Skip to Content
avatar image
Former Member

Difference between ALE / EDI


I have a question from long time. What is the difference between ALE & EDI.When I ask my friends They say in simple way. SAP - SAP (ALE) . SAP - NON SAP (EDI).

Today I read in a book .ALE/IDOC method can be used to connect to SAP - NON SAP (LEGACY). Now I am more confussed .

If any one can explain me the real difference I really appreciate the time.



Add comment
10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • Get RSS Feed

2 Answers

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    May 11, 2006 at 08:40 PM

    Hello Andy:

    1) ALE = Application Link Enable: Initially developed for SAP as an abstract layer to extract master and transactional data to be sent ellectronically to other SAP systems. These days is also being used to send data no non-SAP systems. ALE is not a protocol or anything like that, it's just abstract layer composed by a set of applications which are capable of extracting aplication data on a 1-time basis or periodically, by selection criteria or incrementally by deltas.

    2) In contrast, EDI = Electronic data interface, this is a comunication protocol not designed by SAP but it´s an industry standard. Of course most SAP software supports EDI, but EDI it's no software but the specification of the protocol in itself.

    Hope this helps.


    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    May 12, 2006 at 05:41 AM

    Hi Andy,

    I am just sharing a few lines which i read some where. Hope that would be helpful.

    ALE(Application Link Enabling) refers to the losely coupled systems whereas the EDI speaks about the Electronic Document Exchange. We need to enable ALE in order to use the EDI feature. ALE builds the bridge and EDI is the means by which the data moves in and out of the SAP system just like vehicles moving over the bridge. IDOC(Intermediate Documents) are the data containers which will be moving in and out of SAP carrying data.

    Thus summarising we need to establish ALE between the systems in order to use EDI between them. In case we need to use EDI between SAP and some other target system then we need a EDI subsystem which understands these IDOCs and converts into the format understood by the target system.

    Hope this is useful.



    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • Former Member

      Hi Pooja,

      Very thankful for your answer with the good example. Really now i got some clarity related to ALE, EDI and IDOCs.

      One dought with referanceto this concept without ALE we are not suppose to use EDI? Please clarify me.

      Thank q very much...

      Thanks & Regards,