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EDI vs API has been a topic of debate since the mid-2000s because of the growing popularity of APIs due to their real-time data access capability across industries and on other hand, EDI is widely used and its roots are deeply embedded since the 1970s with set standards.

In your process to employ the best digital transformation strategy for your business, you may wonder how EDI compares to API or how API can complement EDI considering your current infrastructure and resources.

What is the difference between EDI and API?

In a nutshell, EDI is suited for secure system-to-system exchange between organizations and enterprise-wide whereas APIs are better suited for direct system integrations between EDI and ERPs to automate the flow of data across an organization. EDI and API are seen to work best in conjunction with each other. EDI can never go obsolete or replaced by APIs completely.

Let’s learn the basic differences between EDI and API first:

Watch the video to understand the difference between EDI and API in detail:

Is API replacing EDI?

EDI has been a gold standard for a reason considering security and safety of data exchange it offers. APIs are considered to be disrupting the tech world with their use cases and faster data access. However,in the real world, EDI and API are seen to work best in conjunction with each other where EDI enables seamless trading partner data exchange and APIs facilitate the automation of EDI data flow from the EDI software to the back-end systems.

Is EDI outdated?

Considering the advantages and benefits EDI has offered from a long time, EDI can never go obsolete or replaced by APIs completely. We think companies have to start recognizing the benefits of APIs as well and incorporate them in their digital strategy. Seamless connectivity and automation is no longer a luxury, it is the need of the hour if companies want to remain in business and continue to grow.

Which is better EDI or API? Which one should you choose?

As you have seen, both technologies have their own pros and cons.The answer to which one you should choose is generally not either/or. It totally depends on your business needs. Do understand that probably 99% of trading partners you are going to deal with are communicating through EDI. It makes obvious sense to incorporate EDI in your digital automation strategy. Businesses can and are making using of both technologies in tandem with each other because API gives deeper context to the back-end ERP integrations for example, while EDI helps with the initial order cycle.

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