Get to know important EDI terms
ANSI – Acronym for American National Standards Institute, which is the organization that acts as coordinator and clearing house for information on national standards, including EDI.
ANSI ASC X12 – Also referred to simply as ANSI X12 or the X12 format, ANSI ASC X12 is the most common EDI standard used in North America.
API – Acronym for Application Program Interface, which is middleware provided by a software publisher that enables software created by other software publishers to integrate with their application.
AS1 – AS1 (Applicability Statement 1) is a specification for transporting data securely and reliably over the Internet using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) as the communications protocol. SMTP is the de facto standard for exchanging e-mail transmissions across the Internet. Security is achieved by using digital certificates and encryption.
AS2 – AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is a specification for transporting data securely and reliably over the Internet using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as the communications protocol. Security is achieved by using digital certificates and encryption.
AS3 – AS3 (Applicability Statement 3) is a specification for transporting data securely and reliably over the Internet using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) as the communications protocol. Security is achieved by using digital certificates and encryption.
ASC – Acronym for Accredited Standards Committee, which is a team that has been chartered by ANSI to develop a specific set of standards.
ASN – An Advanced Ship Notice, or ASN, is also known as the 856 transaction in EDI parlance. ASNs indicate when a shipment was sent, the carrier used to ship it, and how it was packed.
Barcode – A barcode (also bar code) is a machine-readable representation of information. Originally barcodes stored data in the widths and spacings of printed parallel lines, but today they also come in patterns of dots, concentric circles, and text codes hidden within images. Barcodes can be read by optical scanners called barcode readers.
BOM – Bill of materials (BOM) is the term used to describe the “parts list” of components needed to complete an end-item for sale.
BSP – A Business System Plug-in (BSP) is a TrueCommerce software module that “maps” or arranges the data structure of EDI transactions so that they may be imported into and exported out of an accounting software application in an automated fashion.
Connectivity – The ability to make and maintain a connection between two or more points in a telecommunications system. The typical mechanism for establishing connectivity in an EDI system is a Value Added Network (VAN).
CSV file – The comma-separated values (CSV) file format is a file type that stores tabular data using the comma symbol to distinguish between different values.
Data Element – The smallest unit of information in an EDI transaction set, such as quantity or ZIP code. Data elements combine to make data segments.
Data Segment EDI – A line of information in an EDI message. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a set of standards for structuring information that is to be electronically exchanged between businesses via application-to-application communication. The term EDI refers to the implementation and operation of systems and processes for creating, transmitting, and receiving EDI documents that emulate business transactions such as purchase orders and invoices. EDI has been in use for nearly three decades and is the data format used for the vast majority of the world’s business-to-business electronic commerce transactions.
DUNS Number – A nine-digit number assigned and maintained by Dun & Bradstreet to identify unique business establishments. DUNS numbers are assigned worldwide and include US, Canadian and international organizations.
EAN – A European Article Number (EAN) is a barcoding standard which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC) system developed in North America.
EDIFACT – United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce, and Transport (UN/EDIFACT or EDIFACT) is the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations.
ELP – The Electronic Label Plug-in (ELP) is a TrueCommerce software module that automates printing barcode labels.
EPP – An Electronic Partner Plug-in (EPP) is a TrueCommerce software module that “maps” or arranges the data structure of EDI transactions as required to automate exchanging data with a trading partner’s EDI system. The EPP “tells” the TrueCommerce system which transactions are supported by a particular trading partner, how the data should be formatted, and what data is required on transactions that are sent to the trading partner. Each EPP is for a specific trading partner and includes the data mappings for all transactions that are required by that trading partner.
FTP – File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a common way to move files between computers over the Internet. Anonymous FTP gives users access (without an ID and password) to areas on a remote system that contain public files.
Functional Acknowledgement – A Functional Acknowledgement (also referred to as a 997 transaction) confirms that an EDI transaction has been received by a trading partner and indicates the time and date of receipt.
Integration – Integration refers to the process of exchanging data between two different applications in an automated fashion (with little or no manual intervention).
SCAC – Standard Carrier Alpha Codes (SCAC) are unique four-letter codes that identify transportation carriers
SDK – A Software Developers Kit (SDK) is middleware provided by a software publisher that enables software created by other software publishers to integrate with their application.
TC.Net – TC.Net is the TrueCommerce network that provides connectivity between EDI trading partners.
Trading partner – A trading partner is another company with whom you conduct business, such as a vendor or customer.
Transaction – A transaction is the exchange of a business document that facilitates a business process, such as a purchase order, invoice or advance ship notice.
Translation – The act of converting a business document to and from the EDI standard.
UPC – Universal Product Code (UPC) is the most common barcode format used in North America.
VAN – A Value Added Network (VAN) refers to an intermediary used to facilitate EDI connectivity between trading partners.