EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the paperless exchange of documents between trading partners. Companies that use Lawson's EDI capability can communicate with their suppliers and vendors without shuffling paper. Data is transmitted from one company's computer to another electronically. The object of EDI is to streamline business operating procedures and reduce costs.

More technically, EDI is a technology for exchanging business documents in standardized electronic formats. The standards supported for Lawson EDI include ASC X12 and UN/EDIFACT (Lawson EDI Professional for Supply Chain only).

An EDI message contains a string of data elements, each of which represents a singular fact, such as a price, product model number, and so forth, separated by delimiters. The entire string is called a data segment. One or more data segments framed by a header and trailer form a transaction set, which is the EDI unit of transmission (equivalent to a message). A transaction set often consists of what would usually be contained in a typical business document or form. The parties who exchange EDI transmissions are referred to as trading partners.