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X12 is a standard for defining Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). X12 was the primary North American standard for defining EDI transactions. In 1997 X12 merged with EDIFACT, the global standard in EDI transactions. The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 develops, maintains, interprets, publishes, and promotes the proper use of American National Standards and UN/EDIFACT international standards for electronic data interchange (EDI). X12 standards help businesses exchange data regardless of company size or location by establishing a common, uniform language for computers to communicate. X12 standards define the format of electronic business transactions. Common X12 EDI transactions include purchase orders, invoices, and advance ship notifications.

An X12 transaction is comprised of a header and one or more tables. In the example of a purchase order, the header might contain information pertinent to the entire order such as date, company name, address, telephone number, purchase order number, and so on. The table or detail would contain the line item information. Last, a summary would provide information about the order such as weight, shipping method, and total.

Today, there are more than 300 X12 transaction sets used in nearly every facet of business-to-business operations. A host of industries use X12 standards including automotive, finance, communications, government, transportation, insurance, and more.

For a complete list of all X12 Transaction Sets visit ANSI X12 Message List

ASC X12 is organized into subcommittees that develop and maintain standards for a particular set of business functions.[5]

  • X12C Communications & Controls
    • Responsible for EDI control structures, security, and architecture as well as the X12 XML Reference Model.[6]
  • X12F Finance
  • X12G Government
  • X12I Transportation
  • X12J Technical Assessment
    • Maintains the directory, dictionary and design rules for all the X12 standards. Also manages the process for requests for standards changes.[7]
  • X12M Supply Chain
  • X12N Insurance

Also visit http://www.x12.org for more information about ACS X12.