EDI Communication is processed via computers rather than people. Not unlike a wall socket, there are certain standards. This allows all computer to read and understand the information. For example, if not all wall sockets were the same, retailers would not be able to create a stand plug for all electronics.

A Standard format makes sure that all documents are in the same format. This includes for example decimals, mmddyy and integer. Without standards, not all computers would understand the language. There are several global EDI standards. There are many versions for each standard. Before any EDI communication can be concluded, both business must agree on the same standard. This will ensure that all both sides speak the same language. Businesses often use an EDI translator. This is implemented to translate the EDI format.

Additionally, EDI uses various protocols. A protocol refers to the independent communication methods. A common way is known as Applicability Statement 2 (AS2). This is a security protocol often used for transmitting documents over the internet.


  • Developed by the United Kingdom Retail Sector in 1982.

  • Had been most popular EDI Transaction Set in UK but is now being over taken by EDIFACT.

  • Still used today by UK retailers but is slowly being phased out and replaced by EDIFACT subset Eancom.


  • Developed by the United Nations (UN) in 1986.

  • Most popular EDI transaction set outside of N. America. Mostly used in Europe &Far East.

  • Transaction sets given names. PO = ORDERS, Invoice = INVOIC, etc.

  • Multiple standards within EDIFACT. Most popular current standard is D96A.


  • Established by EU in 2012 after testing Pilot Projects since 2008.

  • Standard used to send e-Invoices to EU government and public sector bodies.

  • Network of Approved PEPPOL providers has been established.

  • B2BGateway helped Irish Gov’t to run PEPPOL project and meet requirements.


  • Developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1979.

  • Most popular EDI transaction set in North America.

  • Transaction sets given numeric values, e.g. PO = 850, Invoice = 810 etc.

  • Multiple standards within X12, 4010, 4030, 5010 etc.


  • Developed in 2010 and predominantly used in Danish and Scandinavian markets.

  • Subset of UBL 2.0 (Universal Business Language).

  • Still in its infancy.


  • Developed by European Automotive Manufacturers in 1984.

  • Widely used throughout the Automotive sector.

  • Established Communication Protocol OFTP.

  • Transaction sets are based on EDIFACT messaging.