EDI Glossary

Essential EDI Terminology Guide


A set of standards that define the format and structure of business documents and forms for EDI in the United States.

API (Application Programming Interface)

A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2)

A specification about how to transport data securely and reliably over the Internet.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

Transactions conducted directly between companies rather than between a company and individual consumers.

B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

Transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers.

Batch Processing

The processing of transactions in a batch of files at scheduled intervals.

Business Process Integration

The alignment and interconnection of business processes through EDI to enhance efficiency.

Certification Authority

An entity that issues digital certificates for security purposes.

Cloud EDI

The use of cloud computing platforms to facilitate the exchange of EDI documents.

Composite Data Structure

A group of related data elements used together to convey complex information.

Communication Protocol

The rules that define how data is transmitted and received over a network.

Compliance Checking

The process of ensuring that EDI documents adhere to the agreed standards and formats.


A logistics practice in which products from a supplier or manufacturing plant are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with minimal handling or storage time.

Data Element

The smallest named item in an EDI document, such as a quantity or a date.


Characters used to separate segments, elements, or sub-elements in an EDI document.

Digital Certificate

A digital document used to prove the ownership of a public key.

Direct EDI/Point-to-Point

EDI transmission directly between two trading partners, without the use of an intermediary.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

The computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners.

EDI Outsourcing

Hiring an external service provider to manage EDI technology and processes.

EDI Translator

Software that converts EDI data into a format that can be used by business applications and vice versa.

EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport)

An international EDI standard developed by the United Nations.


The buying and selling of goods or services using electronic systems and the internet.


The process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

Software systems that manage and integrate the important parts of a business.

Functional Acknowledgment (FA)

An EDI message sent by the recipient back to the sender to confirm receipt of an EDI transaction.


An international organization that develops and maintains standards for supply and demand chains across multiple sectors.

GS1-128 (formerly UCC/EAN-128)

A barcode standard that is used globally for marking products often included in EDI transactions.

Integration Broker

Software or service that mediates data transmission and transformation between different systems.

Interchange Control Header (ISA)

The start of an ANSI X12 message that identifies the sender and recipient.

Interchange Control Trailer (IEA)

The end of an ANSI X12 message sequence, summarizing the number of included transactions.


An EDI document (810 in ANSI X12) that requests payment for goods or services provided.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)

A lightweight data-interchange format that is easy for humans to read and write.

Just-In-Time (JIT)

An inventory management strategy that aligns raw-material orders from suppliers directly with production schedules.


The process of translating data from one format to another.

Message Standards

Guidelines that define the structure, format, and content of EDI messages.

Payment Order/Remittance Advice

An EDI document (820 in ANSI X12) that combines a remittance advice and a payment order.

PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)

A set of roles, policies, and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store, and revoke digital certificates.

Purchase Order (PO)

An EDI document (850 in ANSI X12) used to communicate an order for goods or services.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

A framework for the creation and management of digital certificates and encryption keys.

Real-time Processing

The processing of data as soon as it becomes available.

SAP IDoc (Intermediate Document)

A format developed by SAP for the exchange of business information.


A group of related data elements in an EDI document, serving a specific functional purpose.

Ship Notice/Manifest (ASN)

An EDI document (856 in ANSI X12) that provides detailed information about a pending delivery.

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)

A unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased.

Supply Chain Management

The handling of the entire production flow of a good or service — starting from the raw components all the way to delivering the final product to the consumer.

Trading Partner Agreement

A contract between EDI exchange participants defining the technical and business requirements.

Transaction Set

A group of EDI documents that are sent together as part of the same transaction.

UCC (Uniform Code Council)

An organization that oversees the GS1 standards in the United States.

VAN (Value-Added Network)

A private network provider that facilitates EDI exchanges between trading partners.


A form of EDI that uses standard internet protocols to exchange business documents between partners.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

A markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format readable by both humans and machines.

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