The key to developing EDI solutions, the fundamental reason justifying their adoption and the penetration rate of these technologies in business, is arguably the use of EDI standard languages. The rollout of common regulations to draft electronic documents capable of being interpreted by any trading partner with the right technology has been and continues to be a determining factor in securing IT system integration among enterprises engaged in business relations in one way or another.
There are different types of EDI standards, some developed specifically for particular industries and others used extensively across more sectors or regions. At the end of the day, standards define the rules to consider when issuing and interpreting a specific commercial transaction. Purchase orders, despatch advice messages, invoices and other documents to exchange must have been generated by respecting the rules defined by the EDI language used. These rules establish the order in which information is to be presented, the minimum data that must compulsorily be displayed in each message or document, the methodology to use to label the different fields contained in a message, etc.