According to Wikipedia:
In 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology defined electronic data interchange as "the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments. EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as originator or recipient. The formatted data representing the documents may be transmitted from originator to recipient via telecommunications or physically transported on electronic storage media."
It distinguishes mere electronic communication or data exchange, specifying that "in EDI, the usual processing of received messages is by computer only. Human intervention in the processing of a received message is typically intended only for error conditions, for quality review, and for special situations. For example, the transmission of binary or textual data is not EDI as defined here unless the data are treated as one or more data elements of an EDI message and are not normally intended for human interpretation as part of online data processing."
Most large companies and their suppliers now use EDI, to vastly increase the accuracy and speed of their sales invoices, purchases, inventory data transmission, payments and more. Quite a few Xero users expressed an interest in Xero EDI, in a Xero EDI forum to which I contributed. I have been very pro-EDI for around 20 years. That is about when a U.N. Committee report said that using common business forms and EDI would save trillions of dollars a year (adjusted for inflation).
At the time of my post, the EDI industry and Xero had not yet been willing to invest in the interface needed for Xero EDI. However, my research showed that DiCental might be a good candidate to do this fairly inexpensively. My email to DiCentral soon resulted in a very long conversation with one of their programming managers. The exciting conclusion was that DiCentral would create the Xero EDI link if they get even one committed Xero EDI customer. I do not remember the exact initial Xero EDI SETUP ESTIMATE, but believe it was only around $500. I also found the transaction fee costs shockingly low, even for small quantities, but do not recall that amount either.
I will gladly help with this, at minimal cost.