Glossary:Electronic data interchange (EDI)

Electronic data interchange, abbreviated as EDI, is the exchange of data in electronic format, usually compatible between sender and receiver. EDI offers businesses the opportunity to retrieve information electronically from their internal systems and to send that information to trade partners/suppliers/customers/government through a communications network. An example might be putting data from one type of database management system into a sequential format and then moving the data to a second location where they are stored in a format different from the original database management system.

Using EDI, business data is exchanged from one computer to another in a standard format. The information is organised to allow a fully automated computer transaction that needs no human intervention during the whole process. The information that is contained in an EDI document is the same as that in a conventional hard copy (printed document).

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Statistical data