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EDI Layered Architecture

EDI has semantic Application Layer, Translation Layer, Packaging and Infrastructure Layer. The EDI semantic layer describes the business palliation that is driving EDI. For a procurements application, this translates into requests for quotes, price quotes, purchase orders, acknowledgement and invoices. This layer is specific to a company and the software it uses. In other words, the user interface and content visible on the screen are tailored and customized to local environments.

The information seen at the EDI semantic layer must be translated from a company-specific from to a more generic or universal form so that it can be sent to various trading partners, who could be using a variety of software applications at their end.

To facilitate the transfer of computer files between two “trading partners’ requires that the computer application of both sender and receiver use a compatible format EDI document exchange. The sender must use a software application that creates an EDI file format similar to what the recipient’s computer application can read. It is not mandatory that both have identical file processing systems. When the trading partner sends a document, the EDI translation software converts the proprietary format into a standard mutually agreed on by the processing systems. When a company receives the document, their EDI translation software automatically changes the standard format into the proprietary format on their document processing software so that the company can manipulate the information in whatever way it chooses to.

The EDI transport [layer cress ponds closely with the no electronic activity of sending business form from one company A to company B. The business form could be sent via regular postal service, registered mail, certified mail, to private carrier or simply faxed between the companies.

EDI document transport is far more complex than simply sending e-mail messages or sharing files through a network, a modem or bulletin board. These EDI documents are more structured than e-mail and typically are manipulated or processed more than e-mail messages by the sending and receiving software.

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