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CCARD Ltd 2006

Information about EDIFACT

EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange For Administration Commerce and Transport) is an organisation which develops the United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange. These rules consist of a set of internationally agreed standards, a directory and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data. This applies in particular to data related to goods and services exchanged between independent computerised information systems. (UN/EDIFACT)

Background In the past, documents supporting the trading industry, such as purchase orders or invoices, have been sent either via post or via fax. Meanwhile, larger organisations have adopted EDI throughout their supply chain and interchange structured data electronically (EDIFACT, VDA or custom-build messages) holding the same information as the old paper-based documents. Suppliers have to adopt and must be able to read and generate structured data of the relevant type. Depending on the business sector (for an example the Inland Revenue), the EDIFACT functionality might be already a built-in export feature of the core application (Payroll software). But more often, the software holding the business data outputs only a Flat File. (csv, txt, xml, etc.)

EDI Conversion Extracting the required information from the Flat File and compiling thereafter the EDIFACT message is a process called mapping. EDIFACT Depending on the Flat File format, the EDIFACT message type and the possible message variations, this conversion process can be achieved either by applying a simple bespoke batch program or by making use of an EDI conversion tool (such as EDI Converter).

Further Details Outside to scope of this brief overview are headings such as EDIFACT Message Types and Custom-built Message Types. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you would like to receive further details about this subject.