How We Chose the Best EDI Software
EDI (electronic data interchange) software allows companies and computer systems to exchange information, without human intervention, between different software systems. In simple terms, EDI consists of a series of translation tables that interpret information received from one software and convert into a format suitable for onward transmission to another system. Numerous standards exist to facilitate this process, such as the ANSI and EDIFACT EDI formats. Critical criteria for evaluating EDI software include features offered, alerts and notifications and integrations with corporate systems.
Essential features of EDI include:
- A robust interface
- Ease of implementation
- Cost of ownership
Some solutions are web-based, which lowers the cost of ownership. The benefit of iPaaS and SaaS EDI software is that organizations are freed of the responsibility of maintaining the system. Alternative on-premise and cloud-hosted solutions may have more features and can be tailored to specific requirements. They keep data within the organization’s firewall but may require significant IT resources to manage.
Alerts and Notifications
Errors are the bugbear of EDI systems, causing loss of information and rejections. Often these are caused by minor coding errors in the sending system that prevents onward transmission of the data. We rated the ability of EDI software to recognize and communicate errors quickly and effectively by email and text messaging.
The ability of an EDI software to integrate with multiple file types, systems, and ERP solutions is crucial. Pre-built integrations save time and reduce errors, compared to ad-hoc solutions created to solve a particular integration problem. We rated this ability as one of our core criteria.
The 15 Best EDI Software Companies of 2021
ArcESB, a subsidiary of CData Software, was formed in 2011 specifically to concentrate on B2B connectivity between internal and external software. ArcESB systems conform to established EDI standards and have Drummond Certification. ArcESB offers an all-in-one EDI tool that incorporates translation, transmission, data mapping, and integration. The software can be used on-premise or hosted in the cloud. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows. SaaS subscriptions are available, and ArcESB complies with EDI standards and protocols.
Annual fees vary depending upon the number of connections, although increases are capped once you go above 10 connections. An innovative drag-and-drop interface simplifies integration between two systems. It’s easy to map files in different formats such as XML, CSV, and JSON, as well as with various SQL databases. Specific EDI connections streamline integration with major corporate ERP and other systems. Logging and audit capabilities keep track of transactions by email.
|1 connection: $999/year|
10 connections: $3,499/year
Unlimited connections: $7,999/year
|Free Trial||>Drag-and-drop interface simplifies integration
>Mac, Windows, web-based, cloud, SaaS
>More features at ArcESB
Pros & Cons of ArcESB EDI Software
|>EDI links have Drummond certification|
>Standard integrations with many systems
|>Relatively high price|
This company was founded in 2007 with a declared goal of simplifying electronic data interchange between businesses. The platform is only available in the cloud as a SaaS offering. Its philosophy is to provide a solution that can be used by non-IT experts. The software allows users to exchange documents between more than 30 different encoding standards, such as AS2, SFTP, JSON, SAP, and HTTP.
Predefined formulas allow customers to manipulate data, while a drag-and-drop interface simplifies sorting data into the correct category. The system supports automatic triggering of notifications to internal and external users and partners. Changes and corrections are easy. Pricing is based on the number of messages transmitted per month, as well as the number of users and environments. There’s also a full-channel build option.
|Small: $600 for 3,000 messages/month|
Not So Small: $1,500 for 20,000 messages/month
Even Bigger: $6,000 for 200,000 messages/month
|30-Day Free Trial||>Web-based, cloud, SaaS
>Easy to use
>More features at Babelway
Pros & Cons of Babelway EDI Software
>Easy drag-and-drop interface for building relationships
>Scalable as you grow
|>Limited ticket support included in each subscription|
Business Systems Integrators
This company has been in business since the late 1980s, and its EDI software and solutions are right up to date. BSI offers a full range of EDI services, from providing EDI software through a full-service cloud-managed service that takes all the hassle out of EDI.
Pricing varies depending on the application. This includes a reasonable one-time fee for the Windows application. Other alternatives include cloud-based EDI management that embraces setup, mapping, testing, and certification. In this instance, BSI assumes responsibility for communication with trading partners and workflow management.
Choose from a set of standard EDI integrations for ERP solutions such as NetSuite, SAP, Syspro, or Dynamics, or let BSI develop a custom integration. BSI takes care of supply onboarding, compliance, integration, and certification. The system incorporates transaction success notification and exception reporting.
|$1,200 one-time fee||Free Demo Only||>Cloud and desktop solutions
>Established connections to many ERP solutions
>More features at Business Systems Integrators
Pros & Cons of Business Systems Integrators EDI Software
|>Low cost for stand-alone solution|
>Options from stand-alone desktop solution to full-service managed solution in the cloud
>Telephonic and on-line support
|>Demo only, no free trial
>Price varies considerably for managed solutions
Celigo is an iPaaS platform that has the dual advantage of being in the cloud but also under the direct control of the customer. Celigo recognized that as businesses grow, they find their disparate systems wanting because of an inability to automatically transfer data from one to the other. Recognizing that many in-house integrations didn’t live up to expectations, Celigo developed its integrator platform as a solution. It offers direct integration between company systems such as CRM and ERP and with outside customers. A key feature of Celigo is that the interface is simple so anyone in the organization can use it, not just IT specialists.
The company offers a menu of hundreds of pre-built integrations for programs such as Salesforce, Chargify, and Marketo. It develops specific EDI tables to connect applications not on the list. An operations dashboard offers users similar abilities. Celigo sends email notifications to users of interface errors and provides an ability to download the errors in a CSV format for correction and then upload the amended information to the system.
|$600/month||Free Trial, Free Demo||>iPaaS platform
>Many pre-built integrators to popular software packages
>More features at Celigo
Pros & Cons of Celigo EDI Software
|>Cost-effective, scalable iPaaS solution|
>Large library of pre-built integrations
|>Subscription plan means links can be suspended if payments are late|
The Cleo EDI platform works in the cloud, acting as a conduit between the organization and the outside world. Based around its CIC engine, this platform offers interconnections among the organization’s systems, partners, and customers. Solutions are broken into four basic categories: integration type, industry, connector, and trading partner. The Cloe cloud can be accessed by most mobiles and on Mac and Windows.
Customers can create their own integrations using Cleo’s intuitive design platform. Dashboards offer users real-time visibility, and the platform supports all EDI standards and data formats. The organization offers a managed services option in which Cleo takes full responsibility for developing, managing, and maintaining EDI interfaces. Cleo solutions have been independently certified by the Drummond Group, and the company is CEF-certified for AS4.
Cleo specializes in solving difficult data integration problems. Additionally, it incorporates numerous predefined integrations with internal ERP and other software solutions and with external partners such as Amazon and Shopify.
|$1,000/month||Free Demo Only||>Cloud platform
>Drummond and CEF certification
>More features at Cleo
Pros & Cons of Cleo EDI Software
>Support for most data formats and protocols
|>No free trial|
Data Masons EDI
Founded in 1996, Data Masons offers cloud-based EDI. The company specializes in tight and compliant EDI integration. A particular feature is that customers don’t need to embed the customization to their ERP. The company claims to offer one-click access to crucial information. It’s a popular EDI solution for companies using Microsoft Dynamics, Macola, and Acumatica. The company is Microsoft certified.
Standards supported by Data Masons include ANSI X.12, VICS, EDIFACT, and eXML. The company provides free support to Data Mason users. It also offers comprehensive managed services that take care of compliance and ongoing mapping requirements. Data Mason offers a unique trading partners solution that allows users to instantly connect with a wide range of trading partners such as Walmart, Target, General Motors, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Data Masons’ proactive alerts manager continuously monitors the interface and sends text and email messages the moment predefined exceptions occur. For example, it will send an email to a nominated representative if a shipping notice isn’t confirmed within a predefined period after goods were dispatched.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Web-based, cloud, SaaS
>Offers EDI testing
>Pre-built external customer integrations
>More features at Data Masons EDI
Pros & Cons of Data Masons EDI Software
|>Interface does not require ERP customization|
>Proactive alerts manager
>Large number of predefined trading partner modules
|>ERP integrations mainly for Microsoft Dynamics and a select few other ERPs
>No free trial
DataTrans Solutions EDI
DataTrans Solutions Inc. markets its cloud-based EDI under the brand name WebEDI. The company offers an affordable SaaS solution for small to medium-sized customers and a web-hosted alternative for larger organizations. WebEDI is compatible with most popular ERP solutions, including SAP, Sage, NetSuite, JD Edwards, and QuickBooks. Additionally, the company will prepare custom EDI integrations for ERP solutions not on its current list.
The company’s cloud-based solution is fully scalable, allowing plenty of scope for growth. The company has a long list of EDI connections already configured to many trading partners. The web subscription for WebEDI includes free updating of links and connections as EDI trading partners update their software or change their requirements.
The WebEDI platform interface includes a facility for color-coded messages, offering easy identification of status and alerts. A safeguard against transmission errors is document validation capabilities that ensure data is correctly entered before transmission.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Web-based, cloud, SaaS
>Supports most ERP solutions
>Comprehensive list of customer connections
>More features at DataTrans Solutions EDI
Pros & Cons of DataTrans Solutions EDI Software
>Powerful editing and verification tools included at no extra charge
>Easy to get started
|>No free trial available
>No on-premise alternatives
Boomi was founded in 2000 to support integration and data flow between legacy corporate systems that lacked these features. As the cloud developed, it was a natural step to expand this technology to interconnect corporate systems worldwide.
Dell Boomi EDI is primarily a multi-tenant, cloud-based iPaaS service. It’s based on the Boomi Atom runtime engine. It’s also possible to run Boomi Atom on-premise when it’s used for integrating corporate systems. Boomi EDI offers scalability, high availability, and free system upgrades. The interface has simple drag-and-drop tools for fast and easy mapping and integration. Advanced developer tools assist with highly complex and specialized EDI integrations.
The system has enterprise-grade security, ensuring peace of mind. There’s support for most EDI standards, and communication protocols are Drummond certified. The system generates email alerts every 15 minutes and can be configured to report system status and log errors.
|$550/month||Free Trial||>Simple drag-and-drop interface
>Scalable iPaaS multi-tenant system
>More features at Dell Boomi
Pros & Cons of Dell Boomi EDI Software
|>iPaaS multi-tenant platform|
>Many preconfigured connectors
|>Can be expensive with many connections|
DiCentral EDI & Supply Chain Solutions
DiCentral EDI has been on the market for around two decades. The organization uses proprietary technology to deliver effective and efficient EDI between systems. The software is cloud-based. DiCentral uses an innovative payment model that charges customers a fee based on the amount of data, in kilobytes, transferred through the system. Various subscription plans are offered related to transaction volume, and no further charges are levied.
DiCentral offers more than 100 proprietary ERP adapters configured to work with its cloud platform. The company will prepare ad hoc EDI integrations for ERP solutions not on the list. There’s support for a lengthy list of trading partners across all spheres of industrial and commercial activity, any of which can be interconnected. The organization will develop an EDI interface for companies not on the list.
DiCentral EDI utilizes a configurable dashboard that monitors activity in real time. Individual dashboards can be set up to filter information depending upon role and function. Real-time alerts can be configured and sent to mobile devices.
|Starts at $30/month||Free Demo Only||>Low initial cost
>Proprietary ERP and customer connectors
>More features at DiCentral EDI & Supply Chain Solutions
Pros & Cons of DiCentral EDI & Supply Chain Solutions EDI Software
|>Low initial cost|
>Proprietary ERP adapters
>Scalable cloud-based solution
|>As data volume increases, costs rise
>No free trial
EDI Power Reader
EDI Power Reader from EMS Healthcare Informatics is a product that reads and transfers various healthcare files, such as the 835 Healthcare Claim Advice and the 837 Institutional Healthcare Claims. Intended for use in the medical field, EDI Power Reader translates EDI files into flat SQL files stored in a relational database. Known as a claims data warehouse, files can be exported in various formats, including Excel, for further processing.
Several products are offered, ranging from a single-format power reader to the full EDI export engine. Licenses include a set number of functions. In the case of the EDI export license, the annual fee of $5,500 covers the cost of one EDI format, but additional EDI formats can be added for a set fee. The annual fee includes free updates and upgrades. EMS Healthcare offers contract assistance as required.
The software runs on Windows within the organization’s firewall. Customers can configure the export engine to bring through the HIPAA data elements required. Intended primarily to convert EDI files, it has limited error reporting capabilities.
|Single Format: $2,750/year |
Multi Format: $5,500/year
|Free Trial||>Exports HIPAA files into SQL formats
>Claims data warehouse
>More features at EDI Power Reader
Pros & Cons of EDI Power Reader Software
>Collate HIPAA files in one place
>Easy export to Excel
|>Only for Windows
>Limited error reporting
GoAnywhere Managed Files Transfer facilitates the transfer of files among corporate systems, internal and external suppliers, and customers. The product is part of a broader GoAnywhere infrastructure that includes a range of products catering to a comprehensive and secure file transfer environment, such as the GoAnywhere Gateway, that provides forward and reverse sharing.
The FTP license is a one-time license that gives users flexibility as to where the software is hosted. Options include Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. The company offers a broad range of support options, including implementation help, project consulting, and on-site training.
GoAnywhere MFT allows users to encrypt data and is compliant with European general data protection regulations and payment card data security standards. The software logs all activity and raises an alert when something does not happen as expected.
|Starts at $2,400 one-time fee||30-Day Free Trial||>Multiple hosting options
>Works seamlessly with all platforms
>More features at GoAnywhere MFT
Pros & Cons of GoAnywhere MFT EDI Software
|>Free version available|
>Works on any platform
>Compatible with most file systems
|>Additional features cost more|
MuleSoft Anypoint Platform allows users to connect to any application or device, whether in the cloud or on-premise. The software comes with a large number of software connectors and a simple but comprehensive drag-and-drop data mapper for new connections. It enables organizations to collate data from different systems and provide a single customer view. Other applications include connecting to e-commerce platforms and linking legacy applications.
The MuleSoft application programming interface provides the link between different systems, as well as enhancing security across platforms. Users can deploy the software in the cloud or as a hosted on-premise system using the Anypoint container service that allows MuleSoft to run in any computing environment.
MuleSoft incorporates enterprise-grade security, scalability, and real-time application integration. System performance monitoring is managed using built-in dashboards and analytics. It’s possible to create custom dashboards to monitor specific parameters. Alerts are configurable using an alerts dashboard.
|$100-$1,250/month; discount for paying annually||30-Day Free Trial||>Run on-premise or in managed cloud
>Powerful API capabilities
>More features at MuleSoft
Pros & Cons of MuleSoft EDI Software
|>Run in managed cloud or on-premise|
>Many pre-built connectors
>Excellent, easy-to-use integration tools
Orderful EDI was born out of a desire to move away from problematic custom EDI integrations to one that was simpler, less expensive, and better performing. The result was a stand-alone EDI platform that allows customers to connect once and benefit from access to thousands of retailers, customers, and distributors. This platform replaces the one-to-one connectors between specific software packages that were once so common.
The software is cloud-based and accessible using a browser from most computer and mobile platforms. Each partner already on the platform conforms to Orderful’s coding, communication, and testing requirements. Data validation occurs in real time before data is sent, avoiding lost or corrupt communications. There’s a wide choice of preconfigured communication channels, and predetermined testing protocols simplify onboarding and validation. The platform incorporates a full suite of alert reporting and analytics, and errors can be fixed in real time.
|Custom Quote||None||>Ecosystem of thousands of trading partners
>Automatic EDI formatting
>More features at Orderful
Pros & Cons of Orderful EDI Software
>New partners added at no cost
|>No free trial|
SPS Commerce Fulfillment EDI
SPS Commerce is a full-service EDI enablement provider. Formed in 2001, the organization has a network of thousands of connections to common trading partners. SPS Commerce Fulfillment is a cloud-based solution accessible using common web browsers. The SPS Commerce team works alongside your team to plan, design, test, and implement connections to your trading partners. In this manner, all requirements are carefully analyzed and testing, and validation is based on partners’ electronic trading specifications. The platform includes certified connections to numerous cloud-based and on-premise ERP solutions.
SPS Commerce Fulfillment’s real-time engine validates transactions as they are loaded, allowing immediate correction and avoiding loss of business due to undetected errors. A separate fulfillment tool allows experienced IT teams to perform their own EDI integrations. SPS Commerce Analytics allows customers to collate validated data across their customers to determine sales trends and drive informed decisions.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>Large ecosystem of trading partners
>Supported EDI testing
>More features at SPS Commerce Fulfillment EDI
Pros & Cons of SPS Commerce Fulfillment EDI Software
|>Full-service EDI process|
>Strong customer support
>Thousands of certified connections
|>No free trial|
TrueCommerce EDI is a cloud-based, multi-tenant commerce platform that links customers and suppliers. Allowing for two-way information flows, the platform makes it possible to do business in every direction. TrueCommerce EDI allows organizations to seamlessly integrate their different spheres of operation, such as digital commerce, retail outlets, inventory, and order management, into one whole while at the same time linking in suppliers and trading partners.
Working from a base of over 92,000 configured trading partners, the team at TrueCommerce can quickly and easily link new customers, allowing them to start trading. TrueCommerce takes care of all the details, freeing staff to concentrate on their core functions. The company’s multi-tenant infrastructure accommodates customers from small to large with a costing structure to match.
The platform offers a wide selection of configurable email alerts, including notification of unacknowledged transactions. Data security is top-notch, and all accounting data is encrypted. There’s out-of-the-box reporting and a full transaction audit trail.
|Custom Quote||Free Demo Only||>EDI mapping and integration support
>92,000 configured partners
>More features at TrueCommerce EDI
Pros & Cons of TrueCommerce EDI Software
|>Managed EDI service|
>Ease of use
|>No rejection alerts
>No free trial
What Is EDI Software?
The term electronic data interchange (EDI) refers to software that allows data to be transferred from one software package to another. In the past this task was performed, often poorly, by custom written software interfaces.
As systems became more complex, EDI software was developed to simplify the protocols for communication between different computer systems. Initially, EDI was primarily used for linking legacy software packages within an organization, but, in response to the need for data interchange between trading partners, was extended to include all business transactions between companies.
Consequently, it’s now possible for companies to trade, receive orders, and invoice customers electronically without human intervention. Many EDI solutions are in the cloud and often marketed as a multi-tenancy package. This approach enhances standardization and frees clients from the laborious task of updating and maintaining EDI software and hardware.
Many EDI packages come with a long list of standard pre-built data connectors to third-party software applications that save time and effort when connecting new customers. This arrangement reduces cost and makes it easier for smaller organizations to adopt EDI software. Others come with little or no preconfiguration and links need to be developed from scratch. While more expensive, this type of software is better suited for large organizations as it can be more completely configured to suit requirements without forcing the company to change the way it works.
The degree of EDI can vary. At one end of the spectrum, there is relatively limited and simple one-way out-of-the-box EDI integration intended to resolve particular pain points. At the other end, holistic and comprehensive EDI integration offers a high degree of visibility across an organization, forwards and backwards. Some EDI applications focus on providing integration between different software packages within an organization, while others are more focused on seamless and paperless transmission of data between suppliers and customers.
Benefits of EDI Software
Benefits of EDI include faster processing, greater accuracy, and lower cost. Much of the world’s e-commerce simply could not function without EDI. These benefits include:
- Automated exchange of data, allowing companies to send, receive, and process orders automatically
- Reduction of errors caused by incorrect transcription and typing
- Significant reduction in the time needed to process orders, reducing stock and lead times
- Facilitation of e-commerce in that customer orders and payments can be performed electronically
- Reduction in the cost of processing orders as fewer employees are needed to receive, process, and manage orders
- Almost complete elimination of lost, erroneous, and incorrect orders because data is electronically processed
- Electronic validation processes minimize errors and enable faster invoicing and payment
- Automated alerts highlight errors and problems, allowing almost immediate rectification
Must-Have Features of EDI Software
Key must-have features of EDI software include:
- Comprehensive support for a full range of standard document types and codes used in sales, financial, ERP, and accounting systems
- Support for as wide a selection as possible of communication protocols and standards, including but not limited to AS1, AS2, AS4, FTP, HTTP, emails, X12, and EDIFACT
- Intuitive and easy-to-use data mapping tools to extract and transform data without writing code
- Proven certification to appropriate standards by agencies such as the Drummond Group
- Ecosystem of predefined and mapped trading partner connectors
- Support for popular ERP vendors, especially for current and planned in-house corporate software
- Ability to connect legacy systems
- Validation tools and system to notify users of errors and snags
- Mechanism for logging and reporting on successful data transfer
- Enterprise-grade security
- A proven track record together with willingness to allow contact with existing customers to check references
- Availability of managed services for preparing and implementing new connections
- Proven verification and testing tools for ensuring EDI interface works correctly
- Ability to handle anticipated volume of transactions together with capacity to grow
- High level of customer support that’s available as and when required, preferably person to person, 24/7
The Cost of EDI Software
Before embarking on EDI, it’s crucial to determine the total costs as accurately as possible. Vendors use several different costing strategies, so making a comparison is not that simple. Some vendors charge per connection, others charge according to the volume of data transmitted, and still others by quotation.
The simplest licensing solution is a one-time fee, usually applicable to an on-premise solution. These are usually per-connection, so it’s important to determine the total number of connections required. For this method, the cost of the hardware and infrastructure required to support the software, as well as the cost of installation, mapping, and maintenance, must be factored in. Similar considerations may apply to cloud-hosted software. More commonly, vendors charge an annual fee that also covers routine upgrades and maintenance, even when the software is hosted on-premise or in a private cloud.
The alternative is some form of multi-tenant cloud service, usually iPaaS, although some vendors may offer SaaS. A major advantage of a cloud solution is that vendors are responsible for maintaining and upgrading the system. Additionally, in multi-tenant environments, these costs are split over the customer base, so total costs could be lower than an on-premise license. Also, it’s easier to connect to trading partners through the internet. Subscription fees are generally payable monthly, although some vendors prefer annual fees, offering customers attractive discounts.
Coding and mapping costs are generally charged over and above the cost of the software. While companies with the requisite experience may perform this work in-house, in many instances these services are provided by the software vendor. In these instances, it’s important to determine exactly what the vendor means by a managed service. Aspects to consider are monthly fees over and above connection fees as well as ad hoc fees for creating an EDI connection.
While EDI services have a reputation for being expensive, a number of companies focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and adapt their charging structure so the service is affordable. This may be achieved through charging for data usage or the number of messages rather than a fixed charge per connection. Potential customers should consider the possible savings from EDI as these can be substantial and largely offset licensing and service costs.