News.com writes about Walmart’s initiative is reshaping the retail software industry:
Many Wal-Mart suppliers must be equipped to exchange paperwork electronically using Electronic Data Interchange-Internet Integration, or EDI-INT, a protocol for moving data across the Internet that incorporates Extensible Markup Language (XML).
The software is designed to shuttle a daily flow of electronic purchase orders, invoices and shipping notices between companies by using the Internet rather than private networks.
Wal-Mart itself is using a software package from iSoft, a relative unknown in the software industry. Other software companies that specialize in business systems that are designed to handle communication via EDI-INT include bTrade, Cleo Communications, Cyclone Commerce, IPNet and Sterling Commerce.
EDI-INT could also be very useful for SMEs.