Traditional EDI vs. Internet-based EDI
Early users of EDI were large enterprises (or hubs), primarily in the retail, grocery, automobile and garment industries that encouraged their vendors (or spokes) to interact with them via EDI. Today, companies from a variety of industries, including governments, use EDI.
The drawback of traditional EDI has been its expense. Buying translation software and leasing proprietary data lines to connect to a VAN (Value Added Network) is so expensive that usually only larger companies and their suppliers can afford EDI. The Internet promises to change this. The Internet eliminates the need for a proprietary network (VANs & leased lines) by providing a low-cost, ubiquitous transport network for EDI. The Internet has opened broad connectivity that links networks around the world, and offers a platform-independent means to exchange information. Internet-based EDI systems provide immediate transmissions and better two-way communications.