DDI is the acronym for "direct data integration" and describes the process of delivering documents from the own into a foreign ERP system by using standardized and established message structures and methods of communication. Ideally, the communictaion takes place on "the push of a button", per document without time lag and completely in the background.
The customter want to order some goods from his supplier. He creates a purchase order in his ERP system and sends it as a request via DDI export do his supplier. The seller recognized the incoming data, takes the request by a push of a button into his ERP system, creates a contract and forwareded it to his customer. And so on.
The transfer of the document takes place in real time without time lag, e.g. this communictaion could take place between a phone call. Ideally, all documents should be send as a PDF file, too and continued processing by the receiver, e.g. be printed out, or particularly on invoices, archived confirming to the law.
Next to the exchange of invoices, oders and so on, article catalogs and price lists to the point of exceptional prices on a daily basis could been transferred. This allows the trading, offer indivual and automated products to their customers. The outcome of this opens up a daily basis of offering summarys and comfortable opperturnity of resarch for the buying agent and if necessary transferring the articles into the own ordering system.
Large companies often force EDI from theier small suppliers to transfer documents in the EDIFACT format. The advantage is on the side of the large companies. On the other hand, DDI could be profitable used for the b2b communication form all companies.
EDI is mostly used transferring orders and invoices as well as more and more despatch advices. DDI is appropriate for all output types, starting with request and offer.
Transfer of EDI data, especially invoices, may take place only once a day. DDI takes your data in real time to the foreign system.
The ZUGFeRD module current includes only the transmission of invoice. The profit lies on the side of the receiver, especially ift it's used to electronic archiving. The document sender on the other side has no profit but only costs of this, so his incentive is low.
Additionally the range from the used content of the invoice data is limeted to the rare used CeFACT-XML format. The DDI data moduel uses the standard ASCII interface from EDI4ALL. With this interface the whole EDIFACT, ANSI X.12 or the VDA data structure could be mapped. With additional PDF transfer of the documents archived confirming to the law is guaranteed.
For more technical information, see the DDI guide (currently only in German).