EDI Meets the Internet Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) on the Internet
RFC 1865

Document Type RFC - Informational (January 1996; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                          W. Houser
Request for Comments: 1865                     Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Category: Informational                                       J. Griffin
                                                       Athena Associates
                                                                 C. Hage
                                                      C. Hage Associates
                                                            January 1996

                         EDI Meets the Internet

                    Frequently Asked Questions about
           Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) on the Internet

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This memo is targeted towards the EDI community that is unfamiliar
   with the Internet, including EDI software developers, users, and
   service providers.  The memo introduces the Internet and assumes a
   basic knowledge of EDI.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ................................................    4
   1.1.  What is this document ....................................    4
   1.2.  What do you mean by electronic data interchange (EDI) ?  .    4
   1.3.  What are the X12 Standards that I should be aware of ?  ..    4
   1.4.  To whom do I send comments and suggestions ? .............    5
   1.5.  How can I get a copy of this document? ...................    5
   2. General Information .........................................    6
   2.1.  What is the Internet ?  ..................................    6
   2.2.  Is there a difference between EDI and
         electronic commerce (EC) ? ...............................    6
   2.3.  What makes the Internet useful for EDI ?  ................    6
   2.4.  Does this means we will now have to coordinate our
         EC/EDI activities with the Internet?  ....................    7
   2.5.  How do I find the addresses of other Trading partners
         on the Internet if I don't have to coordinate my EDI
         activities with a central organization or VAN?  ..........    7
   2.6.  How fast is the Internet?  ...............................    7
   2.7.  What about reliability of the Internet?  .................    7
   2.8.  What are RFCs and where can I get them ?  ................    8

Houser, et al                Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 1865                 EDI Meets the Internet             January 1996

   2.9.  Where can I get general information about the Internet?  .    8
   3. Getting Connected To The Internet ...........................    9
   3.1.  What do I need to get to use the Internet?  ..............    9
   3.2.  What software is used to support electronic mail?  .......    9
   3.3.  What types of client-server or server-server
         protocols exist on the Internet?  ........................   10
   3.4.  What methods exist to broadcast information across
         the Internet?  ...........................................   12
   3.5.  What are the ways to connect to the Internet ?  ..........   13
   4. Organizational Issues .......................................   15
   4.1.  Why is the way we currently do EDI so limiting to its
         growth?  ..................................................  15
   4.2.  My organization has an internal automated system for
         processing requisitions and issuing purchase orders, but it
         does not create the X12 formatted EDI transactions; what
         should we do ?  ...........................................  16
   4.3.  My organization already has a dial-in bulletin board
         service (BBS) where we post transactions; should we
         keep it? ..................................................  16
   4.4.  My organization currently has a Trading Partner
         Agreement with each trading partner we're currently
         doing business with. Can we keep them ?  ..................  16
   4.5.  It would be nice to get more trading partners and/or
         more competition, but I'm worried about getting too many
         transactions to be able to handle them.  Has this been a
         problem ?  ................................................  17
   4.6.  Does this mean that I'll receive more messages ?  .........  17
   4.7.  If we see a transaction posted on VAN, how do we
         respond in electronic format ?  ...........................  18
   4.8.  My organization has an established bilateral
         relationship (such as an existing contract.  Can we
         send these transactions via the Internet ?  ...............  18
   5. The Role Of Value Added Networks ............................   18
   5.1.  What is a VAN?  ................... .......................  18
   5.2.  What is an Internet Service Provider (ISP)?  ..............  19
   5.3.  How might an ISP be used for EDI?  ........................  19
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