What is EDI Mapping?

Define EDI Mapping

EDI mapping is a conversion process in which the translation of data structures from a proprietary file (in CSV format, txt, SAP IDoc, ERP-specific, etc.) to an EDI standard format (EDIFACT, ANSI X12, etc.) and vice versa. 

Effective mapping ensures that data can flow seamlessly between trading partners, streamlining business operations, reducing manual data entry, and minimizing errors. Many organizations use specialized software and tools to facilitate the mapping process, making it more efficient and reliable.


How EDI Mapping Works

Mapping EDI data to ERP data structures are translated from an EDI standard format (EDIFACT, ANSI X12, etc.) to a proprietary file that can be easily ingested into a back-end system (CSV format, txt, SAP IDoc, Flat File, or any ERP specific format).

  • As shown in the diagram, trading partner 1 uses Oracle ERP which uses a JSON internal format and trading partner 2 uses the SAP ERP system with IDoc internal format. To communicate a message to trading partner 2, that JSON file needs to be converted into an EDI transaction and sent to trading partner 2 using a standardized EDI Format like ANSI X12 or EDIFACT.
  • Now since trading partner 2 ERP uses iDoc for its internal format, the EDI file is converted into an iDoc file before being ingested into SAP ERP.
  • Mapping for EDI systems is bilateral so EDI providers like Commport, map the data flow in both directions. 
EDI-Mapping-Example - Commport Communications
Benefits-of-EDI-Mapping-Pieces - Commport Communications

Benefits of EDI Mapping

Mapping is a crucial component to meeting trading partner demands, eliminating manual entry, while streamlining the movement of data from front-end to back-end systems.


Automation –Automatically send external data to critical internal systems which creates a repeatable process not touched by human input.

Accuracy – Eliminate the manual processing which eliminates the risk for user error, and in turn ensures EDI data is accurately imported into back-end systems.

Connection – Allows for the creation of formats like XML or flat file which can easily be used to communicate EDI data to business trading partners.


EDI mapping facilitates the seamless translation of data between different formats. This process ensures compatibility between the internal systems of trading partners, enabling the efficient exchange of standardized business documents. It is a critical component in achieving interoperability and smooth communication in the global business landscape.

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Frequently Asked Questions

EDI mapping is the process of translating data between different formats to enable the smooth exchange of business documents in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). It involves mapping data fields from one system to another, ensuring compatibility between trading partners.

It is necessary to bridge the gap between the internal data structures of different business systems. It ensures that data can be accurately and seamlessly exchanged between trading partners, promoting interoperability and efficient communication.

It involves creating a translation map that defines the relationship between data elements in the sender’s format and those in the receiver’s format. This map guides the transformation of data during the EDI exchange, ensuring proper interpretation on both ends.

Yes, businesses can perform EDI mapping in-house if they have the expertise and resources to create and manage mapping solutions. However, many organizations opt for EDI service providers or software solutions that offer pre-built maps for common transactions.

It is not a one-time process. It may require ongoing maintenance, especially when there are changes in data structures, formats, or when new trading partners are onboarded. Regular updates and monitoring help ensure the continued accuracy of data exchange.

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