EDI Glossary

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ABAP programmers are professionals who specialise in the development and adaptation of programs in the ABAP language used in SAP systems. In the context of electronic data interchange (EDI), they play an essential role as they write ABAP programmes to facilitate the integration of SAP systems with external partners. Their tasks include the development of interfaces and the implementation of logics to enable the smooth exchange of business data via EDI. Through their expertise, ABAP programmers help to automate processes and improve the efficiency of the EDI workflow.

ANSI X12 is an American EDI standard set developed in 1979 by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) subsidiary ASC (Accredited Standards Committee). It is also referred to as ANSI ASC X12 and just X12. ANSI X12 was developed to provide a universal set of rules for cross-company electronic data exchange between two EDI trading partners. Although used worldwide, it is mainly used in the USA. Compared to other EDI standard sets, X12 has a particularly comprehensive transaction set. There are over 300 X12 standards, all of which are identified by a three digit number (e.g. 810 for invoices) rather than the six letter code system used by EDIFACT and TRADACOMS. These EDI file format standards fall under X12’s various different industry-based subsets.

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Essentially an API allows different computer systems to talk to one another. In order to create or access an API an API specification is required. This is a collection of rules and protocols which specifies how the different components of applications should interact and defines exchange formats, exchange protocols, security requirements and so on. Once a system meets these rules, it is possible to "expose" an API. By utilising APIs, businesses can make specific infomation available to relevant parties without the need to send information actively. For online services that offer an API, the term "web service" is often used.

AS2-FROM stands for "Applicability Statement 2-From". This is a specific specification in the AS2 protocol, which is used in the field of electronic data interchange (EDI). AS2-FROM refers to the sender of an AS2 message, i.e. the identification of the source from which the message is sent. This information is important for managing the transmission of messages between the parties involved and ensuring that the messages are delivered correctly.

AS3, or Applicability Statement 3, is a reliable and secure message specification that enables the exchange of EDI messages via the internet. It was developed by the IETF (the Internet Engineering Task Force) and is based on the FTP protocol, with both operating a client/server model. Like AS2, AS3 uses receipt notifications (MDNs), however, AS3 does not require a constant connection on the receiver's side as it is a push/pull protocol.

Average Order Volume
AOV stands for "Average Order Value". AOV is a metric used in e-commerce to calculate the average amount spent by customers in a single transaction. It helps businesses understand purchasing patterns, assess the effectiveness of marketing strategies, and optimise pricing and promotion tactics accordingly.

B2B stands for Business-to-Business. B2B transactions are those conducted between companies rather than between companies and individual consumers or public bodies.

B2B Integration
B2B integration, or Business-to-Business integration, refers to the automation and optimisation of key inter-organisational processes, such as the electronic exchange of data.

B2C stands for Business-to-Consumer. A B2C relationship is one where a business sells a product or service to the individual end-user directly.

B2G stands for Business-to-Government. A B2G relationship is one where a business provides products or services to a public entity rather than to another private business oe individual consumer.

Batch processing
Batch processing is a computing method where a group of transactions or tasks are collected and processed together simultaneously rather than one by one. This approach boosts efficiency as it enables repetitive tasks such as data analysis, file conversions, and large-scale updates to be automated.

Cross Industry Invoice (CII)
A Cross Industry Invoice, or CII, is an XML-based specification that facilitates the exchange of key business information between trading partners. The CII specification maps to the EU standard EN 16931 and contains over 2,000 elements that can be used to create message syntaxes. It is the product of an initiative by UN/CEFACT (and a number of other organisations) to createa single electronic invoice exchange format that can be used globally.

D-U-N-S Number
A D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a unique nine-digit business identification number with the structure 12-345-678. D-U-N-S numbers are kept in a database which is maintained by Dun & Bradstreet, a global provider of data science services. This database holds millions of numbers representing businesses across the world. With a D-U-N-S number it is possible to retrieve information about a company, for example to get an idea of their organisational structure. For this reason D-U-N-S numbers are often used by lenders and potential business partners to assess the reliability and/or financial stability of companies.

DELFOR stands for "Delivery Forecast". It is a standard electronic data interchange (EDI) message format used in supply chain management and logistics. A DELFOR message alerts suppliers to future customer demand, enabling more efficient planning of production, inventory and delivery schedules.

DESADV stands for "despatch advice". It is an EDI message type that is formatted according to the EANCOM standard. A DESADV message contains information concerning the delivery or goods, allowing the recipient to adjust processes dependent on a delivery. A DESADV is the direct equivalent of an ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice) message, which is popular within the automotive industry.

An e-invoice, short for electronic invoice, is a digital version of a traditional paper invoice. It is a structured, machine-readable document that is generated and transmitted automatically between a seller and a buyer in a standardised format (PDF invoices are therefore not e-invoices). E-invoices serve the same purpose as traditional non-electronic invoices, which is to request payment for goods or services provided. However, thanks to the fact that they are generated and transmitted automatically, they are more efficient and can offer significant cost savings.

EANCOM stands for European Article Number Communication. EANCOM is a subset of EDIFACT, and like EDIFACT, EANCOM is a set of standards for electronic data interchange (EDI) messages that is used extensively across the world. EANCOM standards, however, are used primarily in the retail industry, and elements of EANCOM reflect this specialisation. The EANCOM standards are managed by a sub-organisation of the UN called CEFACT (the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business). Frequently used EANCOM message types include DESADV, INVOIC, ORDERS, ORDRSP and ORDCHG.

ebInterface is the Austrian standard for e-invoicing developed by AUSTRIAPRO on behalf of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The machine-readable electronic XML standard enables automated invoice creation and automated invoice receipt.

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange and refers to the electronic transmission of business documents such as invoices and purchase orders between companies in a standard format. By automating these transactions, companies can save time and eliminate costly errors that occur during manual and paper-based processing.

EDI Protocol
An EDI protocol is used by a communication software or application to enable the exchange of data between systems. In essence each EDI protocol is like a different language, as unless the trading partners involved are using a VAN (Value Added Network), both parties' systems must use the same protocol in order to communicate. Common EDI protocols include AS2, OFTP2 and REST API.

EDI Standard
EDI standards are format specifications for EDI documents. They determine which information appears where in an EDI document. The EDI standard being used must be agreed by both sender and receiver before successful exchange is possible - with the choice of standard usually dictated by the customer. During exchanges, message data must be formatted according to the agreed standard. If information is missing or in the wrong place in an EDI message, the message in question may not be processed correctly.

EDIFACT stands for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport. EDIFACT is a collection of internationally agreed cross-industry standards, norms, directories and guidelines for the electronic exchange of structured business data. EDIFACT was published by the United Nations in 1986 with the aim of facilitating trade by simplifying the flow of information in the international movement of goods. Today EDIFACT is extremely widely used.

EN 16931-1
EN 16931-1 represents a semantic data model for the core elements of an electronic invoice. EN-16931-2 represents a list of syntaxes that comply with EN16931-1.

The EPC URI (Electronic Product Code Uniform Resource Identifier) is a unique identification number used to identify products in a supply chain. The EPC URI consists of a code associated with the product and a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that uniquely identifies the code. The EPC URI is often used in combination with RFID technology to automatically identify and track products in real time.

FACe is the abbreviation for the Spanish government invoice platform "Punto General de Entrada de Facturas Electrónicas". The FACe platform enables the transmission of e-invoices to the Spanish administrative authorities.

Factur-X is a hybrid invoice format that combines XML data, for automated processing, with a human-readable PDF. The Franco-German Factur-X standard is compliant with the European standard EN 16931 and is technically identical to ZUGFeRD 2.1.

ftrace is an information platform that makes it possible to trace products from the producer to the consumer online or via an app. Products that carry an ftrace code can be traced back with batch accuracy. Users can see, for example, how fruit and vegetables were harvested, how animals were kept and in which seas or lakes fish were caught.

The Global Data Synchonization Network, or GDSN, is an online network that allows partners to exchange product information in real time. The existence of the GDSN provides an authoritative data source, allowing trading partners to be confident that the data they have is up-to-date. The GDSN is made up of multiple master data pools, all of which are governed by GS1 standards. The network is supported by the GS1 Global Registry, which serves as a data directory and facilitates synchronisation.

GLN stands for Global Location Number. A GLN is an identification number used by companies in national and international business transactions. The GLN makes it possible to identify companies and parts of companies (such as locations and warehouses) worldwide, uniquely and without overlap. The GLN itself consists of 13 digits. This number can be used to call up company information via GS1 databases.

GS1 is a global, non-profit organisation that develops and maintains standards for electronic data interchange (EDI) in various industries, including retail, healthcare, and logistics. GS1's EDI standards are a set of globally recognised and adopted specifications that enable businesses to exchange standardised electronic messages, such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipment notices, with their trading partners. These standards are designed to ensure seamless and accurate data exchange, improve supply chain efficiency, and enhance business processes.

GTIN is the abbreviation for Global Trade Item Number. Colloquially, a GTIN is often referred to as a product's "article number". GTINs can be 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits long and are typically located below the barcode on products. The GTIN system was developed by GS1.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard markup language used for creating and structuring content on the World Wide Web. It enables the creation of web pages and web applications through the use of tags to organise text, images and other media. Essentially, HTML provides the basic framework upon which websites are built.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the foundational protocol used by the World Wide Web to define how messages are formatted and transmitted, plus how web servers and browsers should respond to various commands. It is a stateless protocol, meaning that each request from a client to a server is treated independently, without any memory of previous requests. HTTP enables the fetching of resources, such as HTML documents, images and videos, facilitating seamless interaction with web pages.

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is an extension of HTTP that incorporates encryption to provide secure communication over a computer network (primarily the internet). HTTPS uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt data, ensuring that information exchanged between the client and server is protected. HTTPS is commonly used for online transactions to safeguard user privacy and sensitive information.

The IDoc (which stands for Intermediate Document) is the document format used in SAP systems and serves to transport data in and out of the system. This data can be business documents, like orders, delivery notes, invoices, but also information such as timesheets and transfer journals. When an EDI process is started, an IDoc is created in the SAP system and stored in the system database. Each IDoc has a unique number.

Interchange Control Header
An Interchange Control Header is a data segment in an electronic data interchange (EDI) message that marks the beginning of an interchange. It ensures proper routing and processing of the data between trading partners.

Interchange Control Tailer
An Interchange Control Trailer is a data segment in an electronic data interchange (EDI) message that marks the end of an interchange.

Interchange Envelope
An Interchange Envelope is a container used in electronic data interchange (EDI) to encapsulate multiple transactions or messages within a single interchange. It includes the Interchange Control Header and Trailer, along with the individual transaction sets, providing a structured framework for exchanging data between trading partners.

In the B2B integration world, an interconnect refers to the connection between different electronic data interchange (EDI) systems or networks to enable the exchange of electronic business documents.

An INVOIC is an EDI invoice that is formatted according to the EDIFACT standard. It serves as a request for payment for goods or services delivered between the seller and the buyer under the agreed conditions.

The Interchange Control Header (ISA) is the initial segment of EDI documents that use the ANSI X12 standard. The Interchange Control Header is used to identify the sender and recipient and to specify the date, time and control number that uniquely identifies the transaction between the trading partners.

Just in Sequence (JIS) is a supply chain and inventory management strategy where components and materials are delivered directly to the production line in the precise order and at the exact time they are required. This method extends the Just in Time (JIT) philosophy by adding the element of sequencing, ensuring that the manufacturing process is as efficient as possible. JIS is particularly useful in complex manufacturing environments like automotive production, where parts must be assembled in a specific sequence to maintain efficiency and reduce downtime.

Just in Time (JIT) is a management strategy that aligns raw-material orders and production schedules. It aims to increase efficiency and decrease waste by ensuring goods are received only as they are needed in the production process. This approach is widely used in manufacturing due to its capacity to reduce inventory costs and improve operational efficiency and responsiveness to market demands.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight, human-readable data-interchange format that is easy for machines to parse and generate. JSON is widely used for transmitting data in web applications between clients and servers as it offers a text-based, language-independent way to represent simple data structures and associative arrays (objects).

Keystone Pricing
Keystone pricing is a retail pricing strategy where the selling price of a product is set at double its wholesale cost. This markup ensures a consistent profit margin for retailers.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its objectives. They help assess performance and identify areas for improvement.

LGTIN is an acronym for Local Global Trade Item Number. An LGTIN is a unique identifier used to distinguish and categorise products and items in a specific geographic or regional context. It is an extension of the globally recognised GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and allows for finer granularity in product identification within a particular market or locality. LGTINs are valuable in situations where products may have regional variations or packaging differences but still need to be tracked and managed separately at the local level. They play a crucial role in supply chain management, inventory tracking, and ensuring product accuracy within specific regions while aligning with international standards for product identification.

Mapping involves creating rules which dictate how pieces of information from a company database are inserted into (and extracted from) an EDI message. Mapping is also used to translate EDI messages in one standard to another format (e.g. that used by a partner). Successful mapping requires technical expertise and comprehensive testing to ensure that EDI connections will be successful once made live.

Master Data
As the name implies, master data is data that is central to business operations. Crucially, master data is not the same as transaction data, which changes regularly and has only limited significance. Master data is highly static data that is rarely updated and usually has long-term validity. While different industries and individual companies may treat different data elements as master data, common examples of master data elements include basic information such as the name of a supplier/customer or a product's ID number. If master data is not kept clean the consequences can be costly and difficult to fix.

A Message Disposition Notification (MDN) is used in AS2 EDI exchanges to confirm the receipt of a message and to ensure the non-repudiation of the process. It is a digital confirmation of receipt that is provided with a digital signature and is sent back to the sender by the recipient. This confirmation enables the sender to know that the message has been successfully delivered and verifies the integrity and authenticity of the transmitted data. The use of MDNs increases the reliability and security of EDI transactions as they ensure that messages have not only been successfully transmitted, but also received unchanged and by authorised parties.

The Message Integrity Check (MIC) is a procedure that is linked to the MDN (Message Disposition Notification) and ensures the integrity of the message content. A check value is calculated via the payload of the message using a secure hash function. The receiver also calculates the MIC value via the received payload and sends this back to the sender together with the MDN. If the MIC value sent back matches the originally calculated MIC value, the payload is considered unchanged and intact.

A Message Implementation Guideline (MIG) is a document that contains specific instructions and standards for the implementation and use of a particular technology, system or process. In relation to electronic data interchange (EDI), for example, a MIG can define the structure and format of EDI messages to ensure that the exchange of data between different systems runs smoothly. The MIG may also contain technical requirements, business rules and other relevant information necessary for the successful implementation and utilisation of the technology or system.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is an extension of the original Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP), which enables the transmission of text messages. MIME extends the functionality of SMTP by supporting various types of multimedia content such as audio, video, images and application programmes. These are encoded in the e- mail message to ensure reliable transmission over the Internet. MIME allows emails to contain not only text, but also complex data structures and file formats, making communication over the Internet more diverse and flexible.

A modem (short for modulator-demodulator) is a hardware device that converts data into a format suitable for transmission from one computer to another. Modems are essential for connecting to the internet, enabling computers to send and receive data over telephone lines, cable systems and satellite connections.

An NVE is a unique 18 digit number used to identify all types of transport units, such as pallets and shipping boxes. NVEs enable shipments to be tracked internationally from consignor to consignee. Each NVE is assigned only once. Thus, all participants within the supply chain can use it. An NVE is identical to the English SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code)

The Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is a non-profit that promotes and develops global electronic business standards. OASIS aims to drive the development of industry-specific and cross-industry standards to enhance the efficiency and interoperability of business processes.

ODETTE stands for "Organisation for Data Exchange by Tele Transmission in Europe". The group represents the interests of the European automotive industry and is the equivalent of the North American Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). With its tools and recommendations ODETTE supports the optimisation of automated document exchange along the entire value chain of the automotive industry. ODETTE is the main developer of the OFTP and OFTP2 protocols.

OFTP stands for ODETTE File Transfer Protocol. It is so-called as the protocol was specifically designed for B2B document exchange by the Organisation for Data Exchange by Tele Transmission in Europe (ODETTE) in the mid 1980s. Two decades after the development of OFTP, the OFTP2 protocol was developed in 2007 to be used over the internet. Benefits of OFTP2 include high data security, high compression, and ease of use (as it utilises only 14 commands). Crucially, too, with OFTP2 it is possible to push and pull information rather than just pushing. Meanwhile, OFTP2 also gives the user the ability to request signed receipts, further improving data security. Today OFTP2 is widely used in the automotive industry in Europe, though is also popular across other industries, including retail, manufacturing and banking.

Partner Onboarding
Partner onboarding involves working with a partner to set up a working and reliable EDI connection between your system and theirs. Partner onboarding involves several different steps, including defining EDI requirements, creating a message implementation guide (MIG), and message exchange testing. Depending on the type of connection desired, the process may also include other steps such as providing your partner with access to a Web EDI platform. For partner onboardings to be completed successfully and on time, it may be necessary to chase partners for information and feedback regularly.

Peppol stands for Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine. Contrary to what some think, Peppol is not an e-procurement platform. Rather, Peppol provides the methodology and technical specifications as well as an agreement framework to send documents between e-procurement partners. The Peppol network was developed by non-profit organisation OpenPeppol to support the automated exchange of electronic messages relating to cross-border procurement. Currently, Peppol is the only transmission channel that enables machine-to-machine (M2M) automation and mass export of e-invoices.

In electronic data interchange (EDI), a Qualifier is a code used to specify the type or format of data being transmitted within an EDI segment. A qualifier helps to define the meaning and context of the data, ensuring proper interpretation by the system of both sender and receiver.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD)
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a systematic approach used in product development and operations management to translate customer requirements into specific technical features. QFD aims to ensure that the final product meets or exceeds customer desires, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Quick response
Quick Response (QR) refers to an inventory management strategy that enhances the efficiency of information exchange between suppliers and customers. It allows for the rapid replenishment of stock by using electronic data interchange (EDI) technology to share real-time data on sales and inventory levels.

RESTful Web Services
Representational State Transfer (REST) is a software architecture that specifies the conditions under which an API operates. REST-based architectures can be used to support powerful, customised communication. A web service is a service that can be accessed over a network. REST provides several methods to invoke a web service. Web services that implement this REST architecture are called RESTful web services.

Routing refers to the transmission of EDI messages between different networks. Although EDI can theoretically be conducted between two partners via any electronic method capable of transmitting the relevant information, the vast majority of EDI today is conducted over the internet. In order for routing to work, both parties must use the same EDI protocol (e.g. AS2 or OFTP2). The chosen protocol determines the level of message encryption, what software and hardware will be required and the ease with which transmissions can be received. Only once routing is successful, and an EDI message has been delivered to the intended recipient, data is extracted from the message and logged in the relevant system.

S/4HANA is the fourth generation of the SAP Business Suite and stands for "SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA". It is ERP software that has been specially developed for the in-memory computing of SAP HANA. S/4HANA enables companies to process large amounts of data faster in real time and offers enhanced analysis functions and an optimised user experience. By integrating cloud technologies, companies can be more flexible and agile.

SFTP (or Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a means of transferring files securely. SFTP uses SSH (Secure Shell) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to establish a secure tunnel to another system and transfer the data.

SGLN stands for Serialised Global Location Number. The SGLN is part of the GS1 standard system. The SGLN is a unique identifier and is used to specify the location of a product.

SHK Mail
SHK-Mail is a closed mail system in which registered users can exchange electronic messages with each other securely. These messages are mostly EDI messages such as orders (ORDERS), order confirmations (ORDRSP), delivery notifications (DESADV) and invoices (INVOIC).

A Supplier Management Platform (SMP) is a software solution that helps companies to effectively manage and optimise their supplier relationships. By integrating EDI functionalities, an SMP enables seamless communication and collaboration with suppliers, resulting in more efficient transaction processing and improved compliance with EDI standards.

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP is a message protocol that enables communication between decentralised elements of an application. It was developed as an intermediate language for applications with different programming languages. Through SOAP, these applications can communicate with each other over the Internet.

SSCC stands for Serial Shipping Container Code. An SSCC is an 18 digit number that is used to identify a logistic unit. A unit can be a lone item or a collection of items, e.g. a pallet or parcel. Having an SSCC is important as it uniquely identifies each unit, allowing it to be traced if necessary. An SSCC is essentially an English variant of an NVE number.

SSH, or Secure Shell, is a cryptographic network protocol used for secure connection to a remote server or computer over an unsecured network. It provides a secure channel for executing commands and transferring files, replacing insecure legacy protocols such as Telnet and FTP. SSH employs strong encryption to ensure confidentiality and integrity of data.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology that encrypts the link between a web server and a browser, ensuring all data remains private. Initially developed by Netscape, SSL uses a dual key cryptographic system to encrypt data. While SSL has been succeeded by TLS (Transport Layer Security), the term SSL is often used to refer to both technologies.

Transport Infrastructure Agreements (TIAs) are agreements between different parties that regulate the operation and use of transport infrastructure. These agreements can be made between governments, companies, organisations or other entities to regulate the construction, maintenance, use or other aspects of transport facilities such as roads, bridges, airports, railways or ports. TIAs can cover various topics, including fees, operating hours, maintenance responsibilities, safety standards and environmental requirements. Clear and transparent TIAs can reduce conflicts, promote investment and improve the efficiency of the transport system. In the context of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Transport Infrastructure Agreements (TIAs) refer to agreements between trading partners on the technical aspects of data exchange.

TRADACOMS stands for Trading Data Communications Standard. It is an international EDI standard developed by GS1 UK and is particularly popular in UK domestic trade. Like all EDI standards, the TRADACOMS EDI standard contains agreed message formats that enable the exchange of documents between countries, regions and industries. The TRADACOMS standard is made up of a hierarchy of 26 messages and offers numerous syntax rules for structuring data, plus an interactive data exchange protocol (I-EDI). Like EDIFACT, each message is also given a six letter reference (e.g. ORDERS).

UBL, which stands for Universal Business Language, is a standardised data format and a set of XML-based document schemas designed specifically for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and e-commerce transactions. UBL serves as a common language for the structured exchange of business documents such as invoices, purchase orders and shipping notifications between trading partners. It provides a framework that facilitates seamless communication in global supply chains and business-to-business (B2B) transactions through the use of predefined document structures, data elements, and code lists.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) involves testing the functionality of an electronic data interchange (EDI) system to ensure it meets the requirements of end-users. Thorough testing will ensure a smooth go-live and minimise the number of errors post deployment.

A VAN, or Value-Added Network, is a third-party service provider that facilitates the exchange of electronic data interchange (EDI) messages between trading partners. VANs also typically offer additional services, such as message encryption, archiving and monitoring - though the number and quality of these services vary from one VAN to the next.

VDA, short for Verband der Automobilindustrie, is a German term that translates to the "German Association of the Automotive Industry" in English. In the context of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), VDA refers to a specific set of EDI standards and guidelines established by this association. These standards are commonly used in the automotive industry to facilitate electronic communication and data exchange between automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and partners. VDA EDI standards cover various business processes, including orders, delivery notes, and invoices, and they define the format and structure of electronic messages. Adhering to VDA EDI standards helps ensure consistency and efficiency in electronic transactions within the automotive supply chain, benefiting organisations involved in the industry.

VAT in the Digital Age (ViDA) is a European Commission initiative aimed at modernising and digitising the management of Value Added Tax (VAT) obligations for businesses. The ViDA initiative aims to streamline VAT compliance processes, reduce errors, enhance transparency, and ultimately make the VAT system more efficient by enabling real- time reporting and improved data access for tax authorities while simplifying and automating VAT-related transactions for businesses in the digital era. A key goal of ViDA is the introduction of common digital reporting requirements (DRR) and compulsory e-invoicing for intra-community transactions.

Web EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a method that allows businesses to send and receive orders, invoices and other business documents directly from their web browsers without the need for expensive and complex EDI software. This approach simplifies EDI, making it more accessible and cost-effective, particularly for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Typically Web EDI platforms are provided by larger companies to their smaller suppliers to enable the supplier to exchange documents in the specific format required.

WSDL (Web Services Description Language) is an XML-based language used to describe the functions offered by a web service. It details what the service can be called, as well as its parameters and return types. WSDL acts as a contract between service provider and consumer, facilitating the automatic generation of client-side code for service interaction. A WSDL document typically includes definitions of data types, messages, operations and service access points, making it essential for integrating diverse web services.

X.400 is a message transfer protocol. In principle X.400 is very similar to e-mail, but utilises a dedicated network rather than the internet. As with email, messaging via X.400 takes place via mailboxes. Each X.400 mailbox is identified by a unique address that is structured in a similar way to an SMTP e-mail address, but more complex and often longer. While messaging via X.400 is costly, the fact that X.400 uses a network that is physically separated from the internet and in which every participant is authenticated provides a good level of security.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a digital file format that is used for encoding data and exchanging it between computer systems. XML documents consist of tagged elements and attributes that define the data's structure and meaning. Significantly, in XML documents these elements are both human-readable and machine-readable.

XRechnung is an electronic invoicing standard used in Germany for exchanging invoices between businesses and public authorities. It is based on the European standard EN 16931 and facilitates the structured exchange of invoice data in a machine-readable format.

YMODEM is a file transfer protocol used in serial communication. Developed in the early 1980s as the successor to XMODEM and MODEM7, the YMODEM enhanced these previous iterations by introducing support for batch file transfers and error checking. YMODEM was commonly utilised in bulletin board systems (BBS) and modem-based communication.

ZUGFeRD is a French/German EDI standard which is predominantly used for hybrid invoicing. A hybrid invoice joins two different types of invoice – structured format (XML) and human-readable format (PDF). The acronym stands for Zentraler User Guide des Forums elektronische Rechnung Deutschland (Central User Guide for Electronic Invoicing in Germany).

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