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EDI Glossary


Accredited Standards Committee. Formed to develop uniform standards for electronic interchange of business transactions.


The ASC X12 standards for EDI.


American National Standards Institute. The United States organization that compiles and publishes computer industry standards. ANSI also represents the United States and Canada in the International Standards Organization (ISO).


The ANSI X12 standards developed for EDI.


Computer data processing software such as Accounts Payable.


American Standard Code for Information Interchange


American Telephone and Telegraph. The state of Ohio’s Value Added Network Provider.


Bureau of Medical Systems Administration.


Commodity Allocation Tracking System, provides the automation of commodity allocation and tracking processes performed by Child Nutrition Services (CNS).


Consultative Committee for International Telecommunications and Telephony.

Compliance Checking

A checking process that is used to ensure that a transmission complies with ANSI X12 syntax rules.


A data element requirement designator which indicates the presence of other data elements in the segment. The condition must be stated and must be computer processable.


Any company that provides service-oriented deliverables to the state of Ohio.


Department of Administrative Services.

Data Element

The basic units of information in the EDI standards containing a set of values that represent a singular fact. They may be single character codes, literal descriptions or numeric values. EXAMPLE: "PURCHASE-ORDER-NUMBER."

Data Element Delimiter

The single character delimiter follows the segment identifier and each data element in a segment except the last.

Data Element Length

This is the range, minimum to maximum, or the number of character positions available to represent the value of the data element. A data element may be of variable length with the range from minimum to maximum, or it may be of fixed length in which the minimum is equal to the maximum.

Data Element Reference Number

Unique identifier assigned to each data element.

Data Element Requirement Designator

A code defining the need for a data element value to appear in the segment if the segment is transmitted. The codes are Mandatory (M), Optional (O) or Conditional ©.

Data Element Type

A data element may be one of six types: numeric, decimal, identifier, string, date or time.


The delimiters consist of two levels of separators and a terminator. The delimiters are an integral part of the transferred data stream. Delimiters are specified in the interchange header and may not be used in a data element value elsewhere in the interchange.


Data Interchange Standards Association. A non-profit organization funded by X12 which serves as the secretariat for X12.


The data that makes up a business transaction, such as an invoice, purchase order or ship notice.


Electronic Data Interchange is the computer-to-computer exchange of business-related documents in a structured, machine processable format.


EDI for Administration, Commerce and Trade.

Functional Acknowledgment

Notification to the sender that an electronic document has been received in a standards-compliant format.

Functional Group

Electronic documents (transaction sets) of like type, destined for the same trading partner.


A connection between two networks which allows messages to be routed from one to the other. A communications interface between one system and another.


International Standards Organization responsible for defining international standards.


Information Technology Services and Delivery


International Telecommunications Union (formerly CCITT)


A group of semantically related segments; these segments may be either bounded or unbounded (X12.6). EXAMPLE: The N1 loop, which indicated segments N1 to PER for name and address information.


An electronic data storage location within a network service which is set aside for a specific user to hold messages.

Mandatory (M)

A data element/segment requirement designator which indicates the presence of a specified date element is required.

Max Use

The maximum number of times that a segment can be used at the location in a transaction set.


Utilizing a set a rules to convert data from one format to another.


Office of Budget and Management.


Ohio Department of Education.


Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

Optional (O)

A data element/segment requirement designator which indicates the presence of a specified data element/segment is at the option of the ending party. Its use may be based on the mutual agreement of the interchange parties.


Any medical-related organization that does business with the state of Ohio.


A data element which identifies or defines a related element, set of elements or a segment. The qualifier contains a code taken from a list of approved codes.

Repeating Segment

A segment that may be used more than once at a given location in a transaction set.


Logically grouped data, usually an electronic representation of a "line" on a printed business document. A data segment consists of a segment identifier, one or more data elements, each preceded by an element separator and ending with a segment terminator (X12.6).

Segment Directory

X12.22 provides the purposes and formats of the segments used in the construction of transaction sets. The directory lists each segment by name, purpose, identifier, the contained data elements in the specified order and the requirement designator for each data element.

Segment Identifier

A unique identifier for a segment composed of a combination of two or three uppercase letters and digits. The segment identifier occupies the first character positions of the segment. The segment identifier is not a data element.

Segment Terminator

A unique character appearing at the end of a segment to indicate the termination of the segment.


The grammar or rules which defines the structure of the EDI standards (i.e. the use of loops, qualifier, etc.). Syntax rules are published in ANSI X12.6.


U.N. Trade Data Element Dictionary.

Trading Partner

A supplier, customer, subsidiary or any other organization with which the State of Ohio does business.


Software package which converts the EDI document into a file which the receiving computer system can understand.

Transaction Set

A type of electronic business document defined in standard syntax which consists of a transaction set header segment, one or more segments in a specified order and a transaction set trailer segment.

Transaction Set ID

An identifier that uniquely defines the transaction set. This identifier is the first data element of the transaction set header segment.


The act of accepting documents in other than X12 standard format and translating them to the X12 standard format.


Value Added Network. A public data communications network offering EDI-specific services such as standards-compliance checking.


Any company that provides supplies to the state of Ohio (such as pencils, paper, computers, etc.)


International standard for packet switching.


International standard for the exchange of electronic mail messages between diverse mail systems.


International standard for security, auditability and functionality for EDI transactions, including the ability to integrate EDI and Electronic Mail.


International standard for Messaging and Directory Services Telecommunications.