Understanding SAP EDI

For those who might perhaps not be in the know, SAP EDI (which basically stands for electronic data interchange) happens to be a vital platform that facilitates for effective, rapid and seamless exchange of business data between business partners. This functionality is carried out by a standard document format known as IDOCs which are relayed to and fro trading partners via a single communication network. This process is sometimes referred to in business circles as “paperless” exchange.

Understanding SAP EDI

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At one go using SAP EDI can effortlessly minimize data entry errors that are endemic in most business transactions, and the necessary time needed to process business documents. This can in turn significantly lower operational expenses, while also facilitating for prompt and accurate planning.

Inbound and outbound processes

There are 2 kinds of SAP EDI processes, which are outbound and inbound. The first handles the automatic processing of application documents (simply converting them into the IDOC format) before relaying them to the recipient. The inbound process enables receiving IDOC files which are ultimately converted into application documents that can be effectively viewed.

EDI/HQ and SAP integration

SAP is supported on EDI via the EDI/HQ (an advanced software) or the EDI outsourcing services. Both of which offer total compatibility with all SAP business systems, which permits you to easily communicate with your business partners. Using the EDI Source feature, you can efficiently customize an appropriate integration model by either adhering to SAP integration techniques or if you wish to, your own.

Seamless integration of your business partner’s processes

The good thing about all this is the fact that EDI/HQ has been subjected to vigorous evaluation by SAP and ultimately being certified for its effectiveness. Which in essence means that if your business partners are using SAP systems, you can effortlessly integrate their various processes seamlessly into your own. Further, the EDI source singlehandedly deals with all your SAP EDI operations to ensure total compatibility.

As EDI/HQ automatically registers itself with the system landscape directory of SAP NetWeaver, you can also be assured of effective and efficient communication with all the people that matter the most in your business operations.

Automatic and real time communication

To make things even better, EDI/HQ comes with the ability of automatically conducting remote function call (RFC) operations in real time, which happens to be the default SAP communication interface. This goes a long way in ensuring reliable inbound and outbound communication any time you wish. While also making distributive and cloud processing more possible. Finally using the EDI/HQ Meta information Tool for SAP you can effortlessly export or browse IDOC files, which can significantly enable easy and precise data mapping.


It is thus self evident how invaluable it can be to integrate this application into your business processes as it facilitates for better communication with all your business partners. While also enabling effective business planning and greatly reduces costs. And not to put to a fine point to it, SAP EDI enables more accuracy in your various business operations by effectively reducing data entry errors.

Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.