Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a computer-to-computer transfer of business information between two businesses that uses a standard format of some kind. The two businesses that are exchanging information are trading partners. Firms that exchange data in specific standard formats are said to be EDI compatible. The business information exchanged is often transaction data; however, it can also include other information related to transactions, such as price quotes and order-status inquiries.



Early Business Information Interchange Efforts:

  • 1950s – Companies began to use computers to store and process internal transaction records.
  • 1960s – Businesses that engaged in large volumes of transactions with each other had begun exchanging transaction information on punched cards or magnetic tape.
  • 1968 – A number of freight and shipping companies joined together to form the Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC), which was charged with exploring ways to reduce the paperwork burden that shippers and carriers faced.


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