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Term Definition
ACH Automated Clearing House
ACH Automated Clearing House is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States. ACH processes large volumes of both credit and debit transactions, which are originated in batches. Rules and regulations governing the ACH network are established by NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association (formerly the National Automated Clearing House Association) and the Federal Reserve (Fed).
AESAES Advanced Encryption Standard. One of a number of standards for securing data during transmission by encrypting it.
AIAG Automotive Industry Action GroupAIAG Automotive Industry Action Group, Sets EDI standards for the automotive industry.
American National Standards InstituteThe American National Standards Institute or ANSI is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide.These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent, that people use the same definitions and terms, and that products are tested the same way. ANSI also accredits organizations that carry out product or personnel certification in accordance with requirements defined in international standards.
ANSI ASC X12ANSI ASC X12 American National Standards Institute, Accredited Standards Committee X12, which comprises government and industry members who create EDI standards for submission to ANSI for approval and dissemination.
ANXANX The IP-based network for the US automotive industry.
Application AcknowledgmentApplication Acknowledgment A transaction set whose purpose is to return a response to a transaction set that has been received and processed in an application program. For example, the Purchase Order Acknowledgment transaction is used to respond to the Purchase Order transaction with content such as whether the receiver can fulfill the order and if it can be done on time.
Application AdviceApplication Advice A transaction set that accepts, rejects or identifies errors in the content of any transaction set beyond normal syntax checks.
Application Control Structure (X12.6)Application Control Structure (X12.6), This is the structure of the 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 programming interface APIApplication programming interface API is a set of routines, data structures, object classes and/or protocols provided by libraries and/or operating system services in order to support the building of applications. An API may be:
  • Language-dependent, that is, only available in a particular programming language, utilizing the particular syntax and elements of the programming language to make the API convenient to use in this particular context.
Application service provider ASPApplication service provider ASP is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network. Software offered using an ASP model is also sometimes called On-demand software or software as a service.
AS1AS1 Applicability Statement (AS) 1. A protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over SMTP.
AS2AS2 Applicability Statement (AS) 2. A newer protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over HTTP. Allows data to be sent over the Internet using the HTTP protocol.
AS3AS3 Applicability Statement (AS) 3. The most recent protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over FTP.
ASC X12ASC 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 Shipping Notice 856ASN Advance Shipping Notice 856 is an EDI formatted electronic notification of pending deliveries; an electronic packing list. In the EDI X12 system, it is known as the EDI 856 document. The ASN can be used to list the contents of a shipment of goods as well as additional information relating to the shipment, such as order information, product description, physical characteristics, type of packaging, marking, carrier information, and configuration of goods within the transportation equipment. The ASN enables the sender to describe the contents and configuration of a shipment in various levels of detail and provides an ordered flexibility to convey information.
AsynchronousAsynchronous A communication technique by which each character is sent bit-serially and is surrounded by start and stop bits used to indicate character borders.
AttributeAttribute A term used to describe a characteristic of an item. An attribute would hold a value to describe a characteristic such as pack height, length or width.
Audit trailAudit trail A computerized or manual record of transactions.
AuthenticationAuthentication A mechanism that allows the receiver of an electronic transmission to verify the sender and the integrity of the content of the transmission through the use of an electronic key or algorithm shared by the trading partners. The algorithm is sometimes referred to as an electronic or digital signature.
BAIBAI A Financial Services Group responsible for defining the Cash Management Balance Reporting Specifications. BAI1 and subsequently BAI2 were defined as the basis for agreement between a bank and its corporate customer on how data from the bank’s account processing software would be communicated to the customer’s account processing software.
Bar Coding
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.
Batch Control TotalsBatch Control Totals Ensures that batch processing has been performed correctly by comparing output to currency or quantity totals, record or document counts, or hash totals.
Batch ProcessingBatch Processing The processing of computer information after it has accumulated in one group or batch.
BaudBaud The rate at which the signal changes when data is transmitted. It is often the same as the number of bits per second.
Bill of ladingBill of lading (sometimes referred to as a BOL,or B/L) is a document issued by a carrier, e.g. a ship\'s master or by a company\'s shipping department, acknowledging that specified goods have been received on board as cargo for conveyance to a named place for delivery to the consignee who is usually identified.
BinaryBinary A system of numerical notation in which only the values of 0 and 1 are used.
Bisynchronous communicationBisynchronous communication, An electronic method of communication in which data is sent in blocks of characters and in both directions at the same time.
BpsBps, Bits Per Second - a measurement of how fast data is transmitted.
Business DocumentBusiness Document A set of information components that are interchanged as part of a business activity.
Business processBusiness process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers.
Business-to-Business (B2B)Business-to-Business (B2B) is a term commonly used to describe commerce transactions between businesses like the one between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer i.e both the buyer and the seller are business entity. This is unlike business-to-consumers (B2C) which involve a business entity and end consumer, or business-to-government (B2G)which involve a business entity and government.
CEDICEDI The Common EDI Forum, which has developed a set of message implementation guidelines for the UK’s grocery industry.
CEFACTCEFACT Also known as UN/CEFACT. The United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business.
Certificate AuthorityCertificate Authority, A trusted company that will accept a public key, along with some proof of identity, and serve as a repository of digital certificates.
Certified Delivery ServerCertified Delivery Server, A server that uses public key encryption to validate a destination and provides a non-repudiation service. The server also establishes that a message was received.
Charge-BackCharge-Back, A penalty with reversal of payment, for an agreed upon amount, assessed by retail customer to a supplier for not following vendor guidelines established in the contract with the retailer.
ClearinghouseClearinghouse, An organization that provides a message/file collection, routing and distribution service on behalf of other organizations. Other examples are ACH Automated Clearing House and VAN Value Added Network.
Communication SoftwareCommunication Software Programs that allow computers to communicate through modems. Some are capable of automatic communications, such as auto-dial and auto-answer.
Compliance CheckingCompliance Checking Checking process used to ensure that a transmission complies with ANSI X12 syntax rules US.
ConditionalConditional A data element requirement designator that indicates that the presence of a specified data element is dependent on the value or presence of other data elements in the segment. The condition must be stated and must be able to be computer-processed.
ConfirmationConfirmation A notification that the transmission has been received by the intended receiver. [See also Functional acknowledgment].
CONTRLCONTRL A message which is the EDIFACT equivalent of the Functional Acknowledgement (FA).
Control EnvelopeControl Envelope Used to validate the receipt of correct and complete data.
Control NumbersControl Numbers, are present in the header and trailer segments as an additional means of tracking and confirming EDI transmissions. They are assigned within your EDI translation software when each EDI document is created.
Control SegmentControl Segment A control segment that has the same structure as a data segment but is used for transferring control information for grouping data segments.
Control StructureControl Structure The beginning and end (header and trailer) segments for entities in EDI.
Control ValidationControl Validation Confirmation that information within the control segments is correct.
CPFRCPFR Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment. An industry initiative focused on improving the partnership between manufacturers and distributors/retailers through shared information.
Data ElementData 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 a paper document, there is a corresponding data element in the electronic document or transaction set.
Data Element DictionaryData Element Dictionary (X12.3), Defines the data that are used to construct the transaction sets
Data Element LengthData Element Length, The range of the number of character positions available to represent the value of a data element. It 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 NumberData Element Reference Number, The unique numerical identifier assigned to each data element.
Data Element Requirement DesignatorData 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 SeparatorData Element Separator, A unique character preceding each data element that is used to delimit data elements within a segment. \"*\" is commonly used as the delimiter.
Data Element TypeData Element Type, A data element may be one of six types: numeric, decimal, identifier, string, date, or time.
Data Element, CompositeData Element, Composite Two or more related data items separated by a delimiter character, grouped together to form a unit or piece of information as defined in the data dictionary of a system of EDI Standards, and contained in an EDI message or transaction set.
Data Encryption KeyData Encryption Key (DEK), Used for the encryption of message text and for the computation of message integrity checks (signatures).
Data poolData pool a GDSN-compliant mechanism for trading partners to share and synchronize data. As well as storing product data, a data pool provides the necessary functions and workflow to communicate with the GLOBALRegistry and with other data pools.
Data RateData Rate, The speed at which data is transmitted and received. Usually measured in bits per second (bps).
Data SegmentData 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 TransferData 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.
DecryptionDecryption The translation of scrambled or secretly coded data at the receiving end of an encrypted transmission (See also Encryption).
Dedicated LineDedicated Line A point-to-point line in a data communication system between two computer devices that is always connected.
Default SettingsDefault Settings Instructions to a computer, automatically establishing standard configurations at the time of logon. They eliminate the need to reconfigure at each sitting.
DelimiterDelimiter A special character used to separate fields of data. The three different delimiters that are used in an EDI file are the segment delimiter, the element delimiter, and the sub-element delimiter.
DESDES Data Encryption Standard. One of a number of standards for securing data during transmission by encrypting it.
Digital CertificateDigital 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 SignatureDigital Signature, Digital 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.
DISADISA Data Interchange Standards Association. The trade organization that acts as secretariat for ANSI ASC X12 and the Pan-American EDIFACT Board in the United States.
DownloadDownload The process of receiving data from another computer at a remote site onto the computer under the control of the operator.
DUNS NumberDUNS 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.
EANEAN, European Article Numbering (EAN) is the European equivalent of a UPS number
EDI CapableEDI Capable, EDI Capable 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 ComplianceEDI Compliance, The ability to send and receive EDI documents in the way that your Trading Partner requires it.
EDI CompliantEDI Compliant, A company is EDI Compliant if it is able to send and receive EDI documents in the various ways its Trading Partners require.
EDI CoordinatorEDI Coordinator, The person responsible for communicating with EDI trading partners and project managing new EDI implementations.
EDI OutsourcingEDI Outsourcing, turning over to a third party the responsibility for EDI software, hardware, communications and personnel.
EDI Service ProvidersEDI 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 TransactionsEDI Transactions Electronic documents transmitted in EDI format according the standards of the EDI trading partner requesting the transactions.
EDI TranslationEDI 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 VANEDI VAN (Value Added Network), A service for transmitting EDI that charges by the number and size of transactions.
EDIFACTEDIFACT 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.
Electronic EnvelopeElectronic Envelope An electronic envelope consists of codes that mark the boundaries of electronic documents. The electronic envelope contains EDI documents, sender and receiver information.
ElementElement, A building block in an EDI document. Elements are grouped together to produce segments, which in turn are grouped together to form an EDI document. (Data Element)

Encryption 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.

File Transfer ProtocolFile Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another through a network such as the Internet.
FirewallFirewall, 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.
Flat FileFlat File, or interface file, is designed to hold EDI data prior to and following translation or transmission to and from a trading partner.
Functional AcknowledgementFunctional Acknowledgement 997, 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 GroupFunctional Group, A group of similar transaction sets such as four invoices. A functional group has a functional group header segment (GS) and a functional group trailer segment (GE).
Functional Group IdentifierFunctional 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.
GatewayGateway, A connection between two networks which allows messages to be routed from one to the other. A communications interface between one system and another.
HTMLHTML HyperText Markup Language, the predominant markup language for Web pages. Used to create documents for the World Wide Web.
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol

HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol, an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Used for retrieving inter-linked resources led to the establishment of the World Wide Web. HTTP is a request/response standard between a client and server.

HubHub, An online exchange or market place where transactions are received and transmitted between multiple suppliers and customers.
IEAIEA, the last segment sent or received in an EDI transmission. The IEA indicates this is the end of the current transmission.
Interchange Control SegmentsInterchange Control Segments, EDI segments to identify a unique interchange being sent from one sender to one receiver. See ISA and IEA
Interchange Control StructureInterchange Control Structure, 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 to acknowledge the receipt and processing of this envelope.
InterfaceInterface, The connection between applications. Interfaces may connect applications within a company or to a company\'s business partners.
Internet ProtocolInternet 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 AddressInternet 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.
Invoice 810Invoice 810,  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.
ISAISA, the segment that identifies the sender and receiver of the EDI transmission.
LTL ShipmentLTL Shipment A less then full Truckload shipment.
ManifestManifest A document from the vendor who is shipping goods to a customer that describes where the goods will arrive. Multiple destinations may be included.
MarketplaceMarketplace An online web site that supports multiple buyers and sellers.
MessageMessage 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.
On-demand softwareOn-demand software is typically delivered by an application service provider. This type of service offering is also frequently referred to as Software as a Service.
Purchase Order 850Purchase Order 850 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.
Purchase Order Acknowledgement 855Purchase Order Acknowledgement 855 An electronic acknowledgement that informs the buyer who sent you a purchase order that you will be filling the purchase order as requested. 
QualifierQualifier 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.
Raw dataRaw data, data that has not been processed for use. For Raw Data to become information it requires selective extraction, organization, and sometimes analysis and formatting for presentation.
SegmentSegment 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/Receiver IDSender/Receiver ID A unique number or series of characters which identifies a trading partner on all EDI networks.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP),Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), The method by which Internet mail is delivered from one computer to another.
SKU Stock Keeping UnitSKU 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.
Software as a ServiceSoftware as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand. SaaS software vendors may host the application on their own web-servers or download the application to the consumer device, disabling it after use or after the on-demand contract expires. The on-demand function may be handled internally to share licenses within a firm or by a third-party application service provider (ASP) sharing licenses between firms.
SyntaxSyntax The grammar or rules which defines the structure of the EDI standards (i.e. the use of loops, qualifier, etc.). Syntax rules are published in ANSI X12.6.
TCP/IPTCP/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.
Transaction SetTransaction Set A document that unambiguously defines, in the standard syntax, information of business or strategic significance and consists of a header segment, one or more data segments in a specified order, and a trailer segment.
Transaction Set IDTransaction Set ID An identifier that uniquely identifies the transaction set. This identifier is the first data element of the transaction set header segment.
TranslatorTranslator A program used to convert information from flat file to EDI format, or from EDI format to flat file.
U.P.C. (Universal Product Code)U.P.C. (Universal Product Code) A 12 digit numeric bar code which is a unique product identification number that is scanned at Point-Of-Sale. 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.
UCC (Uniform Code Council)UCC (Uniform Code Council) 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 labelUCC 128 label Code 128 is a barcode standard that is used for several applications and is also referred to as ISBT 128, UCC-128, EAN-128 and USS Code 128. It is a very high-density symbology that can encode text, numbers, several functions and the entire 128 character ASCII character set. Placed on shipments; refers to the information contained in the ASN
VAN Value Added NetworkVAN 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. VANs are equipped to accept a variety of telecommunications protocols, thus enabling connectivity between organizations with different telecommunications protocols.
VendorVendor Any company that provides supplies to a retailer/distributor.
VICSVICS Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Standard (VICS) is used by the general merchandise retail industry. VICS EDI is a subset of the ASC X12 national standard.
VPN ( Virtual Private Network )

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.

X12X12 The ANSI committee responsible for the development and maintenance of standards for EDI.

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