Aug 2013
(Last Updated On: May 26, 2021)

EDI Communication and VANs

What is a VAN ?

A Value Added Network (VAN) is considered the “post office” where business partners can collect and sort EDI documents coming through. As of today, a considerable amount of EDI transactions are still going through VANs, however this number is always in constant decline considering the popularity of the internet, its reduced cost as well as the level of security someone can implement with internet communication protocols. Most of the “major players” in the retail industry, have switched to a point-to-point communication of EDI files and transactions using one or many of the following secured communication protocols for a point-to-point EDI exchange:

  • FTP (not secured – plain text)
  • sFTP
  • Https
  • AS2
  • AS3
  • telnet
  • “bisync modem” to communicate through a value added network (VAN). This is the oldest method of secured communication

Please see the graphical description on how an EDI communication happens:

Point to Point communication