How does EDI work?
Let’s presume that a buyer is sending a purchase order to the supplier.
Most likely the information contained in the purchase order resides in a computer application (for example, an inventory package) on the buyer’s PC. As long as it is possible to import and export files from the application, pertinent information can be extracted and mapped into a file for the EDI translation software.
The EDI translator will do compliance checking to ensure that the mapping complies with EDI standards and the trading partner’s implementation guide. Afterward, it will translate the message into an EDI format.
A communications connection is established in order to transmit the EDI purchase order. The EDI translation software controls the communications software.
The file is sent to either a mailbox, FTP site, or directly to AS2 recipients to be picked up.
The computer software receiving the EDI purchase order will reformat the incoming data so that it can be readily imported into an existing application’s data files. For instance, a PO received via EDI could be input into the Order Entry module.
When the order is received, the software generates a Functional Acknowledgement back to the buyer. The FA indicates that the message was received and was/was not compliant with the EDI standard. It does not address the actual data in the message.