Home  >  Blog  >   SAP

What is SAP EDI?

SAP EDI allows business partners to interchange information electronically. This “What is SAP EDI” blog covers SAP EDI fundamentals like What is SAP EDI?, How SAP EDI works? Outbound and Inbound Processes in SAP, SAP EDI Architecture, etc.

Rating: 4.8

SAP EDI interchanges the business transaction documents between different applications. It is defined as the industry standard that explains electronic documents. These documents allow the implicit transactions between the affiliated companies that can be automated. IDOCs support the EDI.

It also enables us to update the inventories and the status of the orders to be processed rapidly and on time. Leading companies like Business System Integrators, SPS Commerce, Conexiom, and eBridge Connections use SAP EDI. As per Ziprecruiter.com, the average salary of an SAP EDI Consultant in the US is around $112K per annum. This What is SAP EDI blog helps you learn to implement SAP EDI and key considerations for the SAP EDI.

What is SAP EDI - Table of Contents

What is SAP EDI?

SAP EDI refers to Electronic Data Interchange. It is the technology that enables business partners to exchange electronic business documents in an automated way over a standardized and secure connection. It substitutes manual B2B(business to business) communication like email and fax and enables computer-to-computer exchange.

In SAP, EDI is utilized to transmit the documents between the SAP systems and the explicit systems. Explicit Systems can be owned by a vendor, business partner, or customer. The data will be transmitted through the documents known as IDocs.

EDI is an essential technology for the SAPinsiders, according to research. Marginally more than half of the respondents said they are utilizing EDI for integrating the solutions with the ERP systems. Respondents said they use the EDI and other SAP integration tools to satisfy their needs.

The fundamental principle of EDI is to transform the data from one format to another format. There are various standards that are utilized, with the ANSI X12 and EDIFACT being the most frequently utilized. EDI software does the most conversion work. We can utilize the packages for converting the flat-file format to the regular EDI file that deletes all the vacant spaces and utilizes the standard codes.

If you want to enrich your career and become a professional in SAP EDI, then enroll in "SAP EDI Training" This course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain.

How does SAP EDI work?

The process of interchanging the information between a sender and receiver includes a sequence of steps. It is also crucial to include end applications at both the sender and receiver’s end. It will allow us to process the information transmitted electronically.

  • First, the sender, who is an entity or a business partner, will send the messages. On another side, the receiver, who will be the entity or the business partner, will be the individual to whom the message will be delivered.
  • It is compulsory that both the receiver and the sender of the messages will contain application programs for receiving the electronic messages, like SAP or the other ERPs for creating and processing the documents electronically.
  • As both parties utilize different application programs for sending and receiving messages, the system must transmit the message in a regular format that can be easily extended at both ends. We can accomplish it by implementing translators and communication standards like EDIFACT or ANSI.
  • After that, the sender will produce the messages that she or he has to transmit by fetching the information and transmitting the message using a translator system.
  • The translator will accept the message and converts it into another format that is globally accepted as the regular form of reading the messages. The format can be ANSI, EDIFACT, etc.
  • When the message is in the standard format, it is shifted to the destination translator using any traditional communication medium like WAN, Internet, VPN, etc. That network then connects to the business communication channel, which must be secure and reliable. The network must carry out the retransmission of the documents that cannot come to the destination in transmission.
  • The destination translator of the receiver end will translate the EDIFACT message into the system readable format that is regulated, and the application program can understand it simply. 
  • The translation message is later forwarded to the application program on the receiver’s end. On the receiving end, the documents will be processed again by performing the required posting in the ERP system.
  • In this way, the created message transmitted by the application program is received on the receiver end and gets disturbed by the application program of the receiver.

What are Outbound and Inbound Processes in the SAP?

In SAP, we have two different types of processes, they are:

1. Inbound Process: SAP customers will use this process to receive information from any explicit system or individuals like customers, users, vendors, or any enterprise. This process covers producing the receipt of any EDI document, which will be again converted into a regular document or record. This EDI format document is later converted into the application document that the SAP system processes after receiving it.

2. Outbound Process: SAP customers use this process to send messages and data from the SAP system to any explicit user or individuals like a customer, user, vendor, or any enterprise. This process contains producing the application documents and their subsequent transformations into a regular document or record. The process also transforms the intermediate document into the EDI standard document format. This EDI format document is later transmitted to the receiver. The receiver responds back with the transmission status to send the SAP system.

MindMajix Youtube Channel

SAP EDI Architecture

SAP EDI Architecture

The SAP EDI contains three primary components, they are:

1. IDoc Interface: It is the open interface that has IDoc types. Moreover, it contains functional modules efficient enough for structuring the application’s interface.

2. EDI-enabled Applications: This element helps in offering the auto-processing of sales and trade transactions.

3. EDI subsystem: It is accountable to convert the IDoc types into the format of the EDI messages and, conversely. SAP does not provide this specific element of EDI architecture in the SAP system.

Advantages of SAP EDI

  • SAP EDI decreases the paperwork and reduces the expenditure of processing and storing those data. It is because we will represent the data in the electronic documents.
  • It also enables offering a more secure processing cycle time.
  • Some EDI works will be automated, allowing us to complete the business tasks effectively.
  • EDI minimizes the errors in the data entry.
  • EDI(Electonic Data Interchange) helps us to make rapid decisions for delivering the real-world transfer of documents.
  • The appropriation source is handled using past orders and long procurement documents. It enables us to generate RFQ electronically.
  • EDI helps us to learn inventory control by diminishing manual work, processing errors, transaction costs, etc.

SAP EDI Transaction Code

  1. WEDI: It offers easy access to the EDI Basis and Idoc
  2. WEL0: It is the transaction code in the SAP Basis application with the description - Forward(inbound)(EDILOGADR)
  3. OYED: This transaction code is used in the SAP BC-MID(Middleware in the Basis) component to convert EDIS -> EDIR.
  4. BALD: It is an SAP code coming under the SAP_BASIS component and BC module. It is utilized for ALE Development in SAP.
  5. OYEA: It is the transaction code in SAP coming under the BASIS(BC Module) used for administrating the IDoc.
  6. BD97: This transaction code is used for assigning the RFC destination to the Logical Systems in the SAP.
  7. WE02: A standard transaction code in the SAP ERP system for displaying the IDOC. The function element of WE02 is called Middleware. Basis Components and ALE integration technology.
  8. BD20: This transaction code is used for IDOC passed to the application.
  9. BD21: It is utilized for selecting the change pointer
  10. BD22: It is used for deleting the change pointers.
  11. BD23: It is utilized for deleting the serialized data
  12. BD24: It is utilized to send the cost elements
  13. BD25: It is utilized to send the activity type
  14. BD26: It is helpful for getting the activity type
  15. BD27: It is useful to send the cost center activity prices
  16. BD28: It is helpful to send obj or cost element control data
  17. BD30: It is used for distributing the material object list
  18. BD31: It is useful for distributing the document object list
  19. BD32: It distributes the plan allocations
  20. BD33: It distributes the material variants
  21. BD34: It distributes the order BOM
  22. BD35: It sends the business process groups
  23. BD36: It sends the business processes
  24. BD37: It is used for sending the business process price
  25. BD40: It is utilized to read the change pointer for the group
  26. BD41: It is utilized for dispatching the IDOcs for group
  27. BD42: It is utilized to check IDocs for group
  28. BD43: It is used to Post the IDocs for group
  29. BD44: It is utilized for assigning the message types to the Seriz group
  30. BD47: It is utilized for dependencies between the methods
  31. BD48: It is used for the dependency method - message
  32. BD50: It activates the change pointers for message type
  33. BD51: It maintains the function module
  34. BD52: It activates the change pointer per change document
  35. BD53: It is utilized for the reduction of the message types
  36. BD54: It maintains the logical systems
  37. BD55: It maintains the IDoc conversion
  38. BD56: It maintains the IDoc Segment Filters
  39. BD57: It maintains link and serialization type
  40. BD58: It converts the organizational units
  41. BD59: It is a transaction code in SAP BASIS with the description Allocation object type -> IDoc type
  42. BD60: It is utilized for providing additional data for message type
  43. BD61: It is used for activating the change pointers
  44. BD62OLD: It is used to define the segment conversion rule
  45. BD63: It transports the ALE tables of the message type
  46. BD64: It maintains the distribution model
  47. BD65: It maintains the IDoc type required fields
  48. BD66: It converts the IDoc type field to the change document field
  49. BD67: It maintains the method
  50. BD68: It maintains the list
  51. BD69: It assigns the message type to IDoc
  52. BD70: It synchronizes the number range
  53. BD71: It defines the FM for the dependent business object
  54. BD75: It converts IDoc status
  55. BD77: It distributes the control data
  56. BD78: It monitors the control data distribution
  57. BD79: It maintains the IDoc conversion rules
  58. BD81: It filters the object’s parameters filtering 
  59. BD82: It generates the partner profiles
  60. BD83: It sends the IDocs after the ALE error
  61. BD84: It posts the IDocs after the ALE error
  62. BD85: It performs a consistency check for the transfer
  63. BD86: It performs a consistency check for the sales
  64. BD87: It monitors the status of the ALE messages
  65. BD89: It controls the data model
  66. BD90: It is utilized for the master record initial transfer
  67. BD91: It sends characteristic
  68. BD92: It sends the class
  69. BD93: It sends the classification
  70. BD95: It specifies the ALE object types
  71. BD96: It filters the objects of the receiver determined.
  72. BD97: It assigns RFC destinations to the logical systems.
  73. BD98: It consistently checks on the workflow connection
  74. BD99: It is used for message-type dependencies
  75. WE21: It is the transaction code in the SAP BASIS application with the port definition description.
  76. WE81: It is utilized for defining the message type

Key Considerations for SAP EDI

Integrate the EDI  into our strategic integration plans: A Switzerland-based and multi-national forte chemically required to substitute its file-based integration model with the real-world web series-based integration. Helping the automotive industry, which runs mainly on EDI-based processes, the organization emphasized the EDP since its primary use case. Integrating the EDI and non-application programming interface gateway applications, the organization has built many integration scenarios and interfaces. It is developed for the additional expansion, an evolving hybrid SAP landscape, cloud-to-cloud, and cloud-to-on-site integrations. 

Improve the EDI with the new integration platform for the modern environment: SAP Cloud Platform is SAP’s suggested integration platform for accelerating and simplifying the integrations for both the SAP and third-party integration scenarios. It endorses EDI integration scenarios. We may still be running the SAP process orchestration and SAP process integration.

Support the customer requirements with electronic commerce: Marty Menardy, the CIO of the Pacific Coast Companies Inc. PCI, attributes the IT shop's agility to its capability to take on more EDI projects for its clients. In the year 2020, we had around 8 EDI projects; this year, we had more than 28 projects, thus three to four times what we were going to have. The business has achieved a milestone. COVID-19 has taught suppliers and customers that utilizing digital transformation makes a difference. They don’t require paper, and they do require electronic commerce.

Differences between ALE and EDI

It performs the memory-to-memory transfer of the files.It performs data transfer from the IDocs format to the flat files.
It refers to Application Link Enabling.It refers to Electronic data interchange.
It is utilized to transfer the master and transactional data from one method to another method. It is useful to communicate between the partners of a firm or company.
It communicates huge amounts of data within the logical system. It handles small-sized electronic files and documents that do not need huge space.


1. What does EDI mean in SAP?

EDI refers to Electronic Data Interchange. It is a set of standards used to structure the information that is to be electronically exchanged within and between businesses. government entities, organizations, and other groups.

2. What is the difference between EDI and SAP?

Data Exchange with other organizations is called EDI. Rather than exchanging the IDocs, the first data will be converted to the uniform exchange format called EDI format. SAP systems will not utilize logical systems for electronic data exchange, but they define the partners. These partners can be suppliers or customers.

3. What is IDOC vs. EDI in SAP?

EDI is the electronic interchange of business documents between the computer systems of the business partners through the standard format in the communication network. IDOC is defined as a container that can be utilized for exchanging data between any two processes. Every iDoc is assigned a distinct number for tracing and future reference.

4. What are the benefits of EDI in SAP?

The following are the benefits of EDI in SAP:

  • It reduces the errors in data entry.
  • It enhances business efficiency.
  • It enables rapid transactions with real-world document transfer.
  • It processes the cycle time

5. How to implement EDI in SAP?

We can implement the EDI in SAP using the below steps:

  1. Create and Assign the logical system to the client.
  2. Activate the SAP workflow.
  3. Activate the event-receiver linkage.
  4. Set up the IDoc administrator.
  5. Define the Port
  6. Define the user-specific parameters.

6. How to convert EDI to IDoc in SAP?

  • Map EDI to the SAP IDoc
  • Deliver the IDoc to the SAP using the orchestration


SAP EDI is the paperless electronic interchange of business transactions within the different applications of the SAP system. It allows documents to interchange for implicit transactions. SAP helps EDI functionality using the IDOCS(Intermediate Documents). I hope this What is SAP EDI gives you a basic understanding of SAP EDI. Enroll in SAP EDI Training to enhance your skills in SAP EDI.

Join our newsletter

Stay updated with our newsletter, packed with Tutorials, Interview Questions, How-to's, Tips & Tricks, Latest Trends & Updates, and more ➤ Straight to your inbox!

Course Schedule
SAP EDI TrainingMay 21 to Jun 05View Details
SAP EDI TrainingMay 25 to Jun 09View Details
SAP EDI TrainingMay 28 to Jun 12View Details
SAP EDI TrainingJun 01 to Jun 16View Details
Last updated: 18 Jul 2023
About Author


Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

read more
Recommended Courses

1 / 12