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Friday, 20 March 2009

UN/EDIFACT message sample

Here below an INVOIC D97B sample:
UNB+UNOA:1+005435656:1+006415160:1+060515:1434+00000000000778'
UNH+00000000000117+INVOIC:D:97B:UN'
BGM+380+342459+9'
DTM+3:20060515:102'
RFF+ON:521052'
NAD+BY+792820524::16++CUMMINS MID-RANGE ENGINE PLANT'
NAD+SE+005435656::16++GENERAL WIDGET COMPANY'
CUX+1:USD'
LIN+1++157870:IN'
IMD+F++:::WIDGET'
QTY+47:1020:EA'
ALI+US'
MOA+203:1202.58'
PRI+INV:1.179'
LIN+2++157871:IN'
IMD+F++:::DIFFERENT WIDGET'
QTY+47:20:EA'
ALI+JP'
MOA+203:410'
PRI+INV:20.5'
UNS+S'
MOA+39:2137.58'
ALC+C+ABG'
MOA+8:525'
UNT+23+00000000000117'
UNZ+1+00000000000778'
Now, let's try to locate all the items mentioned in the previous post:

Simple Data Element: It's a single piece of data which cannot be reduced in smaller pieces of data. Each simple data element has a type (Alphanumeric, Alpha or Numeric Lenght) and can be Fixed or Variable Lenght and Mandatory or Conditional. In the sample, you can find a simple data element on BGM segment level as 1001:
BGM+380+342459+9'
Composite Data Element: It's a group of related simple elements; the simple elements, are separated using the simple element separator which is ':'. In the sample, you can find a Composite Data Element on UNH segment level as S009 which is the result of four Simple Data Elements (0065, 0052, 0054, 0051):
UNH+00000000000117+INVOIC:D:97B:UN'
Segment: It's a mixture of simple and composite elements. Each segment has a name and can contain three separator characters: ':', '+', '''. We have already discussed about ':'; the apostrophe (') indicates the end of a segment; The '+' separates data fields, which can be both simple or composite elements. Here below, segment NAD (Name and Address) from our INVOIC sample:
NAD+BY+792820524::16++CUMMINS MID-RANGE ENGINE PLANT
Segment Group: Segments can be grouped together to form a block of related data; here below, segment group nr.2, where you can figure out the buyer and the seller of the transaction:
NAD+BY+792820524::16++CUMMINS MID-RANGE ENGINE PLANT'
NAD+SE+005435656::16++GENERAL WIDGET COMPANY'

Message: An EDI transmission can have multiple messages; in our INVOIC sample, this basically means that you could find several block of data between segments UNH / UNT;

Functional Group: There can be multiple messages in one transmission, however all the messages should be of the same type (i.e. INVOIC) unless Functional Groups are used; Functional Groups are not commonly used;

Interchage: It's the complete EDI document.

In the next post, we will discuss again about our INVOIC sample.

Friday, 6 March 2009

EDIFACT message format

Before approaching any UN/EDIFACT message, it's necessary to have a look at the basic EDIFACT message structure.

Message contains a hierarchical structure of data, from the (bottom) Simple Data Element to the full Interchange, which can contain multiple messages:
Interchange (Highest Level)
|
Functional Groups
|
Message
|
Segment Groups
|
Segment
|
Composite Element
|
Simple Data Element (Lowest Level)
In the next post we will try to locate, in a real UN/EDIFACT message sample, each mentionned item.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

UN/EDIFACT standard

It's the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations.

The maintenance and development of UN/EDIFACT standard, is done through the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT).

The main goal of the UN/CEFACT, is to contribute to the growth of global commerce, by developing some e-business standards that can:
  • cross all international boundaries;
  • help lower transaction costs;
  • simplify data flow;
  • reduce bureaucracy.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

What EDI is

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) can be formally defined as 'The transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from one computer system to another without human intervention'.

There are four major sets of EDI standards:
  • The UN-recommended UN/EDIFACT is the only international standard and is predominant outside of North America;
  • The US standard ANSI ASC X12 (X12) is predominant in North America;
  • The TRADACOMS standard developed by the ANA (Article Numbering Association) is predominant in the UK retail industry;
  • The ODETTE standard used within the European automotive industry.
Based on the standard, there are specific rules to build a document: some info can be mandatory and some not.

The aim of this blog is to discuss about the most used UN/EDIFACT messages in the transport industry.