Home - Blog - What are the differences between shared EDI and WEBEDI ?

What are the differences between shared EDI and WEBEDI ?

EDI partagé

Shared EDI or Web EDI ? This is a question that CIOs ask themselves when their partners ask them to exchange EDI data. Among the EDI solutions offered by EDI service providers, two are quite similar : WEBEDI and EDI SaaS. What they have in common is ease of implementation and shared hosting. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between the two models, as well as their respective advantages and disadvantages.



WEBEDI and EDI share two different models


Shared EDI or SaaS EDI?


Shared EDI is SaaS EDI, i.e. hosted and shared EDI. EDI functions, such as translation and message routing, are hosted by the EDI service provider and shared between several users.
Shared EDI is integrated EDI, i.e. it communicates with the company’s business software (Sales Management, Accounting, TMS Transport Management System, WMS Warehouse Management System, ERP, etc.).


Implementation requires several elements


First of all, IT engineering is needed to make the software communicate with the EDI gateway. Secondly, we need to think about user settings, and in particular data updating. This data must be in the expected format, to enable automated processes and exchanges: product coding, GMN (Global Location Number), etc. … ,
Secondly, InterChange contracts must be signed with each EDI partner. The InterChange contract specifies the operating procedures for electronic exchanges and the various messages exchanged between trading partners.
Finally, unit tests of electronic document exchanges must be carried out with each EDI partner before going into production.


EDI integration


Sending and receiving messages is controlled by the various software applications communicating with the EDI gateway. Depending on the level of EDI integration, message tracking (pending, received, error) is a feature of the business software or the EDI provider‘s extranet.
The billing model is subscription-based. Likewise, volume pricing by number of messages or by weight is usually the norm.



What is WEB EDI ?


A WEBEDI is a WEB, internet or extranet portal.


A WEBEDI is in fact the WEB portal for a hosted or on-site EDI solution. The portal’s WEB pages display EDI messages in plain text. Intelligent forms enable EDI messages (ORDERS orders, DESADV delivery notices, INVOICES invoices) to be entered and modified.


What are the functions of WEB EDI ?


WEBEDI’s main functions are :

  • Receiving EDI messages, which can be manually exported as text or csv files for integration into management software;
  • Sending EDI messages, either manually entered or imported from files.


Depending on the EDI provider, WEBEDI can also be used for document traceability, archiving and dematerialized invoicing.



WEBEDI and shared EDI – the advantages and disadvantages of each EDI solution


“Choosing a shared EDI solution means carrying out a business project.”

You need to weigh up the pros and cons in terms of your needs and your company’s future development.


Advantages of shared EDI vs. WEBEDI


Integration with the company’s information system. Software communicating with the EDI gateway enables :

  • Automate business processes by eliminating all re-keying and handling of export and import files;
  • Exchange data with EDI partners in real time and in a continuous flow;
  • Process large volumes of messages.


The disadvantages of shared EDI :


  • Significant implementation time;
  • For each new EDI partner, the obligation to perform electronic exchange unit tests;
  • Upgrades when EDI standards are modified, e.g. adding segments to a message;
  • Follow-up of regulatory and legal obligations, e.g. updates to mandatory information on commercial documents and invoices;
  • When business software is upgraded or changed, connections to the EDI gateway need to be re-established and tested;
  • An initial investment that will essentially depend on the level of integration with business software in production;
  • A higher operating budget, due to the need to subscribe to a VAN (Value Added Network) and to support the EDI service provider and business software publishers.
    “Choosing a WEBEDI means subscribing to a service”.


Advantages of WEBEDI vs. shared EDI:


With WEBEDI, you have an EDI solution up and running immediately. The first EDI message entered on the portal is ready to be sent to its recipient: the intelligent entry form avoids errors, and the platform hosting the forms sends the information directly to the EDI service for translation and routing to the recipient.


The advantages of Web EDI :


  • Ease of implementation, requiring no engineering;
  • Simplicity of use, as the system is based on WEB pages;
  • The ability to respond immediately to a partner’s request to exchange data electronically, a major competitive advantage when working with the retail sector;
  • A solution that can be accessed from anywhere, and is always up to date in terms of both EDI standards and regulations;
  • Access to advanced functionalities (depending on the service provider) for managing messages and electronic documents: printing, tax-compliant dematerialization, legal archiving, import, export, etc. ;
  • The ability to easily upgrade to a shared EDI solution as volumes increase.


The disadvantages of WEB EDI :


The disadvantages are the lack of communication between the EDI gateway and your company’s ERP software. This limits your access to all the advantages of EDI :


  • Elimination of all re-entries;
  • Automated business processes;
  • And when the volume of messages received and sent increases, it will be necessary to migrate from WEBEDI to a shared EDI system.


As a result, WEBEDI is a solution with many advantages. These include flexibility, speed of implementation and even price. However, as message volumes increase, you’ll need to anticipate the need to migrate to SaaS EDI, particularly to meet the demands of EDI partners.


For over 30 years, Tenor has been helping companies implement EDI. Discover our EDI solutions (WEBEDI / SAAS / ONPREMISE) or contact our experts to calibrate your EDI project.
If you’re interested in this subject, don’t hesitate to read this article on the EDIFACT standard or on APIs dedicated to EDI.