VAN (Value Added Network) in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

To address the limitations in peer-to-peer adoption of EDI, VANs (value-added networks) were established. A VAN acts as a regional post office. It receives transactions, examines the 'from' and the 'to' information, and routes the transaction to the final recipient. VANs may provide a number of additional services, e.g. re-transmitting documents, providing third party audit information, acting as a gateway for different transmission methods, and handling telecommunications support.

Because of these and other services VANs provide, businesses frequently use a VAN even when both trading partners are using Internet-based protocols.

VANs may be operated by various entities:
  • telecommunication companies;
  • industry group consortia;
  • a large company interacting with its suppliers/vendors.

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