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Frequently Asked Questions – EDI FAQ – EDI Associate

These EDI FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about EDI systems, technology and services are designed to provide clients and visitors a better understanding about EDI Associates and EDI as a whole. The FAQs provide basic information about the topics and provide links to an article that provides more detailed information.

If you need additional information about EDI and EDI Associates or have a question that is can’t be found in the EDI FAQ, please email us at or go to our Contact Us page.

What is EDI?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the process of exchanging business data (ex. Invoices and Purchase Orders) between companies electronically from one computer to another computer using networks. It replaces the use of paper and fax, mail and other manual process by exchanging business documents and data directly between participating EDI systems.

EDI is not affected by the differences of equipment and communication devices in use by the parties involved because it bridges information between computer systems and interface with them rather than integrating those systems.

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What are the Advantages of Using EDI?

Implementing EDI as the means of exchanging business data with your customers, vendors, suppliers and partners will make the process more reliable, secure and faster compared to using manual devices and methods, like sending it through fax, mail or using paper documents. It reduces the overhead cost by automating B2B (business-to-business) processes, saving money by improving speed and accuracy and by minimizing resource and manpower usage.

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How do EDI systems work?

An EDI system basically interfaces between a sender’s and receiver’s computer program. As an example, we will use a transmission of an invoice order to illustrate how an EDI system works.

Step 1: The billing party’s invoice order system creates an Invoice and is sent to the EDI Associates software, which converts the invoice’s internal data structure into a standard EDI transaction format containing the required fields provided by the data dictionary.

Step 2: The converted EDI transaction format is then transported into the invoice recipient’s EDI software converter and using the same data dictionary used by the billing party’s EDI software converter transforms it into the invoice recipient’s standard format accepted by their system.

The process generally applies to other forms of business documents.

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What are the common EDI standards Used with EDI Formats?




GLOBAL EDI GUIDELINES FOR RETAIL (GEDI) – Used for trade outside North America by companies within North America

Note: The Uniform Code Council, Inc. or UCC is the organization that administers and manages the above EDI implementation guidelines.

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How can an EDI system be implemented?

An EDI system can be implemented with an agreement between two parties on the layout and information to be exchanged. Once an agreement has been obtained, the setup of the layout of agreed sending and receiving function will be done, which includes parallel processing and testing. If you have need additional information regarding the process, please contact our EDI experts at 1 503-608-4334 or send us an email at or go to our Contact Us page.

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How much will it cost me to implement an EDI system?

The cost of implementing an EDI system depends upon the type of setup you will use. In general, outsourcing an EDI system is better, especially if there is a lack of knowledge and IT resources and infrastructure to implement it. However, you will discover that an EDI system pays for itself. For more information on the cost of implementing an EDI system, please contact our EDI experts at 1 503-608-4334 or send us an email at or go to our Contact Us page.

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What are EDI translators?

An EDI translator is a type of software that was developed for the purpose of sending and receiving EDI documents in any standard method. It translates readable materials into raw EDI data, for the purpose of sending or receiving data to or from your business partner.

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What is an EDI bridge?

An EDI Bridge is a type of software that imports all EDI data that was received from business partners into any ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. This procedure will eliminate any type of data entry work into and from the Enterprise Resource Planning system.

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What is a VAN?

A VAN is the one that is responsible for the reliable and secure communication of EDI data and documents over different systems. VAN is an abbreviation for Value Added Network and it interconnects to the sender’s or receiver’s VAN to transmit and accept business data.

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When can we use our EDI system?

An EDI system can be used wherever and whenever you need it.

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What is EDI Associates Consulting Service?

EDI Associates Consulting Service offers clients with the use of our professional EDI expert staff, which includes first-rate tactical and strategic consultants that has the needed skills, background and industry knowledge to assist you address your specific needs at a fraction of the cost of hiring a dedicated staff. EDI Associates Consulting Service includes Gentran Server/Sterling Integrator mapping, implementation and support services. For Additional information, please visit our EDI Services page.

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What is EDI Associates Outsourcing Service?

EDI Associates Outsourcing Service offers a complete EDI solution for your company and your business partners. We manage the whole or a part of the entire EDI process from hardware, and software to the staffing and trading partner relationship. We act as your third party EDI department, affording you the freedom from the stress of solving technical problems and producing manpower requirements to operate your EDI system. Our managed EDI solution lets you sit back, relax and enjoy the huge benefits of having an EDI system without worrying about the hassles of maintaining and operating it. For Additional information, please visit our EDI Services page.

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What is EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand Service?

EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand Service is the answer to the demand for an affordable EDI service. Our VAN-On-Demand Service offers a no-commitment, pay-as-you-go approach to document translation that is cheaper than paper copies. It is a risk-free service that is so affordable ($.01 per transaction) that a huge number of companies have already signed up. Signing up for the service is free and you will never get a bill until you actually use the service.

EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand Service provides improved accuracy of shared data and at the same time decreasing the postage and processing expenses for transmitting business documents. For Additional information, please visit our EDI Services page.

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Does Van-On-Demand support Alias Sender/Receiver IDs?

This feature is currently under development and will be published as soon as it is available.

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How do I send data to my trading partners using EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand?

All transactions are automated and you don’t have to do anything, as long as the recipient of the document has a VAN-On-Demand Account and the target recipient’s EDIA ID has been encoded into the receiver ID of your X12 interchange and posted into your VAN-On-Demand Outbound directory.

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What Communication Protocols are supported by EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand?

As of today, the system supports FTP, but AS2 and SFTP will soon be supported.

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Which data formats are supported by EDI Associates VAN-On-Demand?

EDI Associate’s VAN-On-Demand supports the X12 structure as covered by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC).

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