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The EDIFACT CONTRL (CONTRoL) message acts as both a technical and functional acknowledgement for any EDIFACT message exchanged between customers and suppliers. When sent as a technical response, it indicates the receipt of the message along with its acceptance. It can also state the approval or rejection of the previously submitted interchange and a detailed list of errors as a functional response. They follow the EDI message standard UN/EDIFACT. Although CONTRL messages are not always mandatory, they are a vital message type for the electronic purchasing process in manufacturing industries.
There are two different styles of EDIFACT CONTRL message. Either as a technical response or a functional response.
A technical acknowledgement informs the recipient that the previous interchange has been received, whether it has been accepted, and references the message type and ID. These usually are far simpler than the more detailed functional acknowledgement. A functional acknowledgement indicates the same information as shown within the technical acknowledgement, but can also report on syntactic errors and break down the acceptance or rejection of each specific part of the previous message.
An EDIFACT CONTRL message is sent in response to a received EDIFACT message as confirmation of receipt. These messages can be minimal in size, sometimes as little as three lines of code when a positive confirmation is sent. Once an ERP system receives a CONTRL message, the details held within can be cross-referenced to show the exact outbound message it relates to.
A typical CONTRL EDIFACT Message includes:
Once an EDIFACT CONTRL message has been received, the EDI system will check the details held within the contents of the message to find which previously sent interchange this relates to. If it has been accepted, the customer knows that the contents and syntax of the message were correct and understood. If there are any rejections, specific details can be obtained to help the customer fix and resend this data in future interchanges.
An EDIFACT CONTRL message can be sent in response to any received EDIFACT message, to show whether it has been accepted, rejected, or partially rejected. Depending on the industry and the EDI guideline in place, the business may only require CONTRL messages for some EDIFACT messages and not all. Therefore there is no typical CONTRL example like with other EDIFACT messages.
VDA messages are still commonly used in the automotive industry. VDA APERAK (Application Error and Acknowledgement message), both 4937 and 4938, is used to acknowledge receipt of a message and highlight any issues. The ANSI X12 standard is widespread in the NAFTA region; for this standard, a 997 Acknowledgement would be sent out.
By using EDIFACT CONTRL messages, many different benefits can be gained:
SEEBURGER B2B/EDI solutions are leaders in stability and reliability. For operating in a very reliable way we still recommend Control Acknowledgement files to speed up troubleshooting and to reduce the error rate exchanging information with external EDI Trading Partners outside your operational control.
What is EDI?
What is AS2?
What is AS4?
What is OFTP2?
EDIFACT: The Universal Message Standard
EDI Message Standards – An Overview
What is ANSI X12?
What is an EDI Mapping?
What are EDI Benefits?
What Is the Meaning of Being EDI Capable?
EDI Operating Models: On Premises, iPaaS or Full Service EDI
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