Common EDI Vocabulary

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Term Definition
The usual abbreviation for Extensible Markup Language – an open standard for describing data defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Directory services standard of the CCITT.
Early email system popular in Europe.
Network protocol, still widely used.
Web Services description language.
World Wide Web Consortium
the body that defines standards (such as HTTP) for the internet.
Warehouse Information Network Standards. A set of EDI standards for warehousing and distribution. WINS is a subset of the ANSI X12 national standard.
A generic term for the transmitting of structured business messages over the internet. This may include solutions such as a log on to a portal and inputting commercial transactional information into a form on a website using an internet browser. This method requires an element of manual intervention.
Web Services Interoperability
An open industry organization chartered to promote Web Services interoperability across platforms, operating systems, and programming languages. The organization works across the industry and standards organizations to respond to customer needs by providing guidance, best practices, and resources for developing Web Services solutions.
Web Services
A standard means of interoperating between different software applications, running on a variety of platforms and/or frameworks, over the Internet.
The usual abbreviation for the World Wide Web Consortium.
Virtual Private Network.
Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Solutions Association – A not-for-profit association with a mission to take a global leadership role in the development of business guidelines and specifications; facilitating implementation through education and measurement, resulting in the improvement of the retail supply chain efficiency and effectiveness, which meet or exceed customer and consumer expectations. GS1 US is the secretariat to the Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Solutions Association.
Identifies the publication of the standard being used for the generation or the interpretation of data in the X12 standard format.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)
A system of inventory replenishment in which the vendor accepts responsibility for maintaining customer’s inventory levels of the vendor’s products by monitoring POS and inventory information sent by the customer. This is usually automated through EDI to achieve as smooth a flow of replenishment as possible.
German EDI data standard in the automotive industry.
Variable-Length File
A file with segments containing data elements that can vary between minimum and maximum requirements, but which have no set fixed length. A data element delimiter is required to mark the end of the element and a segment delimiter character is needed to mark the end of the segment.
See Value-Added Network.
Value-Added Network
Often abbreviated as VAN and today called an EDI Network Services Provider, a third-party entity which handles the electronic exchange of information between subscribers to its services. Services provided by VANs include electronic mailboxing of EDI transmissions, protocol and speed conversion, and EDI record keeping for audit tracking.
The process of determining that compliance standards have been met by a particular document in an EDI transmission.
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