Guide to ANSI ASC X12 EDI Transaction Sets

There are many electronic data interchange (EDI) transaction codes that correspond to information in business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices. These can be exchanged with your trading partners and other third parties using EDI. Each document is called a transaction set because it includes a set of data components in a very specific order and format. Keeping the order and format of the data consistent is what enables the receiving computer system to correctly interpret which component corresponds to the sender’s company name, which represents the invoice number, and so on.

    Transaction set components

    Digging a little deeper, each transaction set includes three types of components:

    • Data elements are the individual items of data, such as company name, item number, item quantity, and item price. Each EDI standard includes a definition for each data element within each transaction set, which specifies its data type (numeric, alphanumeric, date, time), its minimum and maximum allowable length, and any associated “code values” (e.g., a currency code element for prices).
    • Segments are groups of data elements that logically relate to one another, like the item number, quantity, units, and price associated with an item in an EDI 850 Purchase Order. A segment always begins with a segment ID, which specifies the type of data elements that make up the segment. Data elements within the segment are separated by a data element separator (an asterisk ‘*’ by default in the ANSI X12 EDI standard). Some segments are mandatory to include, while others are optional or conditional upon the inclusion of another segment or element. The EDI standard in use (most commonly ANSI in North America or EDIFACT elsewhere) defines all these specifics, as well as the sequence for segments and elements and whether a segment can be repeated. The right segments in the right order make up a transaction set.
    • Envelopes enclose transaction sets for transmission purposes. Each transaction set goes in an individual message envelope, while a group of transaction sets (such as a group of invoices) goes in a group envelope. All the group envelopes being transmitted go in an interchange envelope. Pairs of segments define the beginning and end of each envelope.

    Complying with trading partner requirements

    Retailers and other trading partners that require suppliers to be EDI-capable will provide mapping specifications that spell out all the transaction sets they want suppliers to use, plus all the data elements and valid values, segments and any applicable business rules that suppliers must follow. These highly detailed and extensive EDI compliance specifications can be over 100 pages long.

    Different trading partners may require other transaction sets in addition to these. But no one trading partner will mandate that suppliers be able to send and receive all of the dozens of transaction sets that either the ANSI or EDIFACT EDI standard defines.

    When you need to exchange documents electronically with a new trading partner, your EDI vendor should be able to provide you with the required mapping, so that compliance is quick and straightforward. Further, when your trading partners change their mapping requirements (which happens regularly), your vendor should provide an update automatically.

    TrueCommerce supports whatever transaction codes you need, including all the codes defined by the ANSI ASC X12 EDI standard. We make it painless to send and receive whatever transaction sets your trading partners require. Our web-based EDI software automates backups, eliminates the hassle of updates, and integrates with your accounting software.

    This guide provides information on the ANSI ASC X12 EDI standard and the various documents that can be exchanged using EDI, including transaction sets in the following categories:

    • Order and Financial Series
    • Transportation Air and Motor Series (TAM)
    • Transportation Ocean Series (TOS)
    • Transportation Rail Series (TRS)
    • Warehousing Series (WAR)

    EDI Transaction Types - List of EDI Codes

    To learn more about how we can address your specific EDI requirements, please call us at 1-888-430-4489 or contact an EDI specialist today.

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