Interfaces based on EDI/ALE and IDocs
When you connect to your company's own systems or to third-party systems in the course of business partners, you are confronted with various terms and concepts when exchanging data with an SAP ERP system.
IDoc – Intermediate Document
IDocs are the standard exchange format by which facts can be imported into and exported from an SAP system. Information (master data, invoices, delivery bills, etc.) is exchanged with external systems via an IDoc interface. These external systems can be within the company or data can be exchanged with systems in other companies. If data is exchanged with other systems in your own company, the term ALE (Application Link Enabling) is used in connection with SAP.
ALE – Application Link Enabling
ALE is an integral part of SAP integration technology. It integrates business processes in which data is exchanged between different application systems in a controlled manner. With ALE programs are connected across different platforms and systems (e.g. CRM system)
EDI – Electronic Data Interchange
If data is exchanged with other companies, this is called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Instead of exchanging IDocs directly, the data is first translated into a uniform exchange format - a so-called EDI format.