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EDI message standards are useful for electronically exchanging structured data between business partners. Various organizations such as UN, ANSI, DIN or VDA define the EDI message standards. The most commonly used format is the UN/EDIFACT message (United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport). Related to this format, a number of variations exist (usually defined by an industry, e.g. EANCOM). These dialects are usually referred to as subsets.
Other important message formats are ANSI.X12 (The American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12). This standard is mainly used in North America, ODETTE (Standard of the European Automotive Industry) and VDA (Format of the Association of the German Automotive Industry). The TRADACOMS standard is the predecessor of EDIFACT in the UK. HIPPA (Law on Control and Safety of Medical Insurance) was specifically developed for the compliance of activities in health authorities and for legislation purposes.
All of the above standards have created corresponding message types for the respective business process:
Figure 2: Comparison of EDI message types according to various standards
Why have different message standards established themselves at all? This is primarily due to their ability to cover business processes in specific industries or regions particularly well. The following overview illustrates this:
With today’s rapidly changing requirements flexibility is a key business requirement. Thus the B2B integration platform is use needs to be able to work with all these EDI Message Standards, Types and output formats seamlessly.
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