Glossary of Terms

Supplement to

Facilitator Mitchell Levy


Chair, ECM Symposiums

Executive Producer,

Founder and Coordinator, SJSU-PD ECM Certificate Program



ACH-Automated Clearing House [See also NACHA].

ANA-Article Numbering Association introduced bar coding into the U.K. on supermarket goods and later developed the TRADACOMS standards for use in TRADANET.

ANSI-American National Standards Institute. Parent organization of X12. The group is the recognized coordinator and clearing-house for information on U.S. and in some cases Canadian national standards. Also serves as the North American representative to the ISO (International Standards Organization).

ANSI ASC X12-American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12 [Sec ASC X12].

ANSI Number: A number assigned to a data element (defined in the ASC X12 Data Dictionary)

ANSI Standard: A published transaction set that has been approved by ANSI. Standards are reviewed for updating every six months.

ASAP-Analytic Systems Automated Purchasing. Electronic order entry system for hospitals.

ASC X12-Accredited Standards Committee X12. Composed of industry members who help create EDI standards for submission to ANSI for subsequent approval and dissemination (or to the UN/ECE, for approval and submission of UN/EDIFACT standards).

ASN-Advance Shipment Notice. Alphabetic character set-A character set that contains letters and may contain control characters and special characters but not digits [ISO 2382/4].

Acquiring bank: An acquiring bank provides merchants with Internet Merchant Accounts.

Ad Clicks: Number of times that a viewer clicks on an ad banner. The metric is also referred to as CPM or "Clicks per Thousand" as in how many times is an ad "clicked on" for every one thousand page views generated.

Address Verification Process: A process used by a credit card processor or other parties to verify that a customer's ordering address matches their records.

Algorithm: A procedure for solving a mathematical problem in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation. Named after an Arab mathematician: al-Khuwarizmi ~ 825 A.D.

Alphanumeric Character Set: A character set that contains both letters and digits and may contain control characters and special characters [ISO 2382/4].

Application Acknowledgment [997]: An X12 transaction that responds to a transaction set that has been received and processed in an application program.

Application Advice [824]: An X12 transaction set that accepts, rejects, or identifies errors in the content of any transaction set beyond the normal syntax checks.

Application Programming Interface (API): The software component that transfers electronic transactions between application systems.

Application Link Software: A software pro-gram that provides a link between an application program and an industry data format or fixed-field format.

Application message type: A basic message type adapted to suit a certain application area.

Application-to-Application: The direct interchange of data from one computer to another, without rekeying. Applications software-Computer pro-grams that perform common internal business or personal tasks purchased from soft-ware vendors or stores. An example is Order Processing.

Architecture: The design and structure of computer components.

Archiving: The storing of records or files for purposes of security, back-up, and auditing.

Asynchronous: A communication technique by which each character is sent bit-serially and is surrounded by start and stop bits used to indicate character borders.

Asynchronous Modems: Modulators/ demodulators for communication via an asynchronous technique. They generate and recognize start and stop bits.

Asynchronous Transmission: Communications via one of the asynchronous protocols.

Audit Trail: A computerized or manual record of transactions.

Authentication: A mechanism that allows the receiver of an electronic transmission to verify the sender as well as the integrity of a transmission's content through the use of an electronic "key" or algorithm shared by the trading partners. This is sometimes referred to an electronic signature.

Authentication Key: A short string of characters used to authenticate transactions between trading partners.

Authorization: The process of checking the validity and available balance of a customer's credit card before the transaction can be accepted.

Auto Dial: The ability of a modem to access a network, automatically dial, and connect to another modem.


BOL - Bill of Lading.

BOM - Bill of Materials

Bar Code: An array of' rectangular marks and spaces in a predetermined pattern. [Ref. AIAG-B-1 "Bar Code Symbology Standard 8-or-9"]. Usually used for automatic product or shipment identification.

Bandwidth: The amount of information (web pages, text, graphics, video, sound, etc) that is downloaded through a connection, and constrained by the amount of data that the Modem and baud rates can handle

Banner or Banner Ad: An interactive ad placed on a web page that is linked to an external advertiser's website or another internal page within the same website.

Batch Control Totals: Ensures that batch processing has been performed correctly by comparing output to dollar or quantity totals, record or document counts, or hash totals.

Batch Processing: The processing of computer information after it has accumulated in one group or batch.

Baud: The rate at which the signal changes when data is transmitted. It is often the same as the number of bits per second. Common rates for dial up connections are 1200, 2400 4800, 9600, 19,200, 38,400 and 56,000 [kilo]bytes/second. Higher speed rates are associated with cable networks, local area networks, wide area networks and backbones:



64 Kpbs

Fractional T-1

128 Kbps


684 Kbps


1.55 Mbps


45 Mbps

Dual T-3

90 Mbps


155 Mbps


622 Mbps

Frame Relay

1 Gbps


2.4 Gbps


9.6 Gbps

Binary: A system of numerical notation in which only the values of 0 and 1 are used.

Bisynchronous: A communication protocol whereby messages are sent as blocks of characters. The blocks of data are checked for completeness and accuracy by the receiving computer.

Bisynchronous Transmission: This is an IBM version of synchronous communication that uses additional codes. Bisync is more a protocol than a type of transmission.

Bisync: Binary synchronous transmission.

Broadcast: The ability to transmit one message to several destinations.

Brute-Force Attack: A network security breach in which all possible keys are attempted.

Buffer: A reserved area of memory the operating system uses to temporarily store data to compensate for differences in speed or in the timing of events between the CPU and the input/output devices.

Byte: A string of seven or eight bits. The length of the string determines the amount of data that can be represented. The eight-bit byte can represent numerous special characters, 26 uppercase and lowercase alphabetic characters, and 10 numeric digits, totaling 256 possible combinations.


CAD-Computer-Aided Design

CAD/CAM-Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing

CCC-Customs Cooperation Council [worldwide]

CCD-Cash Concentration and Disbursement. Developed by NACHA for the electronic transfer of funds between companies and trading partners. Allows 60 characters of information in addition to the dollar amount.

CCD +-Cash Concentration and Disbursement Plus the "Plus" refers to "705 Addenda"

CCDX-Cash Concentration and Disbursement with Addenda.

CCITT-Comite Consultatif International Telegraphique et Telephonique (Consultative Committee for International Telegraph and Telephone). An international organization of public telecommunication companies it sets standards for the industry by working in four-year periods of study CEBIS-EDIFACT Database of the European Commission.

CEN-European Committee for Standardization. The group responsible for setting the standards for the European Economic Community.

CHAPS-Clearing House Automated Payments System [Great Britain].

CHIPS-Clearing House Interbank Payments System. Clears world trade transactions in dollar denominations [U.S.].

CIDX-Chemical Industry Data Exchange. The U.S. chemical industry's association for development of an industry guideline based on the X12 standards. The term CIDX is also used to describe the industry guideline itself. COMPAT-An annual computer-aided trade conference coordinated by the European Community.

CPA-1. Canadian Payments Association. Canada's national check and payment clearing and settlement system 2. Canadian Petroleum Association. CPA 005-Canadian Payment Standard 005. Canadian standards for the exchange of check transactions using magnetic tape.

CTP-Corporate Trade Payment. An electronic message system that allows one dollar amount to cover several invoices.

CTX-1. An electronic funds transfer for-mat compatible with X12. It carries information about a payment as well as transferring value 2. Corporate Trade Exchange. SDEC-EDIFACT standard for the European Customs Declaration format.

"Card Not Present" Merchant Account: An account that allows merchants to process credit cards without a face to face transaction with the purchaser.

Certificate Authority: A Certificate Authority (CA) is a "trusted third-party" organization that verifies the identity of merchants and their sites. The certificate authority issues a certificate (also called a digital certificate or an authentication certificate) to an applicant company, which can then put the certificate up on its site. Thawte and Verisign are two such Certification Authorities. The CA's chief function is to verify the identity of entities and issue digital certificates attesting to that identity.

Certificate Revocation List: A list maintained by the Certification Authority of all certificates that are revoked but not expired. A certificate may be revoked because the user's private key is assumed to be compromised, the user is no longer certified by this Certification Authority, or the Certification Authority 's private key is assumed to be compromised.

Character: Markings that represent data, including alphabetic (A-Z), numeric (0-9), and special (such as punctuation marks).

Character Set: A finite set of different characters that is considered complete for a given purpose [ISO 2382/4].

Cipher: Any encryption algorithm. Ciphers can be symmetric, or public-key algorithms they can be transferred as a data stream or divided into blocks

Ciphertext: Text that has been encrypted by some encryption system, as opposed to "plaintext."

Clearinghouse: A third party used for centralizing the sending and receiving of electronic messages or documents between trading partners. Messages/documents are held by the third party until the receiver is avail-able to receive them.

Commerce Server: Sophisticated, multi-part software program that turns a high-performance server into a World Wide Web site capable of handling online transactions and related functions including database and inventory management, order taking, billing, security and customer service. It manages and maintains all transactional and backend data for a commerce website.

Commercial Network: A third-party intermediary that receives EDI transmissions from the source and reroutes them to the appropriate receiver. [See VAN]

Communication Board: A computer device containing electronic circuits which facilitates communication via a telephone line.

Communication Capability: The identification of line speed and protocol, which enables computers to transfer data between communication devices.

Communication Port: The location where data enters the computer system via a telephone line.

Communication Protocol: The method by which two computers coordinate their communications. BISYNC and MNP are two examples.

Communication Session: The computer-to-computer transmission of data.

Communication Standard: A standard of message transmittal, facilitating message conveyance rather than formats and content. [See also Message Standard]

Communications Controller: A telecommunications device that controls and prioritizes network data transmission.

Compliance Checking: Checking process used to ensure that a transmission complies with ANSI X12 syntax rules.

Component Data Element: In EDIFACT, a simple data element that is a subordinate portion of a composite data element and is identified by its position within the composite data element.

Component Data Element Separator: In EDIFACT, a character used to separate the component data elements in a composite data element.

Composite Data Element: One or more component data elements delimited by component data element separators. Currently used only in the EDIFACT standards.

Computer-to-Computer: Direct communication between two computers eliminates rekeying of data.

Conditional: A data element requirement designator that indicates that the presence of a specified data element is dependent on the value or presence of other data elements in the segment. The condition must be stated and must be able to be computer-processed.

Confirmation: A notification that the transmission has been received by the intended receiver [See also Functional acknowledgment].

Connect Time: The elapsed time a computer device is connected to a circuit. Connection-An established link for transmission of data.

Connectivity: The ability to connect incompatible computer or network systems, enabling them to communicate.

Control Envelope: Used to validate the receipt of correct and complete data

Control number: Also known as reference number. An identification number used to distinguish a standard data element (data element identifier) or a standard segment (segment identifier).

Control Segment: A control segment that has the same structure as a data segment but is used for transferring control information for grouping data segments.

Control Structure: The beginning and end (header and trailer) segments for entities in EDI.

Control Validation: Confirmation that information within the control segments is correct.

Convention: A subset of a broader standard used by an industry that does not require the generality of an ANSI X12 standard.

Cross-industry Standard: Data standards that apply to and are adopted by several industries-ANSI X12, for example.

Cross Promotion: The promotion of a website through other traditional forms of advertising such as magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, billboards, etc.

Cryptography: The practice and study of encryption and decryption -- encoding data so that it can only be decoded by specific individuals. A system for encrypting and decrypting data is a cryptosystem. This usually involves an algorithm for combining the original data (plaintext) with one or more keys -- numbers or strings of characters known only to the sender and recipient. The resulting output is known as ciphertext.


DES-Data Encryption Standard. The use of a binary number with a key of more than 72 quadrillion combinations to scramble the transmission of a message. DES is the popular, standard encryption algorithm of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

DEX/UCS-Direct Exchange UCS. A standard form for UCS Electronic Data Inter-change between computers via direct links [See also NEX/UCS].

DISA-Data Interchange Standards Association. The secretariat of the X12 Commit-tee and North American EDIFACT Board.

DSD-Direct Store Delivery. The practice of delivering product directly to the retail store and notifying the store of the delivery electronically rather than by paper.

DSS-Decision Support System. Software designed to assist in decision-making by providing analytical programs and data avail-able on mainframes by linking the micro-computers to the mainframes.

DUNS Number-Dun & Bradstreet identification number often used in EDI transmissions.

Data: A representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing by human beings or by automatic means [ISO 2382/1].

Data Communication: Transmission of digital data over a communication channel from one device to another.

Data Dictionary: The publication that defines all of the data elements for which standards exist. The most widely used data dictionary for EDI is the JEDI dictionary.

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.

Data Element Directory: A listing of identified, named, and described data element attributes, with specifications as to how the corresponding data element values shall be represented.

Data Element Length: The range, minimum to maximum, of the number of character positions available to represent the value of a data element. A data element may be of variable length, with a range from minimum to maximum, or it may be of fixed-length, in which the minimum is equal to the maximum.

Data Element Name: The name given to the basic unit of information.

Data element Reference Number: The reference number assigned to each data element as a unique identifier.

Data Element Representation: Defines the data element type.

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 (C).

Data Element Separator: A unique character preceding each data element that is used to delimit data elements within a segment.

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

Data Element Value: The specific entry of an identified data element represented as specified in a data elements directory.

Data Mapping: The relationship between the user's data and the X12 message syntax.

Data Segment: A data segment is the inter-mediate unit of information in a message. A segment consists of a pre-defined set of functionally related data elements which are identified by their sequential positions within the set. A segment begins with a segment identifier- a unique three-character alphabetic upper-case code (EDIFACT) or a two- or three-character code composed of upper-case characters and digits (X12)-that uniquely identifies each segment, and ends with a segment terminator. When data segments are combined to form a message, their relationship to the message is specified by a Data Segment Requirement Designator and a Data Segment Sequence. An EDI data segment is analogous to a logical record.

Data Segment Directory: The publication that shows the format of all segments in the standard. Data segment requirement designator-A data segment has one of the following requirement designators in a specific message type: 1. Mandatory-segment must occur in the message 2. Conditional-segment will occur in the message depending on agreed conditions. The relevant conditions must be given as part of the message definition 3. Optional-segment may or may not occur.

Deauthentication: The process of the receiver authenticating a transmission by the use of an authentication key.

Decoder: A device that transcribes protocol signals onto a screen in the videotext sys-tem.

Decryption: The translation of scrambled or secretly coded data at the receiving end of an encrypted transmission [See also Encryption].

Dedicated Line: A point-to-point line in a data communication system between two computer devices that is always connected.

Default Settings: Instructions to the computer, automatically establishing standard configurations at the time of logon. They eliminate the need to reconfigure at each sitting.

Delayed Settlement Processing: Once a transaction has been authorized, the merchant must ship the hard goods before a transaction can be settled. Delayed settlements are stored online until the merchant selects the transactions for settlement.

Delimiters: An integral part of the transferred data stream, they consist of two levels of separators and a terminator. Delimiters are specified in the interchange header. From highest- to lowest-level, the separators and terminator are segment terminator, data element separator, and component element separator (used only in EDIFACT).

Digital or Electronic Cash (e-cash): Refers to any of several schemes that allow a person to pay for goods or services by transmitting a number from one computer to another. These numbers are issued by a bank, and represent real sums of money. E-cash is anonymous and reusable.

Digital Certificate or Digital ID: A digital document designed to address several security issues including authentication and non-repudiation when executing business transactions via the Internet. The certificate contains information about the certification authority, the owners of the certificate, a public key, the period the certificate is valid for, and the host to whom the certificate was issued. Digital Certificates are issued by companies, such as Verisign, that act as "trusted third parties." A Digital Certificate is digitally "signed" by a certification authority so that none of the details can be changed without invalidating the signature. A digital certificate verifies to the shopper that the virtual store is actually associated with a physical address and phone number, which can increase the shoppers confidence in the authenticity of the merchant.

Digital Signature: Extra data appended to a message that identifies and authenticates the sender and message data using public-key encryption.

Direct Transmission: The exchange of data from the computer of the sender directly to the computer of the receiver. A third-party value-added service is not used in a direct transmission. Synonym for point-to-point.

Disintermediation: The process of cutting out the middleman. By selling directly to customers via the Internet, companies bypass traditional middle channels such as retail stores.

Distribution Channel: The method through which a product is sold including retailers, catalogers, internet commerce web sites, etc.

Document: A transaction set or message. Document standards-Approved standards of form for EDI business transaction sets.

Document Translation: The process of transforming documents into a standard acceptable format. The document is input by the sender or created by the originating application and the translator formulates the document into a standard format then the document can be received at the receiver end.

Documentation: The written description and instructions regarding the operation of a system, program, or standard.

Domain Name Server (DNS): provides the IP address translation for a given computer's domain name. In other words DNS associates computer name such as with the machine's actual numeric IP address. (website).

Download: The transfer of information from the internet to the browsing computer.

Drop Ship: The shipping of a product directly from the manufacturer to the customer without requiring inventory carrying by the retailer.

Downloading: File transfer from one computer to an computer over a network.

Draft Standard for Trial Use: Represents a transaction set approved for publication by the full X12 committee, following member-ship consensus and subsequent resolution of negative votes. The Draft EDI Standard for Trial Use document represents an ASC X12- approved standard for use prior to approval by ANSI and public review.

Dumb Terminal: Composed of a keyboard and monitor has no computing power of its own.

Duplex-Full or Half: Full duplex means that the communications system is capable of sending/receiving data in both directions at one time. Half duplex means that the sys-tem can send/receive in only one direction at a time.


EAGLE-Hardware industry's standard data format.

EAN-International Article Numbering Association EC-1 . European Community-Consisting of the 12 members of the European Economic Community 2. Electronic Commerce- Conducting business between computers through the use of digital exchange [U.S. Department of Defense EC/ EDI/PLUS program].

EDI translation-The conversion of application data to and from a standard format.

EDI Translator-Computer software used to perform the conversion of application data to and from a standard. Usually licensed rather than developed in-house. May have subsystems for mapping, auditing, and document management.

EDIA-Electronic Data Interchange Association. The EDIA in the U.S. was formerly known as TDCC and administered the development of standards in transportation and other industries. The EDIA of the U.K. is very active in the United Kingdom, as is the EDIA in New Zealand. All are non-profit organizations dedicated to encouraging EDI growth.

EDICA-Electronic Data Interchange Council of Australia. Similar organizations exist in Canada, Korea, New Zealand, and the U.S.

EDIFACT-EDI For Administration, Commerce and Trade. A set of internationally agreed-upon standards and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data among independent computerized information systems. EDIFACT is the most recently developed set of standards and is still under development.

EDIFICE-Electronic Data Interchange Forum for Companies Interested in Computing and Electronics. EDI for the electronics industry of the European Community.

EDIFRANCE-Organization responsible for the administration of EDI in France. EDX-Electronic Data Interchange for the Electrical Industry. The term represents both the standards organization and the published industry guidelines.

EFT-Electronic Funds Transfer. Information passed between banks that results in debits and credits, i.e., value transfer.

EIDX-Electronics Industry Data Exchange. Industry group that makes recommendations to X12.

Electronic-Cash: Electronic currency that substitutes for money in online transactions, including secured credit cards, electronic checks and digital coins. Also proper name for digital payment system licensed by DigiCash.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): The inter-company computer-to-computer transmission of business data in a standard format. For pure EDI, "computer-to-computer" means "original-application-program to processing-application-program" To the purist, EDI consists only of business data, not verbiage or free-form messages. Purists also may contend that a "standard" format is one that has been approved by a national or international standards organization, as distinguished from formats developed by industry groups or individual companies. It is being increasingly used to great effect worldwide, most commonly, but not exclusively, for purchasing and distribution - orders, confirmations, shipping papers and invoices - but also for dentists payments and the distribution of exam results. Created by the Federal Government in the early 1970s, it is used 95% of the time by Fortune 1000 companies.

Electronic Checks: Pioneered by companies such as CyberCash, this is an electronic checking system that takes money from the users' checking accounts at their financial institutions.

Electronic Commerce: The buying and selling of goods and services across the Internet. An e-commerce site can be as simple as a catalog page with a phone number, or it can range all the way to a real-time credit card processing site where customers can purchase downloadable goods and receive them on the spot. Electronic commerce merchants can range from the small business with a few items for sale all the way to a large on-line retailer such as

E-Commerce Classified By Relationship
Business to Business Transactions
Business to Consumer
Business to Administration
Consumer to Administration

1) Business to Business transactions:

For example, a company that uses a network for ordering from suppliers, receiving invoices, and making payments. This is a well-established category that has its roots in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

2) Business to Consumer:

This category mainly refers to electronic retailing. This category has exploded as a result of the advent of the web.

3) Business to Administration:

Business to Administration E-commerce refers to transactions between companies and government entities. This category is in its early stages, but the Federal government and other governments have announced intentions to use more E-commerce. Companies wishing to work with government agencies are moving to E-commerce for this purpose.

4) Consumer to Administration:

This would take the form of paying one's taxes electronically and similar methods for consumers to interact with governmental agencies.

Electronic mailbox: Analogous to a post office box, a repository of information usually provided by an EDI network, belonging to a single user. The mailbox makes it unnecessary for the user to provide dedicated hardware for the purpose of awaiting incoming calls. It also facilitates consolidation of EDI transactions allowing the user to send to multiple receivers in a single session.

Electronic Purse: Using smart card technology an electronic purse is created with cash stored electronically on a microchip, creating a pre-payment card which can then be used to buy a range of goods and services. This allows the safe transfer of value to another electronic purse. Trials are underway in many countries - in the UK, the Mondex trial started in 1995 (see also Electronic Wallet and Wallet).

Electronic Software Distribution (ESD): ESD is the commerce model of the Internet whereby digital products are purchased at Web storefronts and downloaded direct to purchasers' desktops. This system is only valid for software/softgoods and is not the model for physically shipping a product.

Electronic Wallet: This is a payment system that stores credit card numbers on your hard drive in encrypted form. The user can then make purchases at sites that support their electronic wallet (see also Wallet and Electronic Purse).

Element: The smallest item of information in the standard. Analogous to a "field."

Element Delimiter: Single character delimiter follows the segment identifier and each data element in a segment except the last.

Element Reference Number: The number that identifies each element from the segment diagram with its corresponding definition in the data dictionary. Also known as a "data element number."

Element Separator: A special character used to separate elements in a segment. The suggested character is a special control character called an RS or record separator.

Encryption: The encoding and scrambling of data. Data is encrypted at the sending end and decrypted on the receiving end through the use of a predetermined algorithm and unique key. Encryption is done for reasons of information privacy and security.

Evaluated Receipts Settlement: Method for initiating payment to a supplier that replaces the invoice. Used primarily in the automobile industry. First, the price is agreed upon through the use of a blanket or other type of purchase order. Next, a material release tells the supplier the quantity to deliver. An advance ship notice con-firms the quantity actually being delivered, and payment is triggered upon receipt.

Event-Driven EDI: Applications and translator exchanging message sets as soon as they are created or received.

Extranet: An extension of a company's Intranet to its trading partners using Internet communication protocols and Web browser technology. Extranets are run for the purpose of facilitating activities between companies in the conduct of their supply chain.


FEDI-Financial Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI). Involves the computer-to-computer transmission of both payment instructions and remittance details using international message standards. An example would be trade payments - e.g. a retailer sending a payment to a supplier in payment of multiple invoices.

Firewall: Computer hardware, software and physical measures which protect confidential information whilst it is on a web server A type of gateway that protects private networks from eavesdropping, intrusion, and other attacks from the Internet by intercepting all traffic to and from the network.

Fedwire: The Federal Reserve System's EFT network for transferring funds between the banks' reserve accounts [U.S.]. File conversion-The process of translating a file to a format that can be read by an incompatible computer system.

Flat File: 1. The file produced by basic EDI translation software to serve as input to the interface. Usually has the same fields as the standard but has each field expanded to its maximum length. Does not have delimiters. 2. Any file having fixed-record length.

Front-end: A computer for EDI preprocessing. A computer used as a front-end usually performs communication and translation of EDI documents and is connected with a host computer for final processing. It can perform line control, message handling, code conversion, and functions such as control of special purpose terminals.

Functional Acknowledgment: The acknowledgment to indicate the results of the syntactical analysis of electronically encoded transmission. Applies to a functional group and can include detail.


GE1-UN/ECE WP4 Group of Experts 1 for data elements and automatic data transfer.

GE2-UN/ECE WP4 Group of Experts 2 for procedures and documentation.

Gbps-Gigabytes per second

GTDI-Guidelines for Trade Data Inter-change [UN/ECE].

Gateway: An interface that provides communication between hosts on a trusted private network and an untrusted public network such as the Internet.

Generation: The outbound translation of data from a sender's format into a message standard.

Generic Standard: A standard that applies to more than one industry.

Guidelines for Usage: Directions and regulations for an industry or between trading partners that describe a subset of a standard by which EDI transmissions are to be formulated. May also indicate conventions or assumptions made.


HIBCC-Health Industry Business Communications Council. Health industry group developing an EDI industry guideline. Header-The segment that indicates the start of an entity to be transmitted. Headers are control structures.

HTML- Hyper Text Markup Language. The standardized language that allows web browsers to interpret web sites.

HTTP-Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. The protocol that makes it possible for Web browsers and Web servers to communicate with one another, HTTP is used between a Web browser and a server to request a document and transfer its contents. The specification is maintained and developed by the World Wide Web Consortium.

HTTPS-HTTPS is HTTP exchanged over an SSL-encrypted session.

Header Area-The Transaction Set Header Area contains preliminary information that pertains to the entire transaction set, such as the date, company name, address, P.O. number, terms, etc.

Hierarchy: The relationship among digital certificates issued by certification authorities to authenticate the identities of other certification authorities. At the top of the hierarchy is the self-authenticating root CA.

Hit: Each time a Web server sends a file to a browser, a "hit" is recorded in the server file logs.

Home Page: The first page that is launched when a browser is opened and the Internet, intranet or extranet is accessed.

Hub: A large company very active in EDI. Such a company strongly encourages its paper-based business partners to begin using EDI these in turn are called "spokes". Also called a "sponsor".

Hybrid EDI: Introduced by service providers to accommodate situations in which only one trading partner is capable of using EDI, while the other continues to trade using traditional methods involving paper or fax. An example would be a trading partner sending an electronic purchase order that is then faxed by a service provider to the recipient.


IDEA-International Data Exchange Association. Organization based in Brussels that promotes global expansion of EDI.

IP-Internet Protocol.

IPT-International Project Team. The advisory and support team of the UN/EDIFACT Rapporteur for North America.

IRC-International Record Carrier. Pro-vides network and messaging services.

ISA-Industry Standard Architecture.

ISO-International Standards Organization. Responsible for development of international data communications standards.

ISO 7372-The U.N. Trade Data Element Directory adopted by the ISO. ISO 9735-The UN/EDIFACT syntax standards adopted by the ISQ.

ITAR-The International Traffic in Arms Regulations. US export legislation which, in part, restricts the export of cryptographic systems.

Identifier: A character or group of characters used to identify or name an item of data and possibly to indicate certain properties of that data [ISO 2382/4].

Implementation: The complete process of developing a computer system from the idea's inception to production and eventually high-volume use. In EDI, emphasizes the expansion to many trading partners.

Industry Guideline: A subset of a national or international standard for ease-of-use within one industry. The guideline usually indicates only those segments, elements, and code values needed by the industry. Also usually contains explanatory remarks. Integrated services digital network (ISDN)- Allows integration of data, voice, and video over the same digital links [From OSI, Fall 1990].

Integrity: A quality describing a received message that is identical to the message that was sent that is, the message was not altered during transmission.

Interactive EDI: Two applications exchanging EDI directly within a preprogrammed context.

Interchange: The exchange of information from one company to another. A group of transaction sets sent from one sender to one receiver at one time. Delineated by inter-change control segments. Interchange control header-The data segment that indicates and identifies the beginning of an interchange.

Interchange Control Segments: ISA/IEA segments, which identify a unique interchange sent from one sender to one receiver.

Interchange Control Structure: Interchange header and trailer segments envelope one or more functional groups or interchange-related control segments and perform the following functions: 1. Identifies the sender and receiver 2. Defines the data element separators and the data segment terminators 3. Provides control information for the inter-change 4. Allows for authorization and security information [X12.5].

Interchange Control Trailer: The data segment that indicates the end of an interchange.

Interchange Envelope: Specific data transmission information in the header and trailer segments, representing an exchange between a single sender/receiver combination, ISA/IEA-approved.

Interconnect: A secure interconnection between third-party service providers via telecommunications allows for communication between the network used by the sender and the network used by the receiver. Provides the sender ease of access to the receiver.

Interface: The connection between items of equipment and/or software.

Internet: A network of computers interconnected via telephone lines based on the TCP/IP protocol.

Internet Service Provider: A company that provides connections for its customers via modem or high-speed direct lines thus providing access to the Internet.

Internet Merchant Account (IMA): An Internet Merchant Account enables a merchant to accept credit cards over the Internet. IMAs can be obtained through an acquiring bank.

Internet Cash: Purchased from an issuer (bank or credit institution) and then exchanged freely over the Internet. Generally for low value payments, both cross border and domestic. Internet cash will be bought in local currency, with the buyer then sending the e-cash to the seller in an Internet message. [see also e-cash]

Intranet: Internal company computer networks built on Internet standards such as TCP/IP and HTML and connected through security Firewalls to the Internet.


JEDI-Joint Electronic Data Interchange. Group that sought coordination of X12, TDCC, UCS, and WINS.

JIT-Just-In-Time. A business philosophy focused on reducing inventory levels and thereby increasing efficiency. Delivery of supplies from the seller to the buyer takes place more frequently, more quickly, and precisely when needed in the manufacturing process.


Kbps-Kilobytes per second

Key: An algorithmic pattern used by a sender to encrypt messages, and by a recipient to decrypt them.

Key Escrow: A system for safeguarding the data recovery keys of an encryption system, which allow authorized parties to decrypt the ciphertext without using the encryption or decryption keys.

Key Management: The establishment and control of a unique key used during the transmission of encrypted messages between trading partners [See also Encryption key].


Linespeed: The number of bits per second transmitted [See also Baud]. Logon ID-A predetermined unique code that identifies the user and enables completion of the logon procedure.

Loop: A repetition of a segment or a group of segments.

Loop Index: A specification for the maximum number of occurrences of a loop.


MAC-Macro Authentication Code. A data string attached to a transmission that can be verified by the receiver. If the string is altered, it indicates that the transmission is not identical to that which was sent.

MDN-Managed Data Networks. MHD-Message Header segment.

MHS-Message Handling Service. Overall capability provided by X.400 structure and message handling entities.

MIME-Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions are additions to the SMTP format. They allow mixed media files to be transmitted across TCP/IP networks and the Internet. The MIME protocol covers binary, audio, and video data, as well as EDI and multiple body parts.

MODEM-Modulator/Demodulator. A device that converts the signal from a computer into a series of tones for transmission over the telephone lines. The process is reversed at the other end.

MS-Message Stores. MTA-[X.400] Message Transfer Agent. Entity that provides actual message delivery service. Uses information from one Pl envelope.

Machine-readable Data: The formatting of data fields in a manner that can be read by a particular computer program.

Mandatory: A data element/segment requirement designator that indicates that the presence of a specified data element IS required.

Magnetic Tape: A sequentially accessed storage device.

Mailbox: Analogous to a post office box, a repository of information, usually pro-vided by an EDI network, belonging to a single user. The mailbox makes it unnecessary for the user to provide dedicated hardware for the purpose of awaiting incoming calls. It also facilitates consolidation of EDI transactions, allowing the user to send to multiple receivers in a single session.

Mainframe: A common term used to describe a computer with greater capabilities and speed than a microcomputer or mini-computer. Typically, the hardware device that controls the operation of the computer.

Mapping The process of identifying the standard data elements' relationship to application data elements.

Max Use: Specifies the maximum number of times a segment can be used at a location in a transaction set.

Media Exchange: The process of conducting business between trading partners through the exchange of floppy disks, magnetic tapes, or other storage media.

Merchant: A merchant is any person or business that accepts credit cards over the Internet.

Merchant Account: A "bank account" established with a payment processor for the settlement of credit card transactions. Any merchant who wants to take credit card orders must establish a merchant account. Internet merchants need a "Card Not Present Merchant Account."

Message: The EDIFACT term for "transaction set." A message is the collection of data, organized in segments, exchanged to convey meaning between partners engaged in EDI. It represents a common business transaction. Each message starts with a message header segment [such as UNH] and ends with a message trailer segment [UNT]. The message type identifying the type of business transaction is given in the message header segment.

Message Code: A unique identifier of a message type in EDIFACT.

Message Digest: A computation used to secure and verify data. The sender of a message computes a message digest by performing a one-way hash function using a secret key known only to sender and recipient. The recipient performs the same one-way hash function using the secret key, which creates a new message digest. The two message digests are compared, and if they are identical, the recipient knows the data have been transmitted without modification.

Message Directory: A listing of identified, named, described, and specified message types.

Message-handling System: Based on the CCITT X.400 suite of protocols, it provides electronic messaging between multi-vendor systems. The 1984 X.400 guidelines provide capabilities for handling, transferring, and forwarding messages and is best suited for large hosts and public data networks. The 1988 X.400 guidelines define a new OSI-style architecture using X.500 Directory Services. It supports new message-content types and fits into PC environments [From OSI, Fall 1990].

Message Header-The service segment starting and uniquely identifying a message.

Message Standard: A standard that addresses the content, format, and meaning of the message.

Message Structured Diagram: The graphic display of the layout of a message. Message switching-The routing of a direct transfer message between computers through the services of a third-party service provider.

Message Trailer: The service segment ending a message.

Message Type: An identified and structured set of data elements covering the requirements for a specified type of transaction, e.g., an invoice.

Microcomputer: A small desktop computer system, sometimes called simply a micro.

Minicomputer: A single integrated circuit that controls the operation of a computer.

Micro-payment: Transactions between 24 cents and $10, typically made in order to download or access graphics, games and information.


NACHA-National Automated Clearing House Association. The national organization of banking clearinghouses responsible for setting industry standards and rules [U.S.].

NAK-A form of negative acknowledgment of an error detection in the transmission.

NAP-Network Access Point.

NAWCA-North American Wholesale Grocers Association, the organization that led the successful introduction of microcomputers into EDI and facilitated integration of small users into the EDI community.

NEX/UCS-Network Exchange UCS. A standard form of UCS Electronic Data Inter-change between computers via a communication network [See also DEX/UCS].

NIST-National Institute for Standards of Technology. Formerly the National Bureau of Standards [U.S.].

Nested Segment: A segment that directly relates to another segment in an identified and structured group of segments covering the requirements for a specific message type.

Network: A group of terminals, computers, and other equipment that uses communication channels to share data.

Network Management: Identifies accounting, configuration, security, and performance management. Because a full network management standard will take several years to complete, an interim standard will bc specified [From OSI, Fall 1990].

Non-repudiation: A network security service that proves that a buyer in an online transaction indeed ordered the goods and the seller actually delivered the goods.

Notification of Shipment: A transaction set that advises of the delivery schedule and pro-vides a description of the shipment.


ODETTE-Organization for Data Exchange Through Tele-transmission in Europe.

OBI-Open Buying on the Internet. This standard, created by the Internet Purchasing Roundtable, is supposed to ensure that all the different e-commerce systems can talk to one another. OBI, which was released by the OBI Consortium in June 1997, is backed by leading technology companies such as Actra, InteliSys, Microsoft, Open Market, and Oracle.

OPS-Open Profiling Standard. A standard backed by Microsoft and Firefly, OPS lets users create a personal profile of preferences and interests that they want to share with merchants. The idea behind it is to help consumers protect their privacy without banning online collection of marketing information.

OPT-Open Trading Protocol. Due in the summer of 1998?. OTP is intended to standardize a variety of payment-related activities, including purchase agreements, receipts for purchases, and payments. It is a competing standard to OBI and is favored by AT&T, CyberCash, Hitachi, IBM, MasterCard, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and British Telecom

OSI-Open Systems Interconnect. Structure based on seven-layer model developed by ISO, which will allow different computer manufacturers' machines to communicate with one another.

Off-Line Transaction Processing: Capture of order and credit card information for later authorization and transaction processing through a traditional card swipe terminal or through a computer.

Open Network: A network with which out-side parties can communicate.

Optical Character Reader: A device that translates printed material into electronic language that a computer understands.

Optional: A data element/segment requirement designator that indicates that the presence of a specified data element/segment is at the option of the sending party.

Optional Data Element/Segment: A data segment or element that need not be included in order to validate a standard transaction set.

Order Confirmation: An email message notifying a customer that an order has been received and will be processed.

Order Management System: A system that accepts orders and initiates a process that results in the outbound shipment of a finished good.


P2-Protocol that defines the header information in the X.400 message handling standard.

P7-Protocol for accessing stored messages in the X.400 message handling standard.

Pedi-The committee developing EDI specifications for the X.400 standards family. Also known as X.435.

PIDX-Petroleum Industry Data Exchange. Petroleum industry group to define industry guidelines within the X12 Standard and promote EDI. Secretariat is the American Petroleum Institute.

POS-Point of Sale [from the retail industry]

POP-Point of Presence. Location at which an Internet Service Provider has established a local interchange to provide connection to the Internet for its customers.

PTT-Post Telegraph Telephone Administration Packet-A format defined by CCITT for data structure sequence. Packet switching-Allows for the efficient transmission of messages, via radio or phone circuits using various paths, by dividing the transmission into packets of up to 256 characters.

Payment Remittance Transaction: An electronic authorization to make a payment.

Postbox: The receiver of all transmissions in a VADS network. Synonym for mailbox.

Private Formats: A unique format developed between trading partners when they choose not to adopt standard industry formats.

Private Key: The part of a key pair that is kept secret and is used only by its owner. This is the key used for decrypting messages and for making digital signatures.

Protocol: A protocol is an algorithm, or step by step procedure, carried out by more than one party. Examples are network protocols, in which the steps are intended to ensure reliable transmission of information, or cryptographic protocols, in which the aim is to maintain some form of security relationship between the parties.

Proprietary Standard: An industry/company- specific data format developed by a company for transmission of data to and from its trading partners. Proprietary for-mats do not comply with the ASC X12 series of standards.

Proprietary Ordering System: An industry/ company-specific system that allows a supplier to provide order entry capabilities to its customers.

Protocol: Communication standards that determine message content and format, enabling uniformity of transmissions.

Protocol Conversion: The process of allowing two systems with different protocols to communicate.

Private Key: The part of the key in a public key system that is kept secret and is only used by its owner.

Public Key: The part of a key pair that is widely distributed, and is not kept secure. This is the key used for encryption (as opposed to decryption) or for verifying signatures.

Public Key Encryption: An encryption scheme, introduced by Diffie and Hellman in 1976, where each person gets a pair of keys, called the public key and the private key. Each person's public key is published while the private key is kept secret. Messages are encrypted using the intended recipient's public key and can only be decrypted using his private key. The need for sender and receiver to share secret information (keys) via some secure channel is eliminated: all communications involve only public keys, and no private key is ever transmitted or shared.

Purchasing Card: Aimed at the business market, the purchasing card allows company staff to deal directly with suppliers and reduce costs by cutting out paper, e.g. the need for a purchase order. Orders can be placed over the phone and the company receives management information detailing spending by employee, supplier etc.


QR-Quick-Response [from the apparel industry]. An inventory philosophy in which a business can respond quickly to customer orders. Analogous to Just-in-Time in manufacturing. Understood to rely on EDI.


RINET-The European EDI re-insurance and insurance network. Rapporteur [UN/EDIFACT]-A person nominated by their government and appointed by UN/ECE WP.4 to initiate and coordinate UN/EDIFACT development work in their geographical area of jurisdiction.

RSA-A public key cipher that can be used both for encrypting messages and making digital signatures. The letters stand for the names of the inventors: Rivest, Shamir and Adleman.

Real Time Credit Card Processing: On-line authorization of a credit card number in real time informing the merchant that the card has been approved.

Receiving Advice Transaction: A transaction set that includes the quantity, description and condition of the product received.

Regional Clearing House Association: The geographical banking organization of member depositing institutions. The regional clearing house is the geographical processing point in the banking system where transactions are received from its member depositing institutions.

Reject: A computer program not accepting a transaction set because it did not meet the validation-authentication tests.

Release: 1. Material Release 2. A revision [level] of an EDI standard. The newest release supersedes the one previously issued.

Required Data Elements: Those elements that must be included in a transmitted transaction set according to the standards.

Requirement Designator: The specification of a mandatory, optional, or conditional element or segment.

RSA Encryption: A public-key cryptosystem for both encryption and authentication it was invented in 1977 by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. It works as follows: take two large prime numbers, p and q, and find their product n = pq n is called the modulus. Choose a number, e, less than n and relatively prime to (p-1)(q-1), and find its inverse, d, mod (p-1)(q-1), which means that ed = 1 mod (p-1)(q-1) e and d are called the public and private exponents, respectively. The public key is the pair (n,e) the private key is d. The factors p and q must be kept secret, or destroyed. It is difficult (presumably) to obtain the private key d from the public key (n,e). If one could factor n into p and q, however, then one could obtain the private key d. Thus the entire security of RSA is predicated on the assumption that factoring is difficult an easy method for factoring large prime numbers would break RSA.


SCC JTC/EDI-Standards Council of Canada Joint Technical Committee on Electronic Data Interchange.

SET-Secure Electronic Transactions. Secure Electronic Transaction specification designed by MasterCard and Visa to facilitate financial transactions via the Internet. SET encodes the credit card numbers stored on merchants' servers and enjoys wide support in the banking community.

SITPRO-Simplification of International Trading Procedures (Board). A government agency responding to the DTI. Developed INTERBRIDGE software and takes a leading role in standards and development in Great Britain.

SNA-System Network Architecture. IBM structure for information exchange between computers.

SNI-SNA Network Interconnect.

SSL-Secure Socket Layer. A protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting data via the Internet, in order to protect the data from being intercepted by someone other than the intended viewer. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer support SSL. It is often used to securely transfer credit card numbers and other sensitive information. By convention, Web pages that require an SSL connection start with https: rather than http:. See also Transport Layer Security (TLS).

SWIFT-Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunications. An EFT linking system containing over 2,000 banks.

Security: The issue that must be addressed before transactions can be considered as safe as a private network between two companies. When using the Internet to conduct electronic commerce, five security concerns must be addressed, as follows: authenticity - business partners must be sure of one another's identity, when they trade, digital certificate technology addresses this concern integrity - transaction or message can not be tampered with or altered non-fabrication - assure both sender and receiver of each other's identity non-repudiation - sender can not deny he or she actually sent a transmission privacy / confidentiality - transmission between sender and receiver must be private, cryptography technology addresses this concern.

Section Control Segment: A separator in the detail and summary sections of the header segment to clarify obscure or indistinct elements [EDIFACT].

Segment: A grouping of data. It is composed of data elements and is analogous to a record.

Segment Code: A code that uniquely identifies each segment as specified in a segment directory.

Segment Delimiter Character: Marks the end of a variable-length segment.

Segment Diagram: The schematic that depicts the format and composition of a segment.

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 Hierarchy: The order of occurrence of segments within a transaction set.

Segment Identifier: A predefined code that identifies the segment.

Segment Name: A name that identifies the segment. Segment qualifier-A data element that gives the segment a specific meaning.

Segment Specifications: Distinct attributes of a segment, including structure and content.

Segment Tag: A composite data element, in which the first component data element contains a code that uniquely identifies a segment as specified in the relevant segment directory. Additional component data elements can be conditionally used to indicate the hierarchical level and nesting relation-ship in a message and the incidence of a segment's repetition [EDIFACT].

Segment Terminator: A special character that indicates the end of a segment.

Separator Character: A character used for syntactical separation of data.

Sequence Table: A portion of a standard that indicates the possible segments, their sequence, and their attributes for each area of a transaction set. Simple data elements-A data element containing a single value.

Settlement: Once the goods have been shipped to the customer, the merchant can key a transaction for settlement at which time the customer's credit card is charged for the transaction and the proceeds are deposited into the merchant account.

Shopping Agents: Shopping agents let customers comparison shop on line without actually visiting most merchants' sites. An example of this type of E-commerce facilitator can be found at, where you can purchase computers and computer-related equipment without having to go to the individual manufacturers' own web sites.

Shopping cart: A shopping cart is an online catalog that allows a shopper to add items to a virtual basket, or cart. A running total is kept as the shopper adds and removes items from the cart.

Smart Card: Plastic card similar to a credit card with embedded electronics / micro chip that store cash in encrypted form to be used with PCs, telephones, ATMs, and other devices with built-in card readers.

Standards Levels: A particular release of a standard effective until another release [level] is issued.

Store and Forward: The type of messaging service that allows an EDI transmission to be forwarded when convenient to the sender and transmitted immediately to the recipient.

Store and Retrieve: Usually used in con-junction with a mail box system provides for the storage of a message transmission until the intended receiver accesses the sys-tem and retrieves the message.

Strong Cryptosystem: The security of a cryptosystem usually depends on the secrecy of (some of) the keys rather than with the supposed secrecy of the algorithm. A strong cryptosystem has a large range of possible keys so that it is not possible to just try all possible keys (a "brute force" approach). A strong cryptosystem will produce ciphertext which appears random to all standard statistical tests. A strong cryptosystem will resist all known previous methods for breaking codes ("cryptanalysis").

Sub-element Separator: A unique character used to delimit the component data elements within a composite data element (used only in EDIFACT).

Symmetric Cryptography: A symmetric cipher using the same key for both encryption and decryption. DES, IDEA, RC2 and RC4 are examples of symmetric ciphers.

Syntax: The rules for the construction of standards.


TC154-ISO Technical Committee 154 for documents and data elements in administration, commerce and industry.

TCIF-Telecommunication Industry Forum. Industry group for development of telecommunications industry guidelines within the X12 standard.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a platform-independent communications protocol that enables computers to talk to one another via networks including the Internet.

TDCC-Transportation Data Coordinating Committee former name of the EDIA, or Electronic Data Interchange Association.

TDI-Trading Data Interchange. Abbreviation for EDI common in Europe.

TEDIS-Trade Electronic Data Interchange Systems. Set up to promote awareness of EDI in Europe. Extends the concept of the standardized approach of EDI to all users in business, industry, and government.

TLS-Transport Layer Security. Microsoft and Netscape jointly developed this converged protocol.

Tabledriven: Data maintained in table (matrix) form and used to drive the programming process.

Tag: The unique identifier used with segment and data elements [EDIFACT].

Third-party Service Provider: A communications intermediary between trading partners that acts as a service bureau or center by providing a link that eliminates the necessity for compatible systems.

Trading Partner: In the broad sense, any company doing business. A company that sends a purchase order and the company that receives it are each others' trading partners. The term is often used in a more specific sense to refer to companies sending and receiving EDI transmissions.

Trading Partner Agreement: The agreement between trading partners that sets forth electronic conditions and terms for conducting trade.

Trailer: The ending segment of a set of segments. The trailer is a control structure.

Transaction Level Acknowledgment: Acknowledgment of receipt and totality of data in a transmission of a functional group or individual transaction set.

Transaction Set: Complete business document such as an invoice, a purchase order, or a remittance advice (X12).

Transaction Set ID: An identifier that uniquely identifies the transaction set. This identifier is the first data element of the transaction set header segment.

Transaction Set Diagram: A graphic presentation in a valid transaction that specifies the sequence of segment order.

Transaction Set Header Area: Contains segment information pertinent to the total transaction set.

Transaction Set Header Segment: Signifies the beginning of a transaction set.

Transaction Set Level: The processing of a transaction set, including sending and receiving.

Transaction Set Line Item Area: Encompasses the actual business transaction set and includes information, such as quantities, descriptions and prices.

Transaction Set Summary Area: Contains control information and other data that relate to the total transaction.

Transaction Set Trailer Segment: Signifies the end of a transaction set.

Transactional Content: This is news and feature-like editorial material designed as a "wrap" for E-commerce functions that allow the visitor to purchase the thing he or she is reading about. It is the merger of the on-line shopping mall and the newspaper page. Microsoft runs several transactional sites including Sidewalk, Expedia, Carpoint, Investor, and Boardwalk.

Translation: The act of accepting documents in other than standard format and translating them to the standard and vice versa.

Translation Software: Transforms data into a format that can be read by an otherwise incompatible system or network at either end of a transmission.

Transmission Acknowledgment: The acknowledgment that a total transmission was received with no error detected.

Transmission Group: In the UCS and TDCC message standards, a collection of one or more functional groups. A transmission group begins with a BG Transmission Control Header Segment and ends with an EG Transmission Control Trailer Segment. Also known as an interchange.

Truste: this partnership of companies seeks to build public trust in e-commerce by putting a Good Housekeeping-style seal of approval on sites that don't violate consumer privacy.

Trusted Third Party: An organization, such as a bank, which is trusted by parties to a transaction to authenticate each party to the other.


UA-[from X.400] User Agent.

UCC-Uniform Code Council. Association hosting groups for continuing maintenance and development of the UCS standard. Also assigns UCS Identification Numbers and UPC codes.

UCS-Uniform Communication Standard. EDI standard used in the grocery industry. Defines both a message format standard and a telecommunication standard for EDI.

UCS/DSD Task Force-Developed UCS transaction standards for the direct store delivery segment of the grocery industry.

UNI/EDIFACT-United Nations / Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport.

UN/ECE-United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

UNIX-An operating system that provides multi-programming and text developing utilities. First developed at Bell Laboratories and popularized by UC Berkeley, Sun Microsystems, Santa Cruz Operations, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation and many others.

UNJEDI-United Nations Joint Electronic Data Interchange Committee established by the Working Party 4 to develop syntax, messages, and related procedures on EDI.

UNSMs-UNECE Standard Electronic Messages.

UNTDED-United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory. Contains standards for data fields.

UPC-Uniform Product Code. A standard bar code system used by the retail industry.

URL-Uniform Resource Locator. The "address" for a document on the Internet (e.g. ).


VAN-Value-Added Network

VANGUARD-DTI-sponsored initiative for "demonstrator" projects to increase use of EDI/linking of networks [U.K.].

VICS-Voluntary Interindustry Communication Standards. Formed by retail, textile, and apparel industries to establish standards for product-related information exchange.

Validation: The process of determining that compliance standards have been met by a particular document in an EDI transmission.

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.

Vendor Express: An EDI-compatible electronic message system for EFT in NACHA format, developed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Enables banks using CCD to pay the U.S. government's suppliers electronically.

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI): A system of inventory replenishment in which the vendor accepts responsibility for maintaining a 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.

Verisign: The dominant certificate-issuing authority on the Internet.

Version Release: Identifies the publication of the standard being used for the generation or the interpretation of data in the X12 standard format. May be found in the functional group header segment [GS] and in the interchange control header segment (ISA).

Virtual Private Network: Allows business-to-business transactions using a "secure tunnel" by encrypting the data and sending over an untrusted network such as the Internet. More attractive than EDI because it is cheaper and does not use highly proprietary leased-lines or VANs.


WINS-Warehouse Information Network Standards. EDI standards for the ware-housing industry (U.S.).

WP4-Working Party 4 on the facilitation of International Trade Procedures of the Economic Commission for Europe, a commission of the United Nations. Working Party 4 has two groups of experts: 1. on Data Elements and Interchange 2. on Trade Procedures.

Wallet: Software stored on a consumer's computer hard drive that contains encrypted payment and billing information used to order goods online. Eventually, wallets could contain checks, coins and credit cards. (see also Electronic Purse and Electronic Wallet)

Worm: A virus that replicates itself and spreads to various sites on a network. They do not attack other programs, but can consume network resources.


X12-ANSI standard for inter-industry electronic interchange of business transactions.

X12.5-Interchange Control Structure. This standard provides the interchange envelope of a header and trailer for the electronic interchange through a data transmission, and it provides a structure to acknowledge the receipt and processing of this envelope. Separate segments and data elements not in X12.22 or X12.3.

X12.6-Application Control Structure. This standard describes the control segments used to envelop loops of data segments, to envelop transaction sets, and to envelop groups of related transaction sets.

X.25-International standard for packet switching.

X.400-International standard for message transmission describing a standard approach to building messaging systems which can be used to carry email, EDI, fax and a range of other data. X.400 boasts a number of key features not available on Internet mail systems, including notifications confirming the delivery or non-delivery of messages and security.

X.435-International standard within the X.400 family for EDI messaging. Addresses messaging concerns such as sender ID, not the content of the business data. One benefit is improved ability for EDI and E-mail to travel together: for example, a purchase order and an E-mail plea for meeting the schedule in the purchase order. The purchase order and the E-mail plea, in this particular example, would be called "body parts".

X.500-Directory services standard of the CCITT. Comparable to an electronic yellow pages where a wide variety of data such as names, email and postal addresses, phone numbers, even photos and video clips can be stored. Information on machines and the routing of email can also be stored here and used by a message handling system. X.500 is also a series of internationally - agreed standards detailing how to build such a directory. It is most frequently used as a corporate address book, but has the potential to become a global source of information.

X.509-An International Telecommunication Union recommendation for certificate formats.

X.509 Certificates-The commonly used form of digital certificates, named for CCITT Recommendation X.509.

278013780-Data Communications Protocol (IBM). At the heart of this broad category of RJE (Remote Job Entry) terminals is the IBM 2780 data transmission terminal and its enhanced version, the 3780. They both use or emulate IBM's binary synchronous communications protocol.


1990 EDI Sourcebook, Phillips Publishing.
ASC X12-Draft, January 1989. AT&T ISTEL. CIDX EDI Glossary/Abbreviations.
The Canadian EDI Handbook: A Quick Read on EDI by Gordon Jenkins and Ray Lancaster. EDI Council of Canada.
Cleveland ASSG of the Automotive Indus-try Action Group.
EDI: The Competitive Edge by Phyllis Sokol. McGraw-Hill.
Electronic Data Interchange by Paul Kimberley. McGraw-Hill.
Electronic Data Interchange: A Total Management Guide by Margaret Emmelhainz. Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Introduction to UN/EDIFACT.
Release Management Systems.
UNSM Invoice-Terms and Definitions.

Copyright 1991 by EDI, Spread The Word! Dallas, TX.