EDI Glossary

EDI Terminology

EDI Standards and Mapping:

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): The electronic exchange of business documents between trading partners in a standardised format.

EDI Message Standards:

A message standard is a specific set of rules and guidelines that define the structure and content of an EDI message. Examples of EDI message standards include X12, EDIFACT, and TRADACOMS.

EDI Mapping:

The process of transforming data from one format to another during the exchange of EDI documents. This ensures compatibility between different systems and allows seamless data integration. Pre-configured Mapping: A type of EDI mapping where the transformation rules are predefined and built into the EDI solution or software. These mappings are typically based on industry standards and require minimal customisation.

EDI Network:

An EDI network is a network of trading partners and service providers that exchange EDI messages. An EDI network typically includes communication protocols, translation software, and other tools to facilitate EDI exchanges.

Direct Connection:

A direct electronic connection between two systems or trading partners for exchanging EDI documents without the need for intermediaries.

Direct EDI Mapping:

A type of EDI mapping where the transformation rules are specifically designed and customised for the individual systems and requirements of the trading partners involved. It involves direct mapping between the data elements and structures of the source and target systems.

Canonical Mapping:

A type of EDI mapping that involves mapping data from various formats into a common or canonical format. This allows for easier integration and data consistency across different systems.


In EDI, a batch refers to a group of EDI messages that are processed together as a single unit. Batching EDI messages can help improve efficiency and reduce processing time.


In EDI segment is a logical grouping of related data elements within a message. Segments typically have a unique identifier and can include multiple data elements.

Segment Names:

Segment names are the unique identifiers used to identify each segment within an EDI message. Examples of segment names from the X12 standard include ISA, GS, ST, SE, and IEA.

Common EDI Message Types

Message Types:

Specific types of EDI documents used for exchanging business information. Common message types include purchase orders (PO), invoices, advance ship notices (ASN), and payment remittance advice.

Purchase Order (PO):

A document issued by a buyer to a supplier, indicating the intent to purchase goods or services.

Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN):

A document sent by a supplier to a buyer, providing detailed information about the contents of a shipment before it arrives.

SSCC Labels (Serial Shipping Container Code Labels):

Labels that contain a unique identifier for shipping containers or logistic units. The SSCC labels are used to track and manage the movement of containers throughout the supply chain, enabling efficient logistics operations and accurate inventory management.


A document sent by a supplier to a buyer, requesting payment for goods or services provided.

Inventory Management:

The process of overseeing and controlling the flow of goods within a company, including tracking stock levels, reordering, and maintaining optimal inventory levels.

Credit Note:

A document issued by a supplier to a buyer, indicating a reduction in the amount owed due to returned goods or other adjustments.

Debit Note:

A document issued by a supplier to a buyer, indicating an increase in the amount owed due to additional charges or adjustments.

Proof of Delivery:

A document or record providing evidence that goods have been received by the buyer or their representative.

Order Change:

A document used to communicate changes or updates to a previously submitted purchase order.

Shipping Note:

A document that provides details about the contents, packaging, and handling instructions for a shipment.

EDI Connector Types and Standards:

Value-Added Network (VAN):

A third-party service provider that facilitates the exchange of EDI documents between trading partners. A business would use a VAN network because it offers a secure and dependable way to exchange EDI documents with trading partners. It ensures that sensitive business information is protected during transmission through advanced encryption and data security measures. VAN is frequently used within the automotive, car manufacturing, and government sectors.

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2):

A popular communication protocol used for secure and reliable EDI transmission over the internet. An AS2 connections provides businesses with a secure transmission of EDI documents over the internet. It provides reliable and real-time method of exchanging information with trading partners. It’s commonly used in retail, FMCG, and manufacturing sectors.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol):

A standard network protocol used for transferring files between a client and a server.


A widely used international EDI standard developed by the United Nations. EDIFACT is used by various countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and many others. It provides a standardised format for exchanging business documents across different industries and countries. EDIFACT is commonly used in the retail industry.


Widely used in the automotive industry. ODETTE facilitates the exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, and other supply chain-related information, between automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. It promotes standardisation, efficiency, and collaboration within the automotive supply chain, with a focus on European countries.

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