Skip to main content
Ex Libris Knowledge Center

Best Practice Toolkit: EDI

What is it? 

Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, is an automated method of communication between an institution and its vendors conducted via FTP. Files sent to an EDI-enabled vendor are exported by Alma to a FTP location for retrieval by the vendor, and files placed in FTP by the vendor are automatically loaded and parsed by Alma.

Because an EDI-enabled vendor may work with many institutions, each institution must get a unique code from the vendor to use in its EDI setup.

Why set up EDI?

Utilizing EDI in the library offers many benefits in terms of automation. By taking advantage of the automation activities in EDI, this allows library staff to devote more time to exceptions and things that need specific hand holding. There are many acquisition activities that are supported for EDI-enabled vendors.

Sending from Alma to the vendor:

  • Purchase Orders
  • Claims
  • Order Cancelations

Sending from the vendor to Alma:

  • Invoices
  • Order Responses: Shelf-Ready
  • Order Responses: Order Report
  • Order Responses: Claim Responses

EDI communication is verified with the following vendors:

  • Appel du Livre
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Casalini Libri
  • Coutts (ingramcontent)
  • Harrassowitz
  • LM Information Delivery
  • Midwest Library Service
  • Prenax
  • ProQuest Ebook Central
  • Teldan
  • William S. Hein & Co., Inc
  • WT Cox Information Services
  • YBP

Additionally, it should be possible to set up EDI for any vendor that uses the EDI message types used by Alma.

Before You Start

Before setting up EDI, you will need to get specific information from your vendor. This includes: vendor EDI code, vendor EDI type, S/FTP connection details, and EDI code for your institution, either at the institution level or library level.


Configuring EDI

Once you have the above information, the library can configure EDI communication with a vendor by going to Acquisitions > Acquisitions Infrastructure > Vendors. Select a vendor and click on the EDI Information tab. Enter the information as required and click Save.

EDI files can be found on the Search Vendors page. To locate the files you want to edit, delete, download, or reload, select View EDI files in the row actions list.