Electronic data interchange

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Electronic data interchange (EDI) provides a standard format for exchanging business data. A transaction set comprises the contents of a typical business document or form. The parties who exchange EDI transactions are called trading partners. Unfortunately there are many different standards efforts which are, to some degree, incompatible.

ANSI develops generic, cross-industry standards. Therefore, all companies might be able to share the same document, regardless of their particular industry. Currently ANSI’s X12 standard has a large base of support in the U.S. including General Services Administration, Xerox, Levi Strauss, Texas Instruments, Westinghouse, and others. There are X12 project teams assigned to maintaining transaction sets within ANSI X12. These task forces work on specific subareas of X12 like standards maintenance, communications and controls, governmental forms, banking forms, and international forms.

EDI for Administration, Commerce, and Trade (EDIFACT) was proposed by the U.N. after talks between the U.S. and Britain. ANSI is maneuvering to include EDIFACT (ISO 9735) standards into X12 for complete compatibility.

Some independent EDI trade associates are listed below.

  • AIA: Aerospace Industry Association
  • AIAG: Automotive Industry Action Group
  • CIDX: Chemical Industry Data Exchange
  • HIBCC: Health Industry Business Communications Council
  • PIDX: Petroleum Industry Data Exchange
  • TCIF: Telecommunication Industry Forum
  • TDCC: Transportation Data Coordination Committee
  • UISG: Utility Industry Standards Group
  • VICS: Voluntary Interindustry Communications Standards for EDI
  • WINS: Warehouse Industry National Standards Guidelines