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EDI Message Standards – an Overview


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. HIPAA (Law on Control and Safety of Medical Insurance) was specifically developed for the compliance of activities in health authorities and for legislation purposes.

UN/EDIFACT The most comprehensive and worldwide most common standard is coming from the United Nations (UN/ECE).
EDIFICE Implementation guidelines for EDIFACT messages in the European high-tech industry.
ANSI X.12 Standard mainly used in North America.
VDA Standard of the German automotive industry.
EANCOM Standard of the European retail industry.
ODETTE Standard of the European automotive industry.
GALIA Automotive standard especially in France, very similar to Odette.
ebXML Open standard from OASIS and CEFACT.
XBRL For the preparation of financial reports in electronic form.
RosettaNet A non-profit consortium of more than 500 companies, mainly from the electronics industry. The goal is the development and implementation of open eBusiness standards and services in the industry.
TRADACOMS Standard of the UK retail industry.
HIPAA Standard of the North American healthcare industry.

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EDI message types according to various standards

All of the above standards have created corresponding message types for the respective business process:

(Worldwide Standard)
(European Standard)
(Legacy Standards)
(North America Standard)
(UK Standard)
Business Transaction
DELFOR DELINS VDA 4905 VDA 4984 830 ~ delivery forecast
INVOIC INVOIC VDA 4906 VDA 4938 810 INVFIL invoice message
REMADV REMADV VDA 4907 VDA 4988 820 SRMHDR remittance advice
INVOIC CREDIT VDA 4908 VDA 4938 ~ CREHDR credit entry
DESADV AVIEXP VDA 4913 VDA 4987 856 DELHDR despatch advise message
VS35 and VS36
VDA 4990 846 SNPSTS inventory reports
RECADV STOACT VDA 4913-EDL VS30 VDA 4989 846 ~ receipt advise
SLSRPT STOACT ~ ~ 852 ~ outgoing sales report
ORDERS ORDERR ~ ~ 850 ORDHDR purchase order message
ORDCHG ~ ~ ~ 860 ~ purchase order change request
DELJIT DELINS (CALL-OFF) VDA 4915 VDA 4985 862 ~ JIT delivery
DELJIT CALDEL VDA 4916 VDA 4986 866 ~ JIT direct delivery call
IFTMIN TRINAD VDA 4920 ~ 858 ~ instructions of transport
CONTRL ~ ~ VDA 4937 997 ~ functional acknowledgement

EDI message standards: industry, regional or global importance

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.

Do you work in a sector with its own specific needs?

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