EDI projects require a wide variety of specialized knowledge. In our glossary, we provide answers to most of the terms you may encounter in your EDI project.
What is ANSI X12? Standard for EDI (electronic data interchange)
The ANSI ASC X12 (often also just X12) standard for electronic data interchange, which is particularly widespread in the North American region, is one of the most widespread electronic document standards in the world, along with UN/EDIFACT. The ANSI ASC X12 standard is older than UN/EDIFACT and is still widely used in North America and in Australia. Both standards reference the other and do not compete with each other. UN/EDIFACT has been recognized as an international standard, however many companies and institutions (especially in North America) still use the ANSI ASC X12 standard.
The designation ANSI ASC X12 is an abbreviation of American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12 and, like many other standards and norms, was requested by the American National Standards Institute. The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) is responsible for the development and administration of ANSI ASC X12.
The ANSI ASC X12 standard currently contains over 300 message types (transaction sets), which are used in a wide variety of industries for a wide variety of applications.
For more information on ANSI ASC X12 and the individual Transaction Sets, visit the official website x12.org.
ANSI ASC X12 Transaction Sets & Subcommittees
The ANSI ASC X12 standard defines and maintains so-called Transaction Sets, which specify a certain data content that can be used for specific business purposes. The individual Transaction Sets are classified and identified by individual numbers and names. The transaction sets are divided into groups based on the purpose of use and the industry used, which are developed and managed by so-called subcommittees of the Accredited Standards Committee X12.
Here you can see all Subcommittees (expandable) with their respective Transaction Sets:
X12C - Communications & Controls
X12F - Finance
X12I - Transportation
X12M - Supply Chain
X12N - Insurance
How is an ANSI X12 file structured?
Similar to EDIFACT files in Europe, each transaction set in an X12 message also uses special segments to indicate the beginning and end of a transaction. The message starts with a Transaction Set Header (ST) and ends with a Transaction Set Trailer (SE). Depending on the transaction to be displayed, the further segments between these start and end markers may then vary. One or more of these transaction messages are further surrounded by an envelope, which is introduced with an Interchange Control Header (ISA) and terminated with an Interchange Control Trailer (IEA).