In addition to the common transport protocols (AS2, OFTP2, SFTP/FTPS), EDI can also be implemented via API. Certain protocols such as SFTP or FTPS do not provide proof that the recipient has actually received the file sent. This makes it difficult to trace a particular message exchange, especially in case of an error. Protocol types like AS2 or AS4 help to overcome this limitation. However, none of these protocols offers complete process traceability. For example, while a message is being sent, only the delivery status of the message can be tracked to the next network, but not beyond. In the ERP system, an outgoing message only indicates that the message was received by the EDI service provider. Even when using modern protocols such as AS2 or AS4, it is not possible to tell whether the message has actually been received by the recipient.
The difference between API connections and traditional transport protocols or interfaces is that the data exchange between ERP systems or an ERP system and an EDI service provider takes place directly via an integrated interface, the API. Metadata such as information about the delivery status of a message is therfore not lost. This data can be viewed and automatically retrieved in real time in the user interface of your ERP system. This significantly increases the performance of your B2B processes and minimizes the risk of errors.
Users can easily identify and quickly correct errors, since information on EDI transfers is available in real time via API. For example, they could check whether an important order was successfully transferred to one of their suppliers or could not be transmitted due to an error. This gives you the opportunity to re-check the order, make any necessary correction or retrigger the order.