Web EDI is simply conducting EDI through an Internet browser. It replicates paper-based documents as a web form. The form will contain fields where users can enter information. Once all the relevant information is added, it is automatically converted into an EDI message and sent via secure Internet protocols such as File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS), Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) or AS2.
The ease of rolling out a Web EDI solution facilitates the participation of all your trading partners. This can be especially beneficial when working with partners in countries where IT and EDI skills are limited. Companies are not required to install any EDI software or manage a complex EDI environment.
In its simplest form, Web EDI enables small- and medium-sized businesses to create, receive, turn around and manage electronic documents using a browser. Simple pre-populated forms enable businesses to communicate and comply with their trading partners’ requirements using built-in business rules. Trading partners anywhere in the world can connect without dedicating IT resource to their EDI implementation.
Web EDI is traditionally based around the ‘hub and spoke’ model, in which the major trading partner acts as the hub and the smaller partners as the spokes. In this model:
- The hub organisation implements EDI and develops a web forms option for use by its small and medium-size trading partners.
- These web forms may be hosted on the hub’s site or that of an EDI network service provider.
- Trading partners connect to the web forms via web browser to exchange documents as forms that are converted to EDI documents behind the scenes for subsequent processing by the hub.