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United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT)

Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT) is an international standard provided by ISO 9735 that was created in 1986.

EDIFACT was prepared by the UN/ECE Trade Division and adopted by ISO/TC 154. The UN/ECE also prepared Message Design Guidelines which are included in the UN/ECE Trade Data Interchange Directory. The standard was published in 1988 and was amended with some minor changes in 1990.

The standard provides an interactive exchange protocol (I-EDI) and establishes the rules of syntax for the preparation of messages to be interchanged between partners. ISO/OSI service specifications and protocols can be utilized in the communication of messages. The standard specifies several levels which are identical except for the character sets. Certain characters are reserved for use only as a terminator, separator and/or release character.

Until now, a tremendous number of different messages had been designed and brought into use by thousands of user organizations. However, messages can now be written and translated by an EDI software translator with a wide assortment of products that are available in the market for this type of exchange.

 

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