EDI in SAP ( Electronic Data Interchange )


EDI in SAP: this post is an overview of SAP EDI.

It answers the most questions about EDI and IDoc in SAP: Acronym, Architecture, IDOC in SAP …

Difference between EDI and IDOC

EDI in SAP : Overiew

EDI stands for Electronic Document Interchange.
SAP support EDI with the SAP IDOC ( intermediate Documents ).

EDI allows business documents exchange between different electronic systems of different business partners.
The EDI uses a standard format in the communication between SAP parties and none SAP Parties.

Architecting EDI with SAP IDocs: the Comprehensive Guide Hardcover ? November 21, 2013

The objective of EDI use is to have paperless business process and reduce the human defect by reducing the human interference in the process.

Each EDI has a corresponding Message Type. Check the following links for more information on EDI in SAP:



IDOC stands for Intermediate DOCuments.
SAP IDocs are the container SAP uses to exchange Data between two systems or even two parties.

EDI in SAP is based on IDoc

What is an IDOC in SAP ?

Up to wikipedia,

IDoc, short for Intermediate Document, is an SAP document format for business transaction data transfers.

Alternatively, IDoc can also refer to an IRise document. Non SAP-systems can use IDocs as the standard interface (computing) for data transfer.

SAP IDOC Structure

For each SAP IDOC, it should define:

  • an IDoc number: is the key to identify the Documents
  • a Processing Type: Defines the direction of SAP IDoc regarding to the SAP system
    • INBOUND Processing: the SAP IDoc will be integrated in SAP.
    • OUTBOUND Processing: the SAP IDoc is created in the SAP System and have like destination an other party.
  • a Control Record: defines the type of IDoc, the processing Type, the message types , the SAP IDoc Port, …
  • Date Record: contains the Data transferred by the SAP IDoc and passed through EDI.
  • Status Record:

Check more information about IDoc : SAP IDoc tables, SAP

Some Important IDoc in SAP

Find here a collection of posts dealing with Idoc Processing in SAP:

More details can be found about the difference between EDI and IDOC in this article.