The API vs EDI Debate
EDI has been used for decades as the standard document exchange system. API is becoming a popular alternative, gaining use for trading partner communications within the supply chain. Which solution should you choose?
What are EDI and API?
API Versus EDI Integration
So what’s the difference between API and EDI integration? Both transmit data from one party to another, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. API implementation may be less costly and more straightforward than EDI by not requiring on-going maintenance or translation services. However, the benefits of API may be offset by the need for more collaboration to reach communication standards. This is especially evident with the addition of a new trading partner.
Meanwhile, EDI operates from an agreed upon standard for communication. For example: if a company sends an 850 PO document to a supplier, the recipient already knows to begin the order fulfillment process. EDI Data is stored then transmitted, which may result in some limitations to real-time visibility and responsiveness.
EDI vs API, Which Should You Choose?
When considering API vs EDI, it may not be an either/or situation, depending on your company’s individual needs. Businesses should review the requirements of their trading partner(s). By 2020, Gartner estimates that APIs will perform 25% of B2B interactions. Legacy technology will still handle the majority. Increasingly, trading partners may use a mix of APIs and these legacy systems, including EDI. Another issue to consider is compliance and security. Some information, such as financial data, may be subject to audits. API integration may not be a suitable solution to adhere to compliance regulations.
Whether your company needs to implement EDI requirements to meet Honda certification or pursue web API connectivity with Amazon, Radley can provide the solution you need to automate business transactions. Contact a product specialist today to get started.
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