traditionally communicated on paper, such as purchase orders and invoices. Technical standards for EDI exist to facilitate parties transacting such instruments without having to make special arrangements. EDI has existed at least since the early 70s, and there are many EDI standards (including X12, EDIFACT, ODETTE, etc.), some of which address the needs of specific industries or regions. It also refers specifically to a family of standards. In 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology defined electronic data interchange as "the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments. EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as originator or recipient. The EDI Components enable the developer implements the EDI protocol in their application. The EDI component enables the developer to perform their custom EDI applications easily.