eBusiness Glossary



American National Standards Institute. ANSI is the national standards body for the United States. Through its accredited standards committees, ANSI develops and maintains the standards for all applications of technology and mechanics for U.S. industry.


Accredited Standards Committee, charged with developing standards to facilitate electronic interchange of business transactions. (X12 is the 12th committee formed under ANSI.)


A security methodology whereby data is encrypted to ensure and verify that the EDI transmission and message is not tampered with or altered.


Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transportation, the international EDI standard developed through the United Nations.


Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transportation, the international EDI standard developed through the United Nations.


Similar to authentication, with the exception that the message is scrambled. Decryption is performed with either a public or private key. Highly sensitive data justifies using encryption.


A combination of header, trailer and control segments that define the start and end of an individual EDI message.


Acronym for functional acknowledgment (997). The FA is an EDI reply sent back to the message originator to indicate that the original message was received and was formatted correctly. It does not imply agreement with, or understanding of, the


Implementation Guideline

A publication explaining the use of one or more EDI transactions within an industry. For example, the Rail Industry Guidelines draw from the ASC X12 standards and depict their use in the rail industry.


The act of determining what pieces of information in the company's database should be placed into each data element of an EDI message or transaction set, or in reverse, what data elements of an EDI message or transaction set should be placed into the company's database.


National Association of Purchasing Management.


Rules and standards that define how communication can take place between computer systems, or applications for exchanging electronic documents.

Rail Industry Guidelines

See Implementation Guideline above.


Rail Industry Forum, an affiliation of railroads and rail-related companies within NAPM. The Subcommittee on Information Standards, under RIF, is responsible for setting the Rail Industry Guidelines.


Trading Partner Agreement; a document which addresses the terms and conditions of how and when EDI will be performed between trading partners.

Trading Partner

Any business entity engaging in EDI exchanges. This may be either the sender or the receiver of information in EDI.

Transaction Set

An electronic business document.


Software which reformats information to/from an X12 standard to/from an internal format for processing.


Value Added Network. A VAN is a third-party communications system which transmits EDI transactions from one entity to another. The entity may be a private party or another VAN.


Version/Release. A number indicating a specific, published sequence of a standard.