edi standards

EDI Standards: The Developement of Global Data Standartization

EDI Standards History may be connected to 1968 when the United States Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC) was created for working on standard for electronic documents interchange in automotive and railway industries. Further development of the standard and therefore EDI Standards was given to American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

EDI Standards body known as ANSI ASC X12 (American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12) was developed in 70-s when small size of the document was too important (for 300-1200 bit/sec modems) and each bite was to deliver maximum information amount. In that time business communications were too far from ideal ones, and failures often happened. Due to this the documents format was projected first of all to be safe and reliable, that is why envelope mechanism and control numbers were created. This way the data that was sent stayed complete and safe. EDI Standards can be defined as sets of rules for structuring and formatting of an EDI document.

There exist several bodies that are currently working of developing and supporting EDI Standards:

  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute) – the body that sets standards for many branches. The committee ANSI X12 deals with EDI – it is the main EDI standardization body in the USA
  • EDIA (The Electronic Data Interchange Association, previously known as Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC))
  • AIAG (The Automotive Industry Action Group) – a group of standards for automotive industry. This standard is a sub-group of ANSI X12
  • UCS (The Uniform Communications Standard) – standard used in food industry
  • EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport.) – organization dealing with EDI standardization being a part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. EDIFACT standards are mostly used in Europe
  • ODETTE (The Organization for Data Exchange by Tele-Transmission in Europe)
  • VICS (The Voluntary Inter-industry Communication Standards) – a subsidiary body of ANSI X12 that works with retail industry standards.

EDI ANSI ASC X12 standard includes the documents’ formats description (transaction sets) and has different versions because of standards development – 4030VICS, 5010 etc.

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