adoption rates until 1994, a period with high adoption rates followed between 1994 and 1998. In 
2000 and 2001 no further EDIFACT implementation was reported. Instead of EDIFACT, the 
adoption of XML/EDI frameworks appeared in 2000 and increased in 2001. Earlier EDI 
frameworks in the finance (SWIFT) and automotive (VDA) sector were also mentioned. 
XML/EDI frameworks are becoming increasingly important to connect business partners with no 
EDI conversion systems over the Internet. Most of these business partners are small or medium 
sized enterprises (Beck, 2002). 
In spite of the increasing rate of XML/EDI implementations, the ratio of sent and received 
messages is rather low (Figure 7). The usage of further e commerce innovations like Internet 
EDI or WebEDI is slightly higher. The diffusion of these standards is at its beginning in 
Germany, although these technologies are not new. 
More important than the potential availability of e commerce is the de facto usage of these 
technologies (Beck, 2002). In 2002, firms using EDI were asked about the ratio of electronic 
messaging to paper based, manual messaging. The results are provided in Figure 7. Although 
100% of the respondents are EDI using firms, less than one third of all messages are processed 
electronically via traditional EDI systems, with an additional 10% via innovative EDI solutions 
such as WebEDI, Internet EDI or XML/EDI. The survey shows that the hypothetical availability 
of e commerce technologies is not sufficient to draw conclusions about their readiness or 
efficient usage. 
FIGURE 7  Sent and Received Messages as a Ratio of Communication Channel 
s 30.00%
f me
% o
E Mail
Internet EDI
Source: Beck, 2002 
The diffusion of e commerce technologies among SMEs and large firms differs essentially only 
in comparison to other nations such as France, Denmark or the US. Figure 8 shows the usage of 
EDI and electronic funds transfer (EFT) in the four countries, divided into SMEs (S) and large 
establishments (L). While large sized dependent differences in EDI use are observable, e.g., in 
France, both German SMEs and large establishments, use EDI nearly as often as EFT. In fact, 

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