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author's profile photo Former Member
Former Member


Hi all,

Can any one tell me what is the difference between ALE and EDI.

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    author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 31, 2008 at 03:02 AM

    Hi Satish,

    ALE is technology for SAP mainly use to transfer data between SAP systems.

    EDI is the independent technology use to transfer data between two systems, they can be SAP systems or non SAP systems.

    The basic difference with ALE and EDI is ALE used for internal communications and EDI is meant for external communications.

    Since ALE uses an IDOC format to exchange data between systems, both participating systems should understand the IDOC format.

    In other words ALE normally used to distribute the master data (Ex: Material Master, Vendor Master) with in a company when you are maintain the distributed environment.

    For example data transfer between a SAP R/3 and SAP APO where the data transfer is implemented using ALE technology.

    EDI is for exchanging transaction data (Purchase order, Delivery) between two different business partners.EDI is all about the standards (Ex: ANSI X12, EDIFACT) you have to follow when you are transferring business documents.

    Technically speaking, ALE transfers the data using memory buffers whereas EDI uses file port to transfer the data.

    With EDI technology you always need a translator to convert the IDOC to X12 (Outbound), X12 to IDOC (Inbound).But with ALE you don’t need a translator.

    ( Thanks Padmam.. )

    See this links





    difference between ale and edi

    Plzz reward if it is useful,


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  • author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 31, 2008 at 05:42 AM

    Hi Satish,

    The interface concept of the classic R/3 is based on two different strategies: Remote Function Calls (RFC) and data exchange through IDoc message documents. RFC makes direct and synchronous calls of a program in the remote system. If the caller is an external program it will call an RFC-enabled function in R/3 and if the calling program is the R/3 system it will call an RFC-function in another R/3-system or it will call a non-R/3 program through a gateway-proxy (usually rfcexec.exe). BAPIs are a subset of the RFC-enabled function modules, especially designed as Application Programming Interface (API) to the SAP business object, or in other words: are function modules officially released by SAP to be called from external programs.

    IDocs are text encoded documents with a rigid structure that are used to exchange data between R/3 and a foreign system. Instead of calling a program in the destination system directly, the data is first packed into an IDoc and then sent to the receiving system, where it is analyzed and properly processed. Therefore an IDoc data exchange is always an asynchronous process. The significant difference between simple RFC-calls and IDoc data exchange is the fact, that every action performed on IDocs are protocolled by R/3 and IDocs can be reprocessed if an error occurred in one of the message steps.

    While IDocs have to be understood as a data exchange protocol, EDI and ALE are typical use cases for IDocs. R/3 uses IDocs for both EDI and ALE to deliver data to the receiving system. ALE is basically the scheduling mechanism that defines when and between which partners and what kind of data will be exchanged on a regular or event triggered basis. Such a set-up is called an ALE-scenario.

    The philosophical difference between EDI and ALE can be pinned as follows: If we send data to an external partner, we generally speak of EDI, while ALE is a mechanism to reliable replicate data between trusting systems to store a redundant copy of the IDoc data. The difference is made clear, when we think of a purchase order that is sent as an IDoc. If we send the purchase order to a supplier then the supplier will store the purchase order as a sales order. However, if we send the purchase order via ALE to another R/3 system, then the receiving system will store the purchase order also as a purchase order.

    Reward Points if useful.

    Regards ,

    Adarsh Srivastava.

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