What are the different types of EDI standards?

EDI data is interpreted by computers rather than humans. Therefore, as a result of EDI standards, it was created to help computers understand EDI documents depending on the use case. Different EDI standards are different interpretations of how EDI should be formatted and they are used in different sectors in accordance with the needs and usage habits. But which message EDI message standard is more suitable for your business? Below are examples of EDI document standards with explanations.


United Nations / Electronic Data Interchange for administration is the international standard developed by the United Nations for trade and transport. The maintenance and further development of this standard is done through Facilitating United Nations Trade and Electronic Trade Center affiliated United Nations (UN / CEFACT).

United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce, affiliated with the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN / CEFACT). The EDIFACT standard provides a set of syntax rules for configuration, an interactive exchange protocol, and a set of standard messages that allow the exchange of multi-country and multi-sectoral electronic business documents.


In 1979, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) hired the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 to develop uniform standards for inter-industry electronic business transactional exchange, that is, electronic data exchange. ANSI X12 was originally designed to support companies in different industry sectors in North America, but today there are more than 300,000 companies worldwide using ANSI X12 EDI standards in their day-to-day business transactions. ANSI X12 also contributes to UN/EDIFACT messages commonly used outside the United States.


VDA, one of the regional EDI standards, stands for Verband der Automobilindustrie Automotive Industry Association of Germany. It develops standards and best practices to serve the needs of companies in the German automotive industry. The VDA maintains a set of fixed format messages describing the business documents exchanged between automotive manufacturers and suppliers. Unlike other EDI standards, the VDA specifications do not have any naming conventions for each item.

Integration of EDI Standards with SAP

MDP Group makes document transmission processes much faster and more reliable by integrating EDIFACT, ANSI X12 and VDA message standards with SAP PO. Thanks to the built-in B2B Toolkit in SAP PO, the conversion of EDI messages is performed automatically. This integration has three outstanding features. With the built-in graphical mapping feature, data can be converted from EDI format to IDOC format quickly and easily. The component monitoring feature allows the inter-partner connection to be followed by end-to-end. The trading partner management feature allows all partners to be viewed and managed through a single portal.

Do not hesitate contact us for detailed information about SAP EDI message standards and our consultancy services.


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