Electronic data interchange refers to the structured, autonomous and electronic transfer of data between organizations over distances. EDI may also refer to the standards and protocols dictating these transmissions.


Electronic transferring of checks from account holder to banks.

Transferring of grade records from Powerschool to the IBO.

IT Background

Main IT components

Value-Added Network
Translation Software

How does it work? (diagrams are good)

EDI transfers involve the connection and standards. Organizations may choose to connect to one another with any method they prefer, although the most popular method is Biysync modems with Value-Added Networks (VAN). VANs are third party networks that effectively act as regional post offices. Information is directed from one party to the VAN, which then redirects it to the receiving party, while providing additional services such as validating packages, third party audit information, or handling networking support.

The standards in EDI transmissions dictate the way in which information is converted to abide to a set of protocols, transferred and finally read. Specific translation software is used to interface between local systems and the sent/read information. After the information is packaged according to specific standards, the system validates the package and transfers it through a VAN or other network to the receiver, who reverses the process.

Impact on Society

Primary Stakeholders

Commercial Companies
Healthcare Agencies

Advantages of System

EDI provides numerous advantages over traditional paper based transfers such as reduced cost in handling, distributing and searching for paper documents, reduced possibility of errors, billing and shipping mistakes, faster transfer of documents between two parties. These advantages benefit all stakeholders. For example, a healthcare agency implementing EDI may now receive urgent patient information and documents countless times faster. Commercial companies may reduce running costs by automating their document transfers.

Social and Ethical Issues

1. A people and machines issues in the area of business arising from EDI systems concerning commercial companies an their employees. As document transfers are now automated, many employees may lose their jobs to machines. This presents a common issue among autonomous systems as they threaten to replace human occupations.
2. Cost factors may affect all stakeholders in the initial implementation of EDI systems. Although the long term cost saved may tip the favor back to EDI.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Data_Interchange, Jan 31st, 2012