EDI Basics – a New Beginning

I have been with GXS for just over four years now and when I joined GXS in April 2006 I was keen to learn  more about EDI and how companies use it to exchange electronic business documents. Now you would think that as EDI solutions and services have been around for over forty years that it would not be too difficult to find a central source of information describing the different document types and messaging protocols used to exchange electronic business information. With limited EDI resources available on the internet and in order to try and accelerate my understanding of this important area of B2B and e-Commerce, I spent a couple of months pulling together a microsite which provided an introduction to EDI.

Over the past three and a half years EDI Basics has become a very popular resource to get an overview of what EDI is, how to implement it and how other companies have deployed EDI across their respective businesses.

Earlier this year I started a project to try and update the content on EDI Basics. We have restructured EDI Basics to make it even easier to find information and we have introduced some new features such as the Community Forum to try and encourage visitors to the site to exchange thoughts, ideas and best practices on how they have been using EDI.

So let me just give you a quick tour of the new site.

On the home page of EDI Basics you will find menu options to the following areas:-

  • What is EDI – Provides a definition of what EDI is and how EDI is used to replace paper based processes
  • Types of EDI – Offers a brief overview of the key ways of exchanging EDI related information, from describing what a VAN provider is through to delivering EDI content on a mobile device
  • Benefits of EDI – Describes some of the high level benefits of deploying and using EDI
  • Implementing EDI – Provides a step by step guide to implementing EDI
  • EDI Resources – Provides a number of EDI resources and downloads
  • EDI Community – The community provides a platform for regular visitors to the site to discuss all things EDI
  • Contact GXS – Provides  a means to contact GXS for further information

In addition to getting access to these key areas of the site, the home page allows visitors to review the latest EDI related blog posts which have been pulled in from our Corporate GXS blogsite.  From the top menu you can get access to a sister site called AS2 Basics, everything that you need to know about AS2 in one convenient place.  The FAQ and Glossary sections of EDI Basics have been updated with fresh content and finally, links are provided to the French and German versions of EDI Basics.  The updated French, German and U.S versions of the site are expected to be online in the next few months.

The one area of the site that has received the most comprehensive update is the EDI Resources section.

  • Document Standards – Provides a brief overview of the most commonly used EDI document standards, from ANSI to EDIFACT, ODETTE to RosettaNet, this area also includes complete lists of message types for each document standard
  • Messaging Protocols – Describes the key messaging protocols used in EDI, including AS1 and AS2 through to OFTP2 and ebXML
  • EDI by Industry – Looks at how EDI is used across some of the key industry sectors that GXS supports.  This includes discussing industry specific communication standards, networks and industry  associations who actively promote the use of EDI across a specific industry, for example EDIFICE in the High Tech sector.
  • EDI at Work – Provides a number of short case studies on how both small and large companies are deploying and using EDI today
  • Reference/Tutorial Documents – Allows you to download a number of EDI related white papers, tutorials and general reference guides
  • Multimedia Library – Offers a number of EDI related podcasts and webinars that can be accessed directly via the web page
  • EDI Quiz – Test your knowledge of EDI with this very simple to answer set of twenty questions

The final area that I wanted to highlight is the EDI Community.  The aim of this section is to really allow visitors to the site to exchange ideas and find answers to any EDI questions that they may have.  The forum works in a similar fashion to other community forums that are present on the internet.  You will need to register with the forum first before you can post any questions and as an incentive to register with the forum you will be able to get access to some additional collateral once your account has been verified.  The success of any forum is down to how many visitors decide to register and ensuring that there are regular contributions to the forum. You may be an advanced or first time user of EDI technologies, either way we would encourage you to register for the EDI Forum, we would like to make this one of the most widely used EDI forums on the Internet.

For further information about EDI Basics, please CLICK HERE >>>

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