A large enterprise’s networked computing environment is likely to connect many geographically distributed computers to the main database. These computers are likely to use different hardware and/or operating system platforms. An IDoc (for intermediate document) encapsulates data so that it can be exchanged between different systems without conversion from one format to another. IDocs are used for for electronic data interchange (EDI) between application programs written for the popular SAP business system or between an SAP application and an external program. IDocs serve as the vehicle for data transfer in SAP’s Application Link Enabling (ALE) system.