Contact an EDI Specialist


Glossary & Definitions of Common EDI Terms

The Internet and eBusiness have created an entirely new vocabulary. This glossary has common words and definitions such as an electronic data interchange definition. Below are basic definitions for the frequently-used EDI terms:

A-D | E-M | N-R | S-Z


ACH, Automated Clearing House: the U.S. Provides for the electronic distribution and settlement of bank accounts between financial institutions in the United States.
856 Advance Shipping Notice, An EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice is an electronic version of a printed packing slip that tells a buyer how a supplier has packed their items for shipment. Most ASNs will follow either standard pack or pick and pack guidelines. Usually the buyer will specify how they want the goods packed. The Advance Ship Notice, or ASN, also tells the buyer that the goods have been shipped so they can be expecting the shipment.
AIAG: Automotive Industry Action Group, Sets EDI standards for the automotive industry
ANSI - American National Standards Institute, The coordinating group for national standards in the United States. The U.S. voluntary standards system consists of a large number of standards developers that write and maintain one or more national standards.).
Application Programming Interface(API), An interface that programs use to communicate with other programs
Application Control Structure (X12.6), This is the architecture that governs EDI standards in the United States. Contains the format definitions for terms related to electronic data interchange. X12.6 is downward compatible, and the current edition may be used with any older version of the standards.
Application Service Provider (ASP), A company that offers monthly services for applications and related services on a pay-as-you-go basis. ASPs host, manage and maintain applications in their data center and make them available via the Web. Provides the latest information technology at a predictable cost.
ASC X12, Accredited Standards Committee, X12 was chartered by ANSI in 1979 to develop uniform standards for inter-industry exchange of business transactions - electronic data interchange (EDI) standards. The X12 standards establish a common, uniform business language to allow computers to communicate with one another.
ASN (Advance Ship Notice), An XML or EDI standard transaction set sent by a vendor to a customer that specifies the content of a shipment and when it is estimated time to arrive.
B2B, Business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce - B2B systems exchange business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, between pairs of partners in a supply chain. B2B systems also automate the purchase of goods that support business' maintenance, repair and operation (MRO).
B2C, Business-to-consumer (B2C) electronic commerce; a marketing relationship between end consumers and businesses on the Web.
B2G, Business-to-government (B2G) electronic commerce; transactions conducted between businesses and the government on the Web.
BANSTA, The document identifier for an application advice sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document will show feedback on other EDI transactions that were received. Information on the BANSTA may include errors, acceptances, rejections as well as other information depending on a particular company's use of the BANSTA document.
Bar Coding, Encoding information using a series of black and white stripes. Bar codes are based on a series of parallel black bars and white spaces. New technologies include so-called "two-dimensional" bar codes that can store much more information than traditional one-dimensional bar codes.
Benchmarking, Formal process of evaluating a company's performance by comparison with its peers and competitors in the industry.
Benchmarking Gap, Difference in performance of an organization's particular activity or product, and that of their competition.
Best Practice, Practices that have been shown to produce the best results for a particular process or activity.
Bill of Lading, A document that is used by a vendor and a freight carrier that describes the freight classification of the goods being shipped by the vendor.
Bisynchronous communication, An electronic method of communication in which data is sent in blocks of characters and in both directions at the same time.
Bluetooth, A standard for wireless data transfer Bluetooth can be built into any wireless application. Bluetooth transmits at 2.45 GHz.
Bps, Bits Per Second - a measurement of how fast data is transmitted.
Branded packing slips, A packing slip enclosed in a drop ship carton that includes the name and logo of the trading partner from whom the customer purchased merchandize.
Broadband Web, High-speed broadband connections from businesses to the World Wide Web (internet).
Browser, A PC tool for viewing HTML documents; used to retrieve, display, and print information from the World Wide Web using the HTTP protocol.
Business Process, A series of business steps by a person or system that are started by a business event. (e.g. ordering process, shipping process, invoicing process).
Catalog Buying, Provides customers with the ability to place and pay for orders online at the supplier's web site.
Catalog Search, Provides customers with online accesses to a supplier's catalog.
Catalog Syndication, The process for sending a Supplier's catalog to a customer. Possible uses of catalog information by customers include loading into purchasing or requisition software to facilitate ordering.
Certificate Authority, A trusted company that will accept a public key, along with some proof of identity, and serve as a repository of digital certificates.
Certification Authority (CA), A secure third-party organization that can vouch for the identity and origin of a person or program component.
Certified Delivery Server, A server that uses public key encryption to validate a destination and provides a non-repudiation service. The server establishes that a message was received.
CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), A digital cell phone transmission technology based on assigning users unique sequence codes within a frequency range.
Channel, The path used by a message; a means of transportation connects a sender and receiver.
Charge Back, A penalty, for an agreed upon amount, assessed by retail customer to a supplier for not following vendor procedures established in the contract with the retailer.
CIDX, Chemical Industry Data Exchange: sets standard for EDI and XML transactions in the chemical industry.
Circuit Switching, Method of routing messages in which the communication channel is kept open until the message is complete (like the telephone).
Clearinghouse, An organization that provides a message/file collection, routing and distribution service on behalf of other organizations. See also automated clearinghouse (ACH), Value Added Network (VAN).
Common Business Library, Also called xCBL. A set of XML data tag definitions and schema language framework. Originated by CommerceOne.
COM Object, A COM Object is a Component Object Model. Microsoft has migrated COM into DCOM. COM is used to support objects sent/distributed across a computer network. COM facilitates communication between ObjectBroker and OLE.
Compliance Checking, A checking process that is used to ensure that a transmission complies with the syntax rules.
Compression, Reduction of the size of computer files and records; saves storage space and increases the speed with which the file can travel over the Internet or across networks. EDI records are much more compressed in their original state than XML records by a factor of approximately 10.
Content Management, The process of managing content to keep it current. For example adding new items to the online catalog. Also refers to a supplier's web site's ability to display information that varies by customer, for example customer specific pricing.
Content, The information on a web site. Supplier web site content typically consists of relatively static catalog information and company information and constantly changing information that is customer specific such as order status.
CONTRL, The document identifier for a funtional acknowledgment sent using the EDIFACT standard. The purpose of the document to let the sender of another EDIFACT EDI know that the receiver got it and whether their were any EDIFACT standards violations.
Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984, This act makes it a federal crime to knowingly access a computer in order to obtain financial records of financial institutions, consumer credit reports of consumer reporting agencies, and restricted federal government information. It is also a crime to use counterfeit or unauthorized access devices to transfer funds, obtain things of value, or to traffic these devices.
Cryptographic Algorithm, A set of rules specifying the procedure required for the encryption and decryption of data.
Data Communication, The transfer of data between two or more computers.
Data Element, The basic unit of information in the EDI standards containing a set of values that represent a singular fact. It may be single-character codes, literal descriptions, or numeric values. For every piece of information on a paper document, there is a corresponding data element in the electronic document or transaction set.
Data Element Dictionary (X12.3), Defines the data that are used to construct the transaction sets. These must be used in the same version/release level as the transaction sets.
Data Element Length, The range, minimum to maximum, of the number of character positions available to represent the value of a data element. A data element may be of variable length and range from minimum to maximum, or it may be of fixed length in which the minimum is equal to the maximum.
Data Element Reference Number, Number assigned to each data element as a unique identifier.
Data Element Requirement Designator, A code defining the need for a data element value to appear in the segment if the segment is transmitted. The X12 codes are mandatory (M), optional (O), or conditional (C).
Data Element Separator, A unique character preceding each data element that is used to delimit data elements within a segment. "*" is often used as the delimiter.
Data Element Type, A data element may be one of six types: numeric, decimal, identifier, string, date, or time.
Data Encryption Key (DEK), Used for the encryption of message text and for the computation of message integrity checks (signatures).
Data Rate, The speed at which data is transmitted and received. Usually measured in bits per second (bps).
Data Segment, A data segment is an intermediate unit of information in an EDI transaction. It consists of a clearly defined sequence of functionally related data elements.
Data Transfer, The amount of digital data that is moved from one place to another at a given time. Data transfer includes outbound traffic from a Website, with the exception of e-mail.
Dedicated Line, A permanent connection to the Internet using an individual phone line.
DELFOR, The document identifier for an Planning Schedule with Material Release sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document tells a supplier the buyers forecast of when their product will be needed. In some cases the document also serves a release for material to shipped with out further notice.
DELJIT, The document identifier for Shipping Schedule sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document lets a customer tell a supplier the delivery sequence and Just-In-Time schedule for deliveries. It is frequently used to supplement a Delivery Schedule Message.
Delimiters, A delimiter is a punctuation character or group of characters that separates two names or two pieces of data, or marks the beginning or end of a programming construct.
DESADV, The document identifier for Shipping Schedule sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document informs a buyer in advance that a supplier is shipping product. Information on the document usually includes information about the carrier and serves as an electronic packing slip. A bar code shipping label is frequently associated with this document.
Dial-up Connection, A connection made over an ordinary telephone line between a computer (via its modem)
Digital Certificate, An electronic document, issued by a certificate authority, used to establish a company's identity by verifying its public key; are used in much the same way as conventional forms of identification - such as a driver's license or passport - to provide irrefutable evidence of the owner's identity and, in some cases, authority in a given transaction. Digital Certificates are issued, managed, and verified by Certificate Authorities.
Digital Signature, Digital signatures, like written signatures, are a method of authenticating the source of a document and/or its author. A common form of digital signatures are digital certificates, whereby the issuing company vouches for you and gives you a unique identification that can be verified by a merchant prior to accepting an order.
Direct Connection, A permanent connection between a computer and the World Wide Web (Internet).
Direct Goods, Raw materials and components that become part of a finished product.
Direct Transmission, The exchange of datab between one sending computer to another receiving computer.
DISA, Nonprofit organization supporting the development of e-business standards in e-commerce.
DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency), An agency within the United States Department of Defense that is responsible for the Defense Information Structure (DII).
DNS, Domain Name System is a system of servers located on the Internet that have been set up for Internet connections and the routing of e-mail.
Domain Name Service (DNS), Domain name service allows a more friendly way to remember places on the Internet. DNS is what maps IP numbers to domain names across the Internet.
DSL, Digital subscriber line; a technology for bringing high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines.
D-U-N-S Number, A database maintained by Dun and Bradstreet that is used to identify companies to each other and to the U.S. government. The nine-digit DUNS identification sequence, developed and assigned by Dun & Bradstreet, Inc is an internationally recognized common company identifier in EDI and global electronic commerce transactions.
Dynamic HTML, HTML extensions that enable a web page to react to user input without sending requests to the web server.
Dynamic Packet Filter, A firewall facility that can monitor the state of active connections and use this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall. By recording session information such as IP addresses and port numbers, a dynamic packet filter can implement a much tighter security posture than a static packet filter.


Back To Top
EAI, Enterprise Application Integration, used to describe software tools that support integrating applications across a company or enterprise.
EAN/UPC Composite Symbology Family, A family of bar code symbols comprising the UPC-A Composite Symbology, UPC-E Composite Symbology, EAN-8 Composite Symbology, and EAN-13 Composite Symbology
e-business, Electronic Business, the process of using Web technology to help businesses to streamline processes, improve productivity and increase efficiencies. Enables companies to easily communicate with partners, vendors and customers, connect back-end data systems and transact commerce in a secure manner.
EbXML, XML definitions and schema language framework designed to extend the usability of XML in e-commerce. Shares similarities with EDI.
E-commerce, Electronic commerce; the exchange of information about goods or services via the Internet; the ability to buy and sell products and services over the Internet. May include ordering, billing, customer service and handling of payments and transactions.
EDI, EDI (electronic data interchange) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between companies. EDI is used for the transmission of business transactions in computer-readable form based on standard formats.
EDI Capability, EDI Capability means that you are able to process EDI transactions for your EDI trading partners. This requires having EDI software, an EDI VAN, the correct hardware and EDI maps for translating EDI records into a useable form.
EDI Compliance, EDI Compliance is the ability to send and receive EDI documents in the way that your partner requires it.
EDI Compliant, A company is EDI Compliant if it is able to send and receive EDI documents in the various ways its partners require.
EDI Coordinator, The person responsible for communicating with EDI trading partners and project managing new EDI implementations.
EDI Outsourcing, EDI outsourcing is turning over to a third party the responsibility for EDI software, hardware, communications and personnel.
EDI Service Providers, Third party companies that provide services for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to their clients. Services support the automated exchange of commercial data using EDI between business partners.
EDI Services, Service provided by a third party that provide EDI mapping, translation, transportation, interconnection and integration.
EDI Solutions, Service and software provided by a third party that provide the EDI components necessary to exchange EDI transactions with partners. Solutions can be either purchased piecemeal or outsourced in their entirety.
EDI System, The software, hardware and labor required to receive and send EDI transactions with EDI trading partners. EDI systems can be either purchased by buying each of the components separately or outsourcing all of the components to a third party.
EDIFACT, The United Nations EDI standard; EDI for Administration, Commerce, and Transport:. The Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA) serves as the U.S. link with the UN EDIFACT process. The EDIFACT standard is used in the US automotive and industrial supply chains. EDIFACT is the dominate standard in Europe.
EDI Transactions, Electronic documents transmitted in EDI format according the standards of the EDI trading partner requesting the transactions.
EDI Translation, The conversion of business application data to and from the X12 standard format. For example, to convert an invoice into an X12 standard format, some type of EDI translation software or service is required.
EDI VAN (Value Added Network), A service for transmitting EDI that charges by the number and size of transactions.
EDI Vendor, A third party provider of EDI software, services or VAN capability.
Efficiency, Refers to how cost effectively company produce and sell a product or service
EFT (Electronic funds transfer), Electronic payment in which funds are transferred between bank accounts at different financial institutions.
e-fulfillment, The services a business' shipping department performs that leverage the internet for the assembly, and tracking of products. Facilitates customer specific packaging, labeling and shipping of products to customers.
Electronic Data Interchange, EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of normal business transactions including payments, information exchange and purchase order requests.
Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT), The international standard for EDI messages. EDIFACT, also known as UN/EDIFACT, is one of the two international standards describing the syntax of EDI transmissions. EDIFACT is administered by a working party (WP.4) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE). The EDIFACT syntax rules have been published by the ISO as ISO9735.
Electronic Signature, A code or symbol that is the electronic equivalent of a written signature.
Encryption, Encryption is the conversion of data into a form, called a cipher, which cannot be easily intercepted by unauthorized people. Decryption is the process of converting encrypted data back into its original form, so it can be understood.
Enveloping, The grouping together of documents of the same type. Enveloping is used for sending groups of transactions to the same destination.
E-Procurement, The business-to-business purchase of supplies and services over the Internet. Purchasing by customers includes the customer's internal back office applications and use of the internet to extend the applications to suppliers and partners.
ERP (enterprise resource planning),Another name for front and back office applications software. Examples of applications within ERP include Purchasing, Materials Receipt, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Entry, and Customer Service.
Exchange, see Marketplace
Extended Enterprise, A company and its partners, including customers, suppliers and sub-contractors, that work together to design, development, produce and deliver a product to the final user. Also refers to the supply chains and logistics chains.
Extensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL, XML definitions and schema language framework designed to extend the usability of XML to describe financial statements.
Extensible Markup Language (XML), The universal format for structured documents and data on the Web, which is increasingly becoming the general standard document format of structured data.
Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation or XSLT, A specification for displaying XML as a user readable format, for example in HTML.
Extranet, Extranets are an extension of a company network or a collaborative Internet connection to key customers, suppliers, and partners. Extranets provide access to specific company information and build closer business relationships.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), A mature service that transfers files from one computer to another computer over the internet.
Firewall, A security system for protecting a server and local area network. A firewall monitors and manages traffic in and out of a network while limiting access to authorized users and programs.
Full Duplex, A method of transmitting information over a communication channel, in which signals may be sent in both directions simultaneously.
997 Functional Acknowledgement, A transaction set (EDI 997) transmitted by the receiver of an EDI transmission to the sender, indicating receipt and syntactical correctness of the data transmission. The functional acknowledgement is not an acknowledgement of data content.
Functional Group, A group of similar transaction sets such as four invoices. A functional group has a functional group header segment and a functional group trailer segment. The transactions are found between the header and the trailer segments.
Functional Group Identifier, The functional group identifier is the first data element of the functional group header segment. The applicable functional group identifier is shown at the top of each message set after the message set name. In cases where no functional group ID is given, the message set assumes the functional group ID of the functional group.
Gateway, a general term for software and related hardware that supports the exchange of electronic documents and messages.
GS1-128 Label, A bar code label that is placed on each carton to be shipped to a customer. The label typically includes the purchase order number, the store location the goods are being sent to and a description of the contents in the carton. When the carton arrives at the customer's location, the barcode label is s scanned. The barcode number is matched with the Advance Ship Notice EDI transaction that was previously sent. The carton is then routed to the appropriate area and the contents of the carton are released into inventory using the information on the Advance Ship Notice EDI transaction. For vendor payment purposes, scanning the GS1-128 bar code confirms that the order has been received. Sample GS1-128 labels
GSA, GS1 is the organization that supervises the standards for product identification and related electronic communications. GSA assigns Universal Product Codes (U.P.C.) in the United States. It also has responsibility for Uniform Communication Standards (UCS) for EDI in the grocery industry and Warehouse Information Network Standards (WINS) in the warehousing and transportation industry.
GTIN, Global Trade Item Number. The GS1 Identification Key used to identify trade items. The key is comprised of a GS1 or U.P.C. Company Prefix followed by an Item Reference Number and a Check Digit.
GTIN-12, The 12-digit GS1 Identification Key composed of a U.P.C. Company Prefix, Item Reference, and Check Digit used to identify trade items.
GTIN-13, The 13-digit GS1 Identification Key composed of a GS1 Company Prefix, Item Reference, and Check Digit used to identify trade items.
GTIN-14, The 14-digit GS1 Identification Key composed of an Indicator digit (1-9), GS1 Company Prefix, Item Reference, and Check Digit used to identify trade items.
GTIN-8, The 8-digit GS1 Identification Key composed of a GS1-8 Prefix, Item Reference, and Check Digit used to identify trade items.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language), The programming used to display the content of web pages for use by web browsers. Used to create documents for the World Wide Web.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), The protocol facilitates communication between servers on the World Wide Web. It enables a server to connect to a Web server and to transfer HTML pages, i.e., enables the user to view Web pages. HTTP is based on Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol(TCP/IP) developed for the Web.
HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol on Secure Sockets Layer), HTTP (see above) that uses security called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
Hub, An online exchange or market place where transactions are received and transmitted between multiple suppliers and customers.
Hybrid EDI, Introduced by service providers to accommodate situations in which only one trading partner is capable of using EDI, while the other continues to trade using e-mail and web forms.
IFTMCS, The document identifier for Shipment Information sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document provides transportation services companies the ability to transmit the details of their transportation services and the consignment terms as in a Bill of Lading.
Interchange, In XML and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), it is the exchange of information between two companies.
Interchange Control Segments (ISA/IEA), These EDI segments identify a unique interchange being sent from one sender to one receiver (see electronic envelope).
Interchange Control Structure (X12.5), X12.5 contains specifications for the control structures (envelope) for the electronic interchange of one or more transaction sets. This standard provides the interchange envelope of a header segment (ISA) and a trailer segment (IEA) for the interchange through data transmission, and provides a structure (TA1) to acknowledge the receipt and processing of this envelope.
Indirect Goods, Products that do not become part of a finished product.
Interface, The connection between applications. Interfaces may connect applications within a company or to a company's business partners.
Interoperability, The ability of an application to work with other vendors' and companies' applications.
Internet, A global network of networks having in common the TCP/IP protocols and an agreed e-mail addressing structure that provides communications and other distributed services.
Internet 2, The next generation Internet.
Internet Appliance, A computer terminal that does not have an operating system or applications but only supports Web access.
Internet Protocol (IP), The Network layer protocol on which the Internet is based. IP allows a single connectionless packet exchange. Other protocols, including TCP and UDP use IP to perform their connection-oriented or guaranteed delivery services.
Internet Protocol (IP) address, The Internet Protocol address is a unique number which is used to represent every single computer in a Network. All the computers on the Internet have a unique IP address.
Intranet, A web site that is only accessable to employees with a password. Password security usually limits an employee to only seeing information relevant to his or her role.
INVOIC, The document identifier for an Invoice sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document transmits a suppliers bill for payment to their customer.
810 Invoice, An EDI 810 Invoice is an electronic version of a paper Invoice or bill. A supplier will use the 810 Invoice to communicate to a buyer the specific items, price, and quantities they have delivered and now must be paid for by the buyer. Payment terms will usually accompany the billing information.
INVRPT, The document identifier for an Inventory Inquiry/Advice sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document provides a suppliers current inventory status including quantity available by item number or SKU number or UPC number.
IP (Internet Protocol), The interaction method used by the Internet.
Item Reference, A component of the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) assigned by the owner of the GS1 Company Prefix or U.P.C. Company Prefix to create a unique GTIN.
Java, A programming language intended to be a universal language for the Internet. Developed by Sun Microsystems, this language creates platform independent applications which can run on any operating system.
Javascript, A programming language that is object-based which allows Java objects to be directly embedded in an HTML page.
JIT, Just In Time, a technique of managing inventory pioneered in Japan, under which materials are delivered by suppliers to a manufacturer as they are needed for production, rather than for storage or inventory.
Key, A series of encrypted numbers.
Latency, In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another.
Legacy Application, This is an application in which an organization has already invested a considerable amount of time and money. Legacy applications are typically database management systems running on mainframes or minicomputers.
LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), An internet protocol used to access information contained in directories such as user data
Linux, Linux is a free operating system that runs on UNIX machines.
Local Assigned Code, A particular use of the UPC-E Bar Code Symbol for restricted distribution.
LTL, Less Than Truckload. A less than truck load is a shipment that requires less space than a full truck load.
Manifest, A document from the vendor who is shipping goods to a customer that describes where the goods will arrive. Multiple destinations may be included.
Mapping, Connecting document fields from one companies format to anther company’s format is mapping. In XML and EDI mapped data elements are converted into XML or EDI data streams or vice versa.
Marketplace, An online web site that supports multiple buyers and sellers. Examples include Pantellos,Trade Ranger and ChemConnect
Message, The communication of information from a source to one or many destinations. This term can be used to describe a set of transactions in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or Extended Markup Language. The transaction can include data for a purchase order, a shipping notice, or any other electronic document.
Microsoft .NET, Microsoft's products that support XML and web services
Mobile Delivery Ticket, Field based delivery ticket and electronic signature to establish POD (Proof of Delivery) for payment of supplier's invoice. May be sent electronically to customer to serve as Material Receipt with electronic signature.
Mobile Material Receipt, Field based transmission of delivery tickets, electronic signature on receipt sent to customer's A/P. May be preceded by electronic delivery ticket or shipping notice.
Mobile Procurement,Field-based access to supplier catalog or customer's procurement system for order generation
MRO or Maintenance, Repair, and Operations, A large group of products used to maintain facilities and production capabilities.


Back To Top
OASIS or Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, A non-profit, international organization that creates standards for XML
OFS Portal, A group of suppliers working together to develop standards for upstream energy products and services.
Online Services, Supplier web site services that improve customer service by helping customers do more of their commerce interaction online. Examples include tax calculation, credit checks, shipping requirements and order status.
Open, A way of describing software vendor products that indicates a product will work well with other programs and data from other companies including other software vendors as well as custom programs developed by a company or their trading partner. Products that are open are said to have interoperability.
Open Systems, "Open" systems are those based on s standardized computer operating systems and hardware; standardized graphical user interfaces; communications standards, standard database management interfaces; and standardized data exchange software technology.
ORDCHG, The document identifier for a purchase order change sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document conveys a buyer's change to a purchase order (ORDERS type EDIFACT document) that was previously sent.
ORDREP, The document identifier for an Order Status Report sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is sent by a supplier to a buyer to inform them of the status of an order. It is frequently sent in response to an Order Status Inquiry from the buyer.
ORDRSP, The document identifier for a Purchase Order Acknowledgment sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is sent by supplier to tell their customer that either they have received an order and it will be filled as requested on the order or that there is an issue with the order and it can not be filled exactly as requested.
ORDERS, The document identifier for Purchase Order sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is firm order from a customer to supplier. The purchase order is a legally binding document that typically refers to a broader contract between the buyer and seller.
Order Status Service, Allows customers online access to order status information on the supplier's web site.
ORSSTA, The document identifier for an Order Status Inquiry sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is sent by a buyer to a supplier to request the status of an order that was previously sent by the buyer.
Outsourcing, As relates to electronic commerce, hiring a professional e-commerce provider to manage the day-to-day operation of an enterprise's B2B needs and Internet presence. The business can benefit from the resources and experience of the service provider without having to invest in people, hardware and software.
Password, A secret word or phrase used to identify a user who is permitted to have access to gain information.
Payment Remittance Transaction, An electronic authorization to make a payment.
PDA, Personal Digital Assistant, used for any small, mobile, hand-held device that creates, stores or sends personal and financial information.
PIDX, Petroleum Industry Data Exchange; a task group within the American Petroleum Institute responsible for XML and EDI standards in the petroleum industry.
PO (Purchase Order), A customer's formal request to buy goods and or services from a vendor. Consists of header information and one or more line items.
Point of Presence (POP), The place that customers connect with to gain access to the Internet, typically an ISP.
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), A scheme that is used to connect to the Internet over the phone line.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), A set method for connecting Windows NT clients and servers to each other over a Remote Access Services. When PPTP is combined with encryption, it makes up a virtual network between a LAN or WAN and ordinary dial-up users.
POP3, POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the most recent version of a standard protocol for receiving e-mail. POP3 is a client-server protocol in which e-mail is received and held for you by your Internet server.
Port 80, On a Web server or HTTPD (Hypertext Transport Protocol daemon), port 80 is the port that the server typically expects to receive from a Web client.
Private e-Marketplace, An adapt ion of software originally intended for public marketplaces (see above) that can used by a single company for doing with its business partners.
Procurement, The process for acquiring goods and services including planning, negotiation, vendor selection, purchase, and delivery.
Product Life Cycle, The four stages of the retail product life cycle: 1) introduction, 2) growth, 3) maturity, and 4) decline.
Punch Out with ERP to ERP, See Round Trip with ERP to ERP definition.
Punch Out, see Round Trip.
850 Purchase Order, An EDI 850 Purchase Order is an electronic version of a paper Purchase Order. A buyer will use the 850 Purchase Order to communicate to a supplier the specific items, price, and quantities they wish to have delivered. Shipping instructions will frequently accompany the purchasing information.
855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment, An EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment is an electronic version of a phone call or fax that tells the buyer who sent you a purchase order that you will be filling the purchase order as requested. The buyer then knows that you will be filling the order and shipping the goods as requested by the date requested.
Purchasing System, A transaction processing system that supports and documents transactions associated with the purchasing of goods and services.
Purchasing Transaction, One of many transactions containing information relating to the purchase of a product or service.
Qualifier, An EDI data element that identifies or defines a related element, set of elements, or a segment. The qualifier contains a code taken from a list of approved codes.
Quick Response (QR), A supply chain management philosophy in which a business responds quickly to customer orders. Analogous to just-in-time manufacturing; a business practice in the retail industry of which an important part is the strategic deployment of XML, EDI and bar coding. Produces improved inventory turns, avoidance of out-of-stocks and reduction of excess inventory. XML and EDI are used to deliver market data gathered at the point-of-sale (POS) terminals and delivered to suppliers much more quickly than using manual systems.
RECADV, The document identifier for a Receiving Advice sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is used by a buyer to a supplier that their product was received. Details by item or SKU number are usually included.
REMADV, The document identifier for a Payment Order Remittance Advice sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document tells a supplier which invoices they have been paid for, on what date and for what amount.
Requirements Definition, The document that specifies what a configured system has to do to meet the business and technical needs of users.
Request For Proposal or RFP, a formal request from a customer to a supplier for a proposal that includes pricing and terms on a specific item or items and usually services also.
ROI or Return on Investment, is the expected value of cost savings or margin increases divided by the amount of money to be invested.
Requisition, A requisition is one part of the procurement process and is a formal request by an employee of a customer for specific items. May also include product performance requirements and required delivery dates. The requisition becomes a purchase order after internal approvals are completed.
Roundtrip with ERP to ERP, Includes the Round Trip process described above plus customer sends and receives transactions via XML with supplier. XML transactions are automatically interfaced to suppliers and customer's ERP systems.
RoundTrip, A procurement process in which a Customer uses an internet browser to access a suppliers web site with single sign-on and puts items into a shopping cart on the suppliers web site. Then, rather than checking out, the shopping cart is electronically sent to the customers procurement software where the procurement process proceeds. Roundtrip makes it easy for the customer to get exactly the items they want with the suppliers most current pricing without having to maintain the suppliers catalog within their procurement application. Roundtrip doesn't require the supplier to send catalog and pricing information to customers. Round Trip is the same process as Punch Out.


Back To Top
SAP (Systems, Applications, Products), A German software package designed to contain all the core computer models necessary to run major corporations. SAP R/2, as it is commonly known is available for mainframes; a separate Client/Server version is called R/3.
Salability, The ability of a business to add content and resources as its presence on the Web grows.
Secure Server, Secure servers are used to conduct confidential transactions over the Internet. Data is sent between the servers in an encrypted form.
Security, Techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or compromised. Most security measures involve data encryption and passwords. Data encryption is the translation of data into a form that is unintelligible without a deciphering mechanism.
Security Certificate, Information that is used to establish a secure connection. Security Certificates contain information about who it belongs to, who it was issued by, and an encrypted term that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate.
Segment, EDI segments consist of related data elements in a defined sequence. An EDI data segment consists of a segment identifier, one or more data elements each preceded by an element separator, and a segment terminator. "*" is a typical data element separator and NL is used as a segment terminator.
Sender, In the communication process this is the originator of the message; the point where the communication starts.
Server, A computer in a network supplying a specialized service to "clients" on the network, such as managing a file store, managing a data base or communicating with centralized devices such as plotters, printers and scanners. Servers may be mainframes, departmental computers or PC’s.
Shopping Cart, A storage place or holding place for online purchases until the final purchase is made.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), The method by which Internet mail is delivered from one computer to another.
SKU, Stock Keeping Unit. An SKU number refers to a particular item or part. A UPC number may be assigned to an SKU by the UCC.
SLSRPT, The document identifier for Product Transfer and Resale Report sent using the EDIFACT standard. The document is sent to a supplier to inform of details of the sale of their product. The location, date, item number, and price may all be included on the report.
SMEs, small to medium sized companies and enterprises.
S-Mime Encryption, Protects the privacy of e-mail. If the sender and receiver both have e-mail clients that support the S-Mime protocol, they can communicate with e-mail that is secure.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), A TCP/IP protocol used in sending and receiving e-mail
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), a protocol for software components that uses XML standards in calls for exchanging information across a network
Sourcing, The act of choosing a supplier to fill a particular need. May be centralized in the customer's purchasing organization or may be decentralized in areas of usage or a combination of the two.
SOX (Schema for Object-Oriented XML), A method for organizing schemas within XML that facilitates interfacing applications.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer), A protocol for sending and receiving messages over the Internet via browsers. Special encryption for public and private keys is used to encode and decode information.
SSL encryption, Secure Socket Layer, a security measure developed by Netscape, scrambles data to provide data encryption and authentication of servers or clients often dealing with highly sensitive data.
Stock Keeping Unit or SKU, A unique number assigned to particular inventory item.
Storefront Design, The way a Website is designed for the public.
Supply chain, The interaction of suppliers and customers necessary for the production of goods and services. Includes planning, ordering, delivery/receipt, service and distribution
Supply Chain Management (SCM), SCM refers to the effective integration of the processes related to the forecasting of the product's market demand, the acquisition of the raw materials to make the product, its manufacturing, the inventorying of the product, its transportation to market, its eventual sale (or the fulfillment of demand), and the measurement of the satisfaction of the customer who purchased it. Combines the power of the Internet with the latest technology, enabling participating suppliers to access up-to-date company information and enabling companies to better manage and track supply and demand.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), The basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in intranets and extranets.
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Established as law on 2.8.96, this act changed the laws affecting telecommunications and the Internet. An attachment to the act was the Communications Decency Act, which was intended to protect children from obscene information on the WWW.
Tier 1 Supplier, A supplier with prime design responsibility for key subsystems or components of the end product. Also referred to as prime contractor" or simply "prime".
Tier 2 Supplier, In the Extended Enterprise, a supplier to a Tier 1 Supplier, or a direct supplier of less critical components. Also referred to as "sub-contractor" or simply "sub".
TL, Truck Load. A shipment of goods that fills an entire truck.
Trading Partners, Companies that an organization does business with, for example, customers and suppliers.
Translation/Translator, The conversion of a document from one format to another by an application system that performs the conversion or translation from document format to another document format.
Tunneling, A methodology that allows digital data to be transmitted and read at another location that uses a different format from the original source.
UCC (Uniform Code Council), UCC has changed their name to GS1. The organization that oversees the standards for product identification and related electronic communications. The UCC oversees the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) in the United States as well as Uniform Communication Standards (UCS) for EDI in the grocery industry and Warehouse Information Network Standards (WINS) in the warehousing and transportation industry.
UCC-128 Label, A bar code label that is placed on each carton and that includes the purchase order number, the store location the goods are being sent to and a description of the contents in the carton. When the carton arrives at the customer's location, it is placed on a conveyer belt, the UCC-128 bar code is scanned and the carton is routed to the appropriate area. For vendor payment purposes, scanning the UCC-128 bar code confirms that the order has been received. Sample UCC-128 labels
UNSPSC(Universal Standard Products and Service Codes), A common standard numbering scheme for products that is 10 digits long. Up to five levels of categories may be used.The UN of UNSPSC came from the United Nations Common Coding System (UNCCS) and the SPSC came from Dun & Bradstreet's Standard Products and Services Code.
Unfair Trade Practice Act, This is a federal law that prohibits wholesalers, retailers or professional Websites from selling their products at below cost.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL), A World Wide Web address that specifies a specific site, page, graphic, or document on the Internet.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE), The Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) is a trade and economic body/forum in Europe which the countries of North America, western, central and eastern Europe and central Asia come together to forge the tools of their economic cooperation. This organization is the working backbone that administers EDIFACT and plays a leading role in developing EDI.
U.P.C. (Universal Product Code), A 12 digit numeric bar code standard used in supermarkets on grocery items, magazines and over-the-counter medical items. The left five characters are assigned by the Uniform Code Council to identify the manufacturer of the product; the right five characters are assigned by the manufacturer to identify the product. A number system character appears on the left hand side and check digit on the right.
User ID, A unique combination of numbers and letters used to identify a user by a server.
Value Chain, A variation on Supply Chain. Value Chain is typically used to describe processes that add value in the supply chain that the final buyer in the supply chain will pay for.
VAN (Value Added Network), A third party entity that provides a service for electronically exchanging information between trading partners. Services provided by the VANs include electronic mailboxes for EDI transmissions and EDI record keeping for audit tracking.
VAN Interconnect, If one of your trading partners is using a different EDI service provider than you, VAN Interconnect will give you the ability to trade with these partners. VAN Interconnect allows two different VANs (Value Added Networks) to exchange EDI documents.
Vendors, Companies or people that sell products or services.
VICS, Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association.
VICS EDI implementation, The VICS EDI implementation guidelines contain transaction sets which support the following business functions - Product Development/Merchandising Ordering, Logistics, Financial, Business Support, Import.
VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory), A technique used by customers in which manufacturers receive sales data in order to forecast consumer demand more accurately. The vendor uses the sales information to maintain the proper level of inventory for each product that is stocked.
VPN ( Virtual Private Network ), Network connections or "pipes" that encrypt data sent across the internet to provide security and control of the information transmitted between computers.
Web EDI, The ability to exchange EDI transactions with trading partners over the web (internet) and avoid costly VAN charges per transaction.
Web Based EDI, Solutions that have the capability to support exchange EDI transactions with customers (trading partners) over the web and avoid having to pay for expensive VAN fees per transaction.
Web Server, A computer whose purpose is to display web pages to Internet users.
WINS (Warehouse Information Network Standards), A set of EDI standards for warehousing and distribution, maintained under the auspices of the Uniform Code Council (UCC). WINS is a subset of the ANSI X12 national standard.
Wireless, Communications, monitoring, or control system in which electromagnetic or acoustic waves carry a signal through atmospheric space rather than along a wire. In most wireless systems, radio-frequency (RF) or infrared (IR) waves are used. Some monitoring devices, such as intrusion alarms, employ acoustic waves at frequencies above the range of human hearing.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), An open, global application standard that enables wireless devices to instantly and easily access and interact with information and services. Used in mobile computing devices, it features a micro Web browser that displays and transmits specially formatted pages over a broad range of mobile data channels.
World Wide Web (WWW), A collection of information located on many Internet servers that can be accessed with a browser or by navigating via hypertext links.
Work Flow Management, The electronic control and distribution of documents and work instructions.
WWW, World Wide Web; is a set of pages or documents that are connected by hyperlinks.
X12, Accredited Standards Committee. X12 standards are used in many industries for conducting ecommerce via EDI.
xCBL or Common Business Library, A set of XML data tag definitions and schema language framework. Originated by CommerceOne.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language), A universal format for structured documents and data on the Web. A file format for representing data, a schema for describing data structure, and a mechanism for extending and annotating HTML. Document Type Definition (DTD) tags carry information pertaining to a data structure and its content within a document. The tags are used by XML interpreters to understand the data contained within a particular document.
XML/EDI, provides a standard framework/format to describe different types data so that the information in a transaction, catalog or a document in a workflow can be searched, decoded, manipulated, and displayed consistently. Combining XML and EDI provides a powerful means of exchanging data between many different types of organizations.

Get EDI capable fast. Schedule a 5-minute product tour today.

Easy EDI Compliance

Simple Setup

Responsive Support Staff

Your privacy is important to us. We will not sell, rent, lease, or share your personal information.

EDI Solution Comparison

Comparison Item




Web-based portal
Interfaces to other systems Optional
Complete turnkey solution: ✓*
GS1-128 bar code labels Optional
Web-based software
Works with 3PL
Phone and email support
Online help
Transaction mapping
Trading partner testing

All EDI Solutions Also Include:

Access from Anywhere

Unlimited number of users

No annual fee, no maintenance fee

No fee per EDI customer per month

Month to month agreement, no long-term contract

*IT support required during testing for B2BWorks.