Global standards for data exchange

Electronic Data Interchange is used to digitalise and transmit processes such as purchase orders, purchase order confirmations, delivery notes or invoices, but also master data. 

In order for the transmission, distribution and processing of messages to be automated and efficient, a uniform language is needed. EDI standards guarantee that the different IT systems can process and interpret the transmitted information correctly. 

The global, cross-industry message standard for electronic data exchange is called UN/EDIFACT. The abbreviation stands for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport and was published by the United Nations (UN) in 1986. The standard includes more than 200 different message types. 

Since the UN/EDIFACT standard is very extensive, clearly defined subsets have been defined for certain user groups.  Subsets are called UN/EDIFACT subsets. The most important and most frequently used subset worldwide is called EANCOM (EAN + Communication). 

EANCOM is used in the consumer goods industry and defines the format in which electronic invoices, orders, delivery notes or master data are transmitted and updated. Integrating components of EANCOM messages are the globally unique GS1 identification keys such as GLN (Global Location Number), GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and others. 

Standardised business messages are also used for master data reconciliation via the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) or one of the connected certified data pools. The network consists of the central GS1 Global Registry and the Global Product Classification (GPC). 


Advantages of EDI 


Fast transmission time


Low transmission costs

Geringe Eingabefehler.

Reduction of data entry errors


Increase of accuracy of information