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Transfer EDI Information with Email

Monday, July 16, 2012, 8:00 AM
The Electronic Data Interchange is a protocol standard that enables the exchange of information by varied methods like email, FTP, HTTP and telnet. EDI is often used for sales and material information exchange between different businesses. One of the most important ways to use EDI is certainly through email servers. In order to accomplish delivery through email, a few other technologies are required. The sender presents information in a format like a JPG. Then, a protocol structure like X.435 encapsulates the JPG. Another encapsulation wraps around that in order to transfer it over email systems. The Consultative Committee on International Telegraph and Telephone established the X.400 protocol. This protocol wraps the message and the header information in an envelope for delivery. This wrapper assists the message transfer agent to receive, interpret and deliver the content of the body to the appropriate recipient. The X.435 makes several improvements to the body of the X.400 message. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) chartered the Accredited Standards Committee in 1979. This group created the ASC X12, which defines hundreds of X12 EDI standards and X12 XML schemas. Many diverse companies in many different industries use these standards. All different types of information is exchanged between these companies that used to be sent via mail or fax. Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions is a standard from the Internet Engineering Task Force. MIME allows binary files like pictures, PDFs, programs or pure EDI data to attach to emails for transfer. This includes all the EDI data as X12, HL7 or UN/EDIFACT. The MIME header transfers several different bits of information like the MIME version number, content-id for multi-part messages, content-type to describe contents, content-disposition to specify the content presentation as inline or attachment and content-transfer-encoding to specify the encoding method. The transfer of binary information is significant on almost every level of modern society. Standard technologies and protocols were created to address the needs of businesses transferring important information to each other and everyday people sending pictures and documents. EDI data send over email is very important to the transfer of this information. MIME is the mechanism that makes this transfer possible.

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