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What are EDI Standards?

What are EDI Standards?

EDI Standards define the basic set of rules for the structure of all EDI documents depending on location/region and specific industry. Even though two companies follow the same standards but the set of information they can carry can be different.

Why do we need standards in EDI?

Imagine if there were no set standards, every trading partner in the world would have to create their own set of rules which will make it almost impossible for their suppliers or manufacturers to follow and communicate. Standards define the structure in which the trading partners should exchange business documents.

Which EDI Standards are most commonly used?




How many EDI Standards are there in EDI? 

There are multiple EDI standards that are being used based on the region and industries:

  1. ANSI ASC X12: Predominant in North America

The Accredited Standards Committee X12 is a standards organization (chartered by by the American National Standards Institute) that develops and maintains the X12 Electronic data interchange (EDI) along with XML schemas across industries which drive business processes globally. Over 600 companies are the members of this organization.

Here is a X12 EDI Transactions List

X12C Communications & Controls Transactions List
X12F Finance Transactions List
X12G Government Transactions List
X12I Transportation Transactions List
X12M Supply Chain Transactions List
X12N Insurance Transactions List
  1. UN/EDIFACT: International standard predominant outside of North America

United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport is a standard that was developed for the UN and later on published by the UN Economic Commission for Europe. The EDIFACT standard provides a set of syntax rules to structure data, an interactive exchange protocol and standard messages that allow multi-country and industry exchange.

Here is a list of EDIFACT Transaction types

EDIFACT Transactions List
  1. TRADACOMS: Early EDI Standard Predominant in the UK Retail

It was introduced in 1982 as an implementation of UN/GTDI syntax and as maintained by U Article Numbering Association (now called GS1 UK). Majority of UK retail still uses it even after the technology is antiquated.

Here is a list of Tradacoms Transaction documents

TRADACOMS Transactions List
  1. HIPAA: EDI Standard Pre-dominant in the United States for Healthcare Claims

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted by congress and signed into law in 1966. This law protects the personal information of patients and healthcare personnel maintained by healthcare companies, hospitals and insurance agencies from fraud and theft. It prohibits these agencies from disclosing protected information to anyone other than a patient and or their authorized representative without their consent. HIPAA made the healthcare system more efficient by standardizing the healthcare transactions. HIPAA/EDI paved a way for medical providers getting paid by submitting medical claims electronically. 

Here is a list of EDI X12 transactions used for HIPAA Compliance

  1. GS1 EDI: EDI Standard Pre-dominant in Supply Chain

GS1 EDI is a part of the global GS1 system that is developed and maintained by GS1 in partnership with other standards to make sure there is uniformity along with full integration. Below are the two types of GS1 EDI standards:

  • EANCOM: United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport standards are a subset of UN/EDIFACT that have been developed for consumer goods predominantly used in the European retail industry

Here is a list of commonly used EANCOM Document types

EANCOM Transactions List
  • GS1 XML: XML has been used to develop these set of standards that provides a common structure like a unique GS1 identification key can be scaled to meet the requirements from different industries
  1. VDA: Pre-dominant in the German automotive industry

Verband der Automobilindustrie is the German Automotive Industry Association that maintains the format messages of business documents exchanged between automotive manufacturers and suppliers. There is no specific naming convention within VDA specifications for each element unlike other EDI standards.

Here is a list of VDA Transaction Types

VDA Transactions List
  1. ODETTE: Pre-dominant in the European automotive industry

Odette develops standards and tools to cater to supply chain operations around the world and are most specifically used by the European automotive companies.

Here is the list of Odette Transaction Types

ODETTE Transactions List

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