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Often as confusing as electronic data interchange (EDI) are the terms that go with it. This is a glossary of terms assisting and promoting the education of EDI. We continuously add and update this resource making it a “living” document.

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Companies of all sizes outsource warehousing and transportation of products to 3PLs. 3PLs transmit massive amounts of EDI data specializing in product inventory and storage, order fulfillment, and arranging the transportation of goods.

An electronic packing slip sent from a seller to a buyer indicating the details of how the requested items are packed for shipment.

The United States organization of EDI industry members that manages the creation, utilization and conformity of EDI standards.

A transaction set acknowledging a corresponding transaction set such as an ANSI X12 997 Functional Acknowledgment confirms that a document is readable by the receiving trading partner.

A transaction set (ANSI X12 824) reporting errors to the sender or notifying the sender that the document has been accepted.

Accredited Standards Committee, X12. A committee of EDI industry experts that develop EDI X12 standards. ANSI then reviews new standards for approval.

A set pattern of lines and spacing on labels or directly on goods used for automatic product or shipment identification.

A standard document describing items being shipped by a supplier and used by the logistics company transporting the goods.

A solution by BOLD VAN eliminating errors through automated processing and streamlines communication with real-time monitoring. BOLD Transport allows you to manage load tenders, shipment statuses, freight invoicing, and more from one interface.

A process for sharing company information and coordinating activity securely between companies.

A third party used for centralizing the interchange of electronic transactions between trading partners often utilized in the healthcare industry.

Access to a hosted service through an internet connection. The primary benefits to cloud computing are portability and not having to initially purchase software.

Wed-based EDI Service. A company does not have to invest in EDI hardware and software to become EDI capable.

A process used to ensure a transaction complies with ANSI X12 syntax rules.

Acknowledgment that a transmission has been successfully received by its intended receiver.

Consumable goods such as food, beverages, footwear, and apparel, tobacco, and cleaning products that move from manufacturer to retailer through the supply chain.

The continual supply of goods between suppliers and their business partners that are automated through electronic data interchange. Current demand, inventory, stock management information, and other data are all maintained via EDI.

Confirms that correct and complete data has been received.

An identification number that distinguishes a standard data element from a standard segment. Also referred to as a reference number.

Similar to a data segment, but is utilized for the transmission of control information for arranging data segments.

The first and last segments for entities in an EDI exchange. With EDI data, it is how a trading partner identifies separate EDI transmissions.

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment. A program improving supply chain integration while enhancing business-to-business relationships between retailers, manufacturers, and distributors.

A single data item, or multiple data items, that form a unit or piece of information contained in an EDI message.

Elements of data that when together create EDI transaction sets. EDI Standards require that data elements are organized in particular order so that automated computers may process the data.

An intermediate information unit comprised of a clear sequence of functionally-related data elements.

A resource illustrating the appropriate standardized method of formatting data segments.

The electronic transfer of information between EDI trading partners that syncs and remains accessible to the trading partners.

The translation of an encrypted transmission that allows the receiving party to view the original message.

A message forecasting when a buyer will need a shipment from a supplier.

One or more characters that separate individual pieces of data.

A list detailing the shipment content on a partial truckload trailer prepared for delivery.

A message that informs a supplier of the Just-In-Time schedule and delivery sequence.

Dispatch Advice Message. A message alerting a buyer that the supplier is shipping goods and outlines carrier and packing slip information.

A document issued by a certificate authority that provides authentication of identity.

A digital signature that authenticates the identity of the message sender and uses encryption to ensure the original data hasn’t been altered.

The process of receiving data from another computer.

Direct Store Delivery. The act of delivering product directly to a store and providing electronic confirmation of the delivery. An element of the supply chain.

Electronic Data Interchange. The transfer of data from one computer to another, using a standardized message format.

A protocol designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force that allows EDI exchange directly over the internet without the use of a VAN.

The process of converting EDI data from one standard or document type into another format for the purpose of exchanging or storing that data.

Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce, and Transport. International EDI transaction sets developed by the United Nations and commonly used in Europe and in the US automotive industry.

A transfer of funds between multiple bank accounts at the same, or different, financial institutions using a computer-based system.

Also known as E-commerce, using the internet or a digital exchange to carryout business activities.

A single-character delimiter that comes after the segment identifier and each data element in a segment up until the last segment.

The process of transforming data into a coded format to ensure privacy.

The use of various methods and tools to consolidate, organize, and optimize the applications, databases, and processes used by an organization into one platform.

Business management software used to collect, store, and analyze data from various business processes and provides access to the combined data on one platform.

An envelope is used to group similar data into an individual EDI message, similar to a physical envelope for paper documents.

A process for automating electronic payments to a supplier for the purpose of saving time and money.

The automation of EDI exchange, translation, or other processes based on set events.

Also known as XML; a standard used to create data formats and structures for the exchange of documents on the internet.

The format which allows a computer to retrieve the information from a file using the appropriate program.

A file comprised of data that shares no structured interrelationship.

File Transfer Protocol. A network protocol that allows the transfer of files between a computer and server on a network.

A message sent by the recipient of an EDI transmission to the sender confirming that a transmission was received successfully and accurately.

The point where public and private networks intersect that allows EDI transactions to be exchanged over different networks.

Goods Received Note. A document produced by the customer after receiving a shipment and reviewing the goods received. The GRN provides proof of receipt and allows invoices to be approved for payment.

The segment at the beginning of an EDI transaction that specifies where the EDI message starts.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA Regulates how protected health information is used or exchanged.

The most commonly used standard for EDI exchange in the healthcare industry.

HyperText Transfer Protocol. A protocol that serves as the foundation for communication over the internet between computers using hyperlinks.

HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. A protocol used to ensure privacy and security by communicating data over HTTP within an encrypted connection.

In the context of EDI, the term Hub usually refers to the buyer in a B2B transaction. The seller is referred to as a Spoke.

In the context of EDI, a guide that explains the process of getting started with EDI and outlines details regarding how EDI messages are used in a specific industry or with a specific company.

Information in the header and trailer segments that creates an envelope for multiple functional groups in a single EDI transmission.

A global community of operators, vendors, and researchers that are focused on the ongoing evolution of the internet and provide technical documents for the purpose of improving how others use the internet.

The process of tallying the total amount of data used in a given period to determine how much you owe an EDI service provider that charges by the kilo character.

A device that allows computers to connect to the internet through a cable or telephone line.

An EDI message that indicates an error or negative acknowledgement of the original transaction.

A system that connects multiple computers and allows the exchange of data through EDI and/or other protocols.

A company that provides the use of their network for the exchange of data as a service.

An EDI message sent by the shipper that outlines a delivery schedule and description of a particular shipment.

Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. An international non-profit that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of standards for secure data exchange and other processes.

Pieces of information related to business activities that are included in an EDI document.

A network that is not encrypted and allow communication from outside parties.

A form of communication where messages are directly exchanged between business partners without using a VAN.

A system that is exclusive to a particular industry or company that provides a process for order entry.

A standardized form of communication that allows EDI exchange (or other data exchange) between multiple computers.

The conversion of data from one protocol to another, allowing computers from different systems to communicate.

A confirmation message sent to the buyer from the seller confirming that the purchase order will be completed as requested.

An EDI data element that uses a code to identify elements or segments .

In the context of EDI, a Repository is a location or multiple locations where data is stored and can be retrieved by using a directory to locate the exact location of a particular document.

A file transfer protocol designed to transmit data over a secure shell connection.

A process allowing customers to generate an invoice and send payments electronically via EDI.

The outline of possible segments, their sequences, and their attributes in a transaction set.

Simple File Transfer Protocol. A less common network protocol that allows files to be securely transferred and is not backwards compatible with FTP.

A document confirming shipment and providing relevant information regarding the shipment sent from the shipper to receiver.

The lowest value data element that only contains numeric data.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The most widely used protocol for sending emails between servers and was last updated in 2008.

In the context of EDI, the term Spoke usually refers to the seller in a B2B transaction. The buyer is referred to as a Hub.

An organization appointed to develop and maintain the Standards in a given industry or country.

The systems of EDI transactions that are outlined by the accepted Standards Bodies around the world and used in multiple countries and industries

A communication method allowing an EDI transmission to be stored and forwarded at a later time, where it is made immediately available to the recipient.

A service providing storage of EDI transmissions until the intended receiver logs into the system and retrieves the message.

The combined interactions of suppliers and customers, alongside businesses processes, that contribute to the planning, manufacturing, storing, shipping, and ordering of goods and services.

The arrangement of data in an EDI transaction set, as defined by the Standard being used.

Trading Data Interchange. A term for EDI that’s used most commonly in Europe.

A pricing model where an EDI service provider charges a service rate based on the number of active trading partners a customer exchanges data with in a set period of time.

The segment at the end of an EDI transaction that specifies where the EDI message ends.

The first element of data in the transaction set header segment that defines which transaction set is being used.

The system or set of rules that define how an EDI transaction is created and exchanged.

The conversion of data to and from various EDI standard formats that allows the exchange and storage of that data.

A message sent to the sender from the receiver confirming that a transmission was received successfully without any errors detected.

The Uniform Code Council. An organization that maintains the standards for product identification (UPC codes) and other relevant electronic communications.

The United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. A group that provides support for activities focused on improving trade and commerce.

A club for individuals and/or companies to meet and discuss the issues related to business techniques or technology in their given industry.

A process that confirms whether or not an EDI document meets compliance standards for a particular trading partner.

A third-party EDI service provider that handles EDI exchange between its customers and their trading partners on their network.

Acronym Value-Added Network.

In the context of EDI, the version/release identifies the current lifecycle stage of a standard based on when it was last updated.

A service provided by one computer to another that allows collaboration between different applications over the Internet.

An organization that exists to create guidelines and tests for the interoperability of Web Services across various platforms.

The process of EDI exchange over the internet, through a browser.

Warehouse Information Network Standards. A set of EDI standards used in the logistics industry.

The acronym for Extensible Markup Language.
In the Press

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