EDI in Medical Billing

What is EDI in Medical Billing?

EDI in medical billing helps doctors' offices, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and other healthcare facilities to communicate electronically with each other. it allows them to share patient data quickly and efficiently

EDI in Medical Billing

Why Do Healthcare Providers Need EDI?

There are several reasons why healthcare providers need EDI.

First, EDI helps them communicate with other healthcare providers.

Second, it allows them to share data with insurance companies.

Third, it makes it easier for patients to access their medical records online.

Fourth, it reduces errors when doctors enter orders into computers.

Finally, it saves money because there is less paperwork involved.

How Can I Implement EDI in Medical Billing?

If you work with medical billing software, you should already be using EDI. However, if you do not currently use EDI, there are several reasons why you might want to consider implementing it.

First, EDI helps reduce errors when sending and receiving data.

Second, it allows you to share data across multiple locations.

Third, it makes it easier to integrate new technology into your workflow.

Finally, EDI is becoming increasingly popular among insurance companies as well as other third parties.

5 Reasons Why EDI In Medical Billing Is Important

Why EDI In Medical Billing Is Important

What Is EDI?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. It's a set of standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These standards allow healthcare organizations to send and receive electronic messages using a common format.

How Does EDI Work?

EDI is a set of standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These standards help ensure that healthcare providers use the same format to send and receive patient information. Healthcare providers who use EDI must follow certain rules to make sure that the information sent and received is accurate.

The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard was developed by the Health Level Seven International organization to allow the electronic exchange of information between healthcare providers. It allows for the transfer of patient data across multiple systems and organizations

Here's why.

EDI is an essential component of any medical billing company. Without it, there would be no way to accurately bill patients for services rendered. This means that without EDI, doctors wouldn't be able to submit claims electronically, and hospitals wouldn't be able to receive payment electronically.

The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard has been around since the 1980s.

It's not just medical billing companies that use EDI. Many other industries also rely on EDI to communicate with each other. For example, EDI is used by insurance companies to process claims, banks to transfer money, and retailers to send out coupons.

EDI is used by most healthcare providers.

EDI is used to transmit data between different parts of the healthcare industry. This includes hospitals, doctors' offices, pharmacies, labs, and more. EDI is an electronic format that allows these entities to exchange patient information quickly and efficiently

EDI helps reduce errors and improve efficiency.

EDI has been around since the 1970s, but its use has only recently become widespread. However, with the rise of electronic medical records (EMRs), EDI has become an essential part of the healthcare industry.

Ready to find out more how Commport can help you with EDI Integration?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

EDI Service Providers – How to choose a single source for all your EDI needs

Why is it important to have a single source EDI provider? 

What is an EDI Provider?

EDI provider is any company that makes available EDI services or software. EDI providers can concentrate on services, like EDI VAN and EDI Service Bureaus, or they can concentrate on providing EDI software. Some EDI providers may focus on specific vertical markets while others may provide software or services for specific company types - like enterprise organizations or small and mid-sized businesses. EDI providers enable businesses to transfer standardized data to and from the members of their business communities and their relationships.

An EDI provider should deliver agility, visibility, and transparency to enable governance, on-boarding, management, and visibility processes for its clients, all while demonstrating how EDI can be a revenue-generation engine that streamlines business processes.

Single Source EDI Provider Commport

Types of EDI Providers

EDI providers ultimately fall into two categories AS2 or EDI VAN.

EDI AS2 Providers

With AS2 (applicability statement 2) providers, data such as EDI, XML, and others are sent and received via the internet using an HTTP protocol (TCP/IP) through a certified server. AS2 provides a superior method for sending data securely and directly from one source to another. AS2 creates a securely encrypted process, with no costly annual or transaction fees for unlimited data. Today, AS2 is considered the best way to integrate with trading partners and has been widely implemented across many industries.

AS2 can handle any type of file format and requires message disposition/delivery notifications (MNDs) to alert a trading partner when a document or data has been delivered or received.

EDI VAN Providers

EDI VAN (value-added network) delivers EDI transactions through a single connection. A hosted EDI VAN service enables the communication between a traditional VAN and a private network or internet-connected trading partner. a VAN is a communication channel that moves and manages data from point A to point B. In a VAN, trading partners each possess a mailbox as data is delivered between each mailbox.

This streamlined method is meant to lower the document-by-document processing costs by way of a centralized system with real-time tracking, communication management, multiple connectivity options, local data integration, and rapid message delivery.

What to Look for In an EDI Provider

end-to-end visiblity-commport

End-to-End Visibility

End to end supply chain visibility is transparency at all stages of supply chain management from procurement through delivery of finished goods to customers.  EDI service providers must provide dashboards for business and technical users to gain customer insight and intelligence and make more informed business decisions.

support for any format or standard - Commport

Support for Any Standard or Format

It is so important that your EDI vendor can support any standards or formats that you need. This means complying with ANSI X12, EDIFACT, and Tradacoms standards but also supporting other non-EDI formats, including XML, CSV, and JSON files to serve your customers and partners in all the ways they want to communicate.

automated business process - Commport

Automated Business Processes

When organizations rely on manual data entry employees spend countless hours on manual tasks that are at a higher risk of errors and prohibit them from focusing on core business objectives. Modern integration technology enables seamless business to business communication and EDI order processing that doesn’t require human intervention. Your EDI technology should be helping you accelerate the order-to-cash process using pre-configured EDI maps, rather than holding you back.

minimized SLA fines and penalities-commport

Minimized SLA Fines, Penalties

Missed customer SLAs and mounting EDI compliance violations can lead to costly charge backs and other financial penalties. Maybe your system is creating ASN errors or fails to send acknowledgements, these errors often require manual intervention and further hold up the process. A leading third-party EDI service provider eliminates these errors and will provide alerts and notifications for events and even non-events when an expected document hasn’t arrived. This reduces operational latency and other errors that lead to customer dissatisfaction and costly SLA penalties.

Expedited Trading Partner Onboarding-Commport

Expedited Trading Partner On-boarding

One of the very helpful benefits of modernizing your EDI environment is that it helps make your business easy to do business with. The partner onboarding process can help you automate the creation of partner profiles and trading partner agreements (TPAs). The administrator obtains details about the partner either from the business user who identified the partner as a prospective trading partner.

Why Choose Commport as your Single Source EDI Provider

Commport is dedicated to providing our clients with the best business interface solutions. Discover how our commitment to innovation, client relationships and excellence can benefit you.

Commport Advantage
  • Comprehensive & Adaptable Service | Commport’s extensive services encompass all your needs by providing the right components for your business. Whether it includes EDIVAN, and/or GDSN, you can find everything you need in one place at a reasonable cost. Our services can expand or contract with your business to keep your costs down and your business efficiencies high.
  • Longevity & Experience | We have been in the business since 1985, and are one of North America’s original EDI network providers. Commport’s team has the knowledge you need to help you make the right decisions for your business. Put our experience to work for you.
  • Client Satisfaction | Building relationships with our clients is at the foundation of our strategy for creating client satisfaction. Strong relationships allow us to provide you with the best service to meet your business needs, resulting in long-term partnerships.  Read our customer testimonials.
  • Innovation & Direct Service | Our products and services are created and serviced by our knowledgeable team. We are not a reseller of other products, but an innovative pioneer that will always ensure we offer the best and latest technology to give you a competitive edge.
  • Stability of Ownership | Our ownership has remained stable for over 25 years. We are  a strong independent service provider who will be here to serve your business today and in the years to come.

Ready to find out more about Commport EDI Solutions?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

EDI in Supply Chain

EDI in Supply Chain

EDI in Supply Chain

The EDI in Supply Chain standard was developed by the Electronic Data Interchange Standards Committee. It allows businesses to exchange data electronically using a standardized format. This helps reduce errors and costs associated with manual processes.

Today EDI in the supply chain management is more important than ever, because of the pandemic several industries are affected by supply chain issues and the whole world is facing disruptions caused by delays in the supply chain.

EDI can give you the capabilities your business needs to create a well-integrated ecosystem and enable fast and secure exchanges of essential warehousing and shipping documents, including bills of lading, shipping status records, shipment authorizations, advanced shipment notices, customs documents, and inventory lists and many more.

Here is the list of EDI Transaction Document Codes used by the Logistics and Warehouse industry,

EDI X12 Transaction Number

 EDI Transaction Name / Document Type

EDI 883

Market Development Fund Allocation

EDI 884

Market Development Fund Settlement

EDI 886

Customer Call Reporting

EDI 891

Deduction Research Report

EDI 940

Warehouse Shipping Order

EDI 943

Warehouse Stock Transfer Shipment Advice

EDI 944

Warehouse Stock Transfer Receipt Advice

EDI 945

Warehouse Shipping Advice

EDI 947

Warehouse Inventory Adjustment Advice

EDI 990

Response to a Load Tender


EDI X12 Transaction Number

 EDI Transaction Name / Document Type

EDI 219

Logistics Service Request

EDI 220

Logistics Service Response

EDI 222

Cartage Work Assignment

EDI 223

Consolidators Freight Bill and Invoice

EDI 224

Motor Carrier Summary Freight Bill Manifest

EDI 225

Response to a Cartage Work Assignment

EDI 250

Purchase Order Shipment Management Document

EDI 853

Routing and Carrier Instruction

EDI 854

Shipment Delivery Discrepancy Information

EDI 856

Ship Notice/Manifest

EDI 857

Shipment and Billing Notice

EDI 858

Shipment Information

EDI 862

Shipping Schedule

EDI 882

Direct Store Delivery Summary Information

5 Ways EDI In Supply Chain Can Help Your Business Grow


Reduce Costs by Eliminating Manual Data Entry

EDI in the supply chain is an open standard that enables electronic communication between trading partners. It provides a common language for exchanging business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping labels, and packing lists.

Increase Productivity by Automating Processes

EDI in supply chain helps businesses automate processes so they can focus on more strategic activities. This means that you can spend less time managing manual tasks and more time growing your business.

Gain Visibility into Inventory Levels

One of the biggest challenges for any company is knowing how much inventory they have at any given moment. With EDI in supply chain, you can gain visibility into inventory levels by using barcodes. Barcodes help you track inventory throughout the entire process, from production to distribution.

Boost Customer Service by Improving Communication

Another benefit of EDI in the supply chain is that it helps improve customer service. By communicating more efficiently, you can reduce the number of back orders and out-of-stock situations. This means customers will receive faster delivery times and less frustration.

Streamline Operations by Integrating Systems

EDI in supply chain has been proven to help businesses streamline operations. It allows them to connect with one another and share data across departments. This makes it easier for everyone involved to work together as a team.

3 Upcoming EDI Trends in Supply Chain Management (SCM)


As with every industry, there have been lots of new technological advancements in EDI here are some of the trends,

  1. Adopting Cloud EDI technology

Cloud EDI has completely redefined the EDI industry on how businesses exchange EDI documents.  Today businesses of all sizes use cloud EDI to exchange EDI documents from anywhere in the world with just the internet and web browser. You don’t require complicated integrations, no software to install, and does not require highly skilled EDI professionals.

  1. EDI and API Integrations

APIs can further help improve the EDI ecosystem. With many custom APIs, EDI system can now integrate with many other internal business systems like ERPs, finance software, and many more. Making it easier for businesses to translate EDI documents that better suit their business systems. EDI and API integrations are still ongoing work and potentially bring a lot more applications in the years to come

  1. EDI in eCommerce

The eCommerce industry has grown significantly in the last 10 years especially post-pandemic the industry has seen rapid growth in many businesses stepping into eCommerce to increase their customer base. eCommerce removes the boundaries for businesses and allows easily to enter a new market and target audience around the world. Now integrating EDI with eCommerce is providing endless opportunities for customers such as providing more choices, competitive pricing, fast shipping, real-time tracking, mobile support, and personalized shopping experiences.


Affordable and best EDI Solution for Supply Chain


For over 35 years, Commport Communications has been providing the most affordable and best EDI solutions in the market. By helping companies solve complex integration issues and providing complete EDI communication between business partners.

Improve your business process and maximize your supply chain performance with our EDI solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation and demo.


Ready to find out more about Commport EDI Solutions?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

Cloud Based EDI vs In-House EDI Solution

Cloud Based EDI vs In-House EDI Solution

Cloud EDI Solutions are the future of business. They allow businesses to communicate with each other in real-time without having to worry about sending documents back and forth.

Cloud Based EDI vs In-House EDI Solution

Before we start comparing the cloud EDI solution vs in-house EDI solutions, first let's begin to understand,

Why Cloud EDI Solutions are the Future of Business?


1. They're Easy to Implement

Cloud EDI makes it easier than ever before to implement EDI into your business. You can use cloud EDI solutions to automate processes and save money by reducing the need for paper forms

2. They're Cost Effective

Cloud EDI also helps businesses save money. Because they are hosted online, there is no need to purchase expensive hardware or software. Instead, you pay only for what you use. This means that you won't have to worry about purchasing new equipment when your company grows.

3. They're Scalable

Cloud EDI allows you to scale up or down as needed. If you start with one solution, you can easily add additional ones later. You can even switch between different cloud solutions at any time.

4. They're Secure

Cloud EDI offers several benefits over traditional EDI systems. First, they are secure. Because they use the Internet, they are protected by encryption technology. This means that no one else can access your data. Second, they are easy to use. Most cloud EDI solutions are web-based, so there's nothing to install. Third, they are here to stay. As businesses continue to adopt cloud solutions, they will become the standard.

5. They're Flexible

Cloud EDI gives businesses the flexibility to choose how much storage space they need. They also allow businesses to scale up or down as needed. Finally, they are secure. With cloud EDI solutions, businesses can rest assured that their sensitive data is safe.

Now let's compare the Cloud EDI vs In house EDI solution,

Internet EDI

In-House EDI Solutions

No software needs to be installed

Need to install a software

Access from anywhere with just internet connection and computer

Cannot be accessed via the internet and the system is installed within the organization

Does not require prior EDI knowledge to use the system

Require full technical understanding on how to use integrated EDI solution

Low startup costs

High setup and operational costs

Large IT resources not required

Require large IT resources to fully integrate the system

User-friendly and minimal training is required to use the system

Requires prior EDI knowledge, training, and experience to use the system

Suitable for small to medium-size business

Suitable for large multinational companies


Ready to find out more about Cloud EDI Solution?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

Want read more about Cloud EDI?

Here is a link to Cloud EDI Guide

10 Cloud EDI Benefits for Small Businesses

10 Cloud EDI Benefits for Small Business

Cloud EDI is a way for businesses to exchange information without having to physically meet in person. This saves money and time and makes it easier to share documents and other files.

Cloud EDI Solution for Small Business - Commport Communications

Top 4 Benefits of Cloud EDI

1. You save time and money. Instead of sending paper invoices, you can use cloud EDI to send invoices online. That means you won’t need to print out hundreds of copies of each invoice, mail them, then wait for customers to respond. With cloud EDI, you can simply email the invoices to your customers.

2. You reduce errors. If you’re sending invoices to multiple customers, there’s a good chance you’ll make mistakes when entering the information into your system. With cloud EDI you can easily correct any mistakes before sending the invoice.

3. You improve customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate receiving invoices via email instead of snail mail. They also appreciate being able to pay bills online rather than waiting for checks to arrive in the mail.

4. You avoid delays. Sending invoices through cloud EDI eliminates the possibility of delays caused by lost or damaged shipments.

You Can Send and Receive Data Anytime, Anywhere

Cloud EDI makes it easy to send and receive data anytime, anywhere. This means you can access your data from any device at any time. You can even work with other people who aren’t physically located near you.

5. You save money. Many small businesses spend more money on postage than they do on office supplies. By using cloud EDI, you eliminate the cost of printing, mailing, and shipping invoices.

You Don't Need to Install Software or Maintain IT Infrastructure

With cloud EDI, you don’t need to install software or maintain IT infrastructure. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection.

6. You can share documents and collaborate online. If you use cloud EDI, you can easily share documents and collaborate online with colleagues and customers.

7. You can automate processes. Automating business processes saves time and money. Using cloud EDI, you no longer need to manually enter data into spreadsheets or print out paper forms.

8. You can reduce errors. Cloud EDI eliminates human error because there is no chance of miscommunication.

You Save Money

Cloud EDI also reduces costs. Because you don’t have to pay for hardware, software, or maintenance, you save money.

9. You can access your files anywhere. Whether you’re at home, work, or traveling, you can access your files from any device with an internet connection.

10. You can make changes without waiting for approval. Once you’ve made changes to a document, you can immediately send it to others

You Gain Control Over Your Data

With cloud EDI, you gain control over your data. Instead of storing documents on paper or on a computer hard drive, you store them online. This means you can access your files anytime, from anywhere.

Ready to find out more about Cloud EDI Solution?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

Want read more about Cloud EDI?

Here is a link to Cloud EDI Guide

20 Benefits of EDI Outsourcing

20 Benefits of EDI Outsourcing

20 Benefits of EDI Outsourcing

EDI outsourcing is the process of having a third-party company like Commport Communications manage a part or entire process of using EDI to exchange data with trading partners

By outsourcing your EDI to Commport, you set yourself free to focus on your business and what you do best. EDI outsourcing means that you will not need to make any investment in EDI software, nor will you have to directly manage the EDI aspect of your relationship with your customer, including large retail clients.

EDI outsourcing is also suitable if you have implemented a fully integrated EDI-compliant system but still have partners who want to send you faxes. Commport’s managed EDI Service Bureau can be your clearinghouse for fax automation. We can process all your paper-based documents and generate their electronic equivalents in the format of your preference for electronic integration.

Commport’s Service Bureau offers managed EDI services built on our strength and expertise. We will receive your purchase orders at our office and forward them to you via fax or email. You simply fulfill the order and send the details of the shipment back to us. We’ll enter this information for you and send it on to your end customer.

Commport’s Service Bureau is your path to growth. From managed EDI to EDI Web Forms and fully integrated data processing, Commport has the solution to fit your business.

Here is the list of 20 EDI outsourcing benefits

  1. Fax-to-EDI/EDI-to-Fax solutions for everyday business transactions such as Purchase Orders (850), PO Changes (865), Invoices (810), Advanced Ship Notices (856), and Remittance Advice (820)
  2. Fax-to-EDI/EDI-to-Fax for specialty partners, industries, and transactions for example the JC Penney Routing Instructions (753/754), Planning Schedule (830), and the ability to create an ASN based on the planning schedule for Just-In-Time logistics partners (Automotive).
  3. Blended options enabling you to send/receive some documents electronically while faxing others.
  4. Easy to read reports for all transactions processed by the Service Bureau
  5. Packing instructions to accurately convey how your shipment has been prepared
  6. Comprehensive VAN Services with global connections carried on the Commport Network
  7. Products and services to support your EDI needs now, and as you grow
  8. UCC-128 labels for all shipping documents (can be made available for print at your location or can be couriered to you as a part of the service)
  9. Minimize IT / operational costs
  10. Ensure EDI efficiency and compliance
  11. Resolve critical issues quickly
  12. Quickly add trading partners
  13. Manage partner’s requirements
  14. Scale your EDI infrastructure when your business grows
  15. Maintain secure EDI communications across your business and with all your partners
  16. You always have access to the latest technology, as the service provider’s business depends on ensuring it offers the most up-to-date facilities
  1. As you are connecting with external systems, the provider facilitates the community enablement process as well as offers value-added services to enable you to trade worldwide
  2. Increase business agility by giving you a means to quickly enter new markets and territories
  3. Increase business productivity by delivering a new level of information about your performance and that of your supply chain and your business partners
  1. With fully managed EDI service you can re-allocate resources to more strategic activities

Ready to find out more about EDI outsourcing?

Here is the link to EDI Outsourcing Complete Guide

Ready to find out more Commport EDI Outsorcing Services?

Get a Free Quote Now!

EDI Mapping

What is EDI Mapping?

EDI mapping is a tool for managing multiple EDI standards within a single EDI system, and for translating EDI-specific standards into formats that other business tools can read and understand. Fundamentally, EDI mapping is a conversion process in which translation of data structures from a proprietary file (in csv format, txt, SAP IDoc, ERP-specific etc.) to an EDI mapping standard format (EDIFACT, ANSI X12 etc.) and vice versa. 

How EDI Mapping Works

Mapping EDI to ERP data structures are translated from an EDI standard format (EDIFACT, ANSI X12, etc.) to a proprietary file that can be easily ingested into a back end system (CSV format, txt, SAP IDoc, Flat File, or any ERP specific format).

  • As shown in the diagram, trading partner 1 uses Oracle ERP which uses a JSON internal format and trading partner 2 uses the SAP ERP system with IDoc internal format. To communicate a message to a trading partner 2, that JSON file needs to be converted into an EDI transaction and sent to a trading partner 2 using a standardized EDI Format like ANSI X12 or EDIFACT.


  • Now since trading partner 2 ERP uses iDoc for its internal format, the EDI file is converted into a iDoc file before being ingested into SAP ERP.


  • Mapping for EDI systems is bilateral so EDI providers like Commport, map the dataflow in both directions. 
EDI Mapping Example
Benefits of EDI Mapping Pieces

Benefits of EDI Mapping

EDI mapping is a crucial component to meeting trading partner demands, eliminating manual entry, while streamlining the movement of data from front-end to back-end systems.

Automation –Automatically send external data to critical internal systems which creates a repeatable process not touched by human input.

Accuracy – Eliminate the manual processing which eliminates the risk for user error, and in turn ensures EDI data is accurately imported into back-end systems.

Connection – Allows for the creation of formats like XML or flat file which can easily be used to communicate EDI data to business trading partners.

Commport Communications offers fully managed EDI services, that allow you to free up internal resources and focus on your business. Let our Commport team of EDI experts handle the hard part. We work with all trading partners. Trusted by over 6000+ brands. 


Read More:

What does EDI Stand For? 

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange which is the exchange of large amounts of information computer-to-computer in a specified format between business partners. 



Read More:

What is EDI ANSI ASC X12 Standards?

ANSI stands for American National Standard Institute founded by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) in 1979 to develop uniform standards for the inter-industry electronic exchange of business transactions, namely electronic data interchange (EDI). 

11 Reasons to Choose Commport Communications as Your Managed EDI Service Provider

11 Reasons to Choose Commport Communications as Your Managed EDI Service Provider

Managed EDI Services | Commport Communications

Managed EDI Services


Commport Communications offers fully managed EDI services that allow you to free up internal resources and focus on your business. Let our Commport team of EDI experts handle the hard part. We work with all trading partners. Trusted by over 6000+ brands. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. 


  1. Achieve EDI compliance quickly and easily via Commport managed EDI services

Meet your trading partners/customers’ EDI requirements and increase your sales with Commport's managed EDI services (EDI outsourcing). Commport team can manage all aspects of your EDI transactions like sending and receiving orders, invoices, and other electronic documents quickly, easily, and cost-effectively without investing in actual EDI software or solution.

  1. Fully automate your trading process with end-to-end integration

With Commport's managed edi services, you can streamline your business processes and shorten the order-to-cash cycle. By using our FAX to EDI / EDI to FAX solutions or you can also use our blended options enabling you to send /receive documents electronically while faxing others. The solution enables you to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve data accuracy.

  1. Reallocate your resources for more strategic activities with a fully managed EDI service

Commport will provide the experience, skills, and infrastructure to allow you to concentrate on your core business and which will allow you to reallocate your resources to manage more strategic activities.

  1. Improve business insight and performance with advanced reporting and analytics

Commport offers various types of reporting such as order acknowledgment (997 reporting), easy to read reports for all transactions processed by the service bureau. Access to Commport Network’s online real-time visibility tool, RouterLink. Packaging instructions to accurately convey how your shipment has been prepared.

  1. Grow your business with Commport global trading partner network

Quickly and easily connect to over 6000+ trading partner maps. Connect to your customer and start exchanging all the EDI messages your customers have requested. Our trading partner catalog makes it easy for you to achieve and maintain EDI compliance.

  1. More Support and Secure

Commport managed EDI service provides you with a first-class infrastructure with no requirement for hardware or software. With managed EDI service your organization will be free from the burden and risks associated with capital investment, technical issues, and maintenance costs.

  1. Fully redundancy

Fully redundant hardware, software, and networking components

  1. Maximum security

Delivered by the tier-3 state-of-the-art SOC 2 certified data center

  1. 99% uptime

Industry-leading service availability by providing a combination of the best hardware and network components.

  1. Complete disaster recovery

Robust and regularly tested disaster recovery capabilities including real-time switch processes

  1. Connecting Everything

Every trading partner requires a different communication method, internet protocols, and networks to integrate applications and exchange data. As your managed service provider, Commport will handle all integrations for you. We support,

            Unlimited data format

            Endless document types

            A wide array of communication protocols

Ready to find out more about Commport Managed EDI Services?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

What is EDI File?

What is EDI File?

8EDI File Structure - Commport Communications

An EDI file is a data file structured using one of the several EDI standards. EDI standards are specific guidelines that govern the content and format of EDI files. EDI file contains structured data stored in a plain text format and is used for transferring business data between multiple organizations.

The primary reason for having these EDI standards is to ensure that businesses can communicate in a” universal language”.

EDI files can be saved by various standards. Here are the common EDI file formats,

  • cXML
  • xCBL
  • ebXML
  • CSV
  • ANSI X12
  • EDIFICE (Information Technology)
  • EDITRANS (Transportation)
  • ETIS (Telecommunications)


Different types of EDI File formats

  1. Flat file
  2. Variable file
  3. Fixed flat file


Flat File

A flat file is the most common EDI file format during the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents or data.

This type of EDI file potentially contains several sorts of records, such as headlines and retail lines. Headlines indicate what information is held within entire documents. Retail lines comprise commercial documents, such as lines of invoices or orders.

Variable File

Variable-Sized Flat File (VFF) is when the data are separated from each other by a particular character such as a semicolon, vertical line, or tabulation. CSV format is the best-known example

The fixed flat file

When each field has a predetermined number of characters, there is no need to separate the data by character. This is called a Fixed Flat File (or FFF). This is the case for one of the two possible formats of Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) software: iDocs.

A fixed flat file must be accompanied by a complete description containing the position, length, type (digital or alphanumeric), and content of each data field.

The EDI File Structure


The EDI file must contain all the information that you expect to receive from your partner (if the map is inbound) or need to send to your partner (if the map is outbound).

An EDI file is a binary computer file that contains data arranged in units called data elements.  Data elements are separated by element terminators, and a group of data elements makes up a data segment.  Data segments are separated by segment terminators.

EDI File Data Segment

Some elements (known as composite elements) are made up of sub-elements (component elements).

EDI File - EDI Segment

Figure 1a:  An example of a data segment (SV1) having four elements.  The first element is a composite element with two sub-elements (or component elements) separated by a component element separator, which is ":" (a colon).

EDI Segments

Figure 1b:  A section of an EDI file with segments ISA, GS, ST, BEG, REF, ITD, DTM, N1, N2, N3, N4

A block of data segments with data that are inter-dependent to each other is called a group or a loop.  An example of a loop is the N1 loop, which may hold a company's address information.


Figure 2:  An N1 Loop

EDI Loops

Figure 2a:  A section of an EDI file with three instances of the N1 loop.  The first N1 loop consists of segments N1,N2,N3,N4.  The second and third instances of the loop consist of segments N1,N3 and N4.

The section of data segments that convey a message is called a Transaction Set or Message.  The message itself is sectioned into tables (or areas): the header (or Area 1); the detail (or Area 2); and the summary (or Area 3).

Figure 3a:  An X12 Transaction Set structure                                                                            Figure 3b:  A UN/EDIFACT message structure

Transaction Set X12


Transaction Sets (Messages) can be organized by grouping them by their topics or functions. A group of Transaction Sets is called a Functional Group. Functional Groups themselves constitute an interchange. An Interchange is an electronic equivalent of a letter envelope. It contains the destination and sender ID of the EDI message, and the date/time stamp of when it was sent.

Figure 4a:  The ASC X12 file structure                                                                                         Figure 4b:  The UN/EDIFACT file structure

X12_Structure EDIFACT_Structure


The Control Segments are the header and trailer segments that mark the start and end of their controlling structure.

• The Header/Trailer control segments of the Interchange are the ISA/IEA in X12, and UNB/UNZ in UN/EDIFACT.

• The Header/Trailer control segments of the Functional Group are the GS/GE in X12, and UNG/UNE in UN/EDIFACT.

• The Header/Trailer control segments of the Transaction Set are the ST/SE in X12, and UNH/UNT in UN/EDIFACT.

Figure 5a:  An example of an ASC X12 EDI file                                                                     Figure 5b:  An example of an UN/EDIFACT EDI file

X12 example Edifact Example

Because EDI files must be processed by computers rather than humans, a standard format must be used so that the computer will be able to read and understand the EDI files. Here is the list of 10 common EDI communication standards

10 Common EDI Communication Standards

  1. ANSI ASC X12
  6. VICS
  7. VDA
  8. HIPPA
  9. RosettaNet
  10. SWIFT


Benefits of EDI File

  1. EDI can speed up business cycles
  2. EDI speeds up the transactions in just few minutes or seconds instead of days or weeks spent on sending manual postal mail or back-and-forth email communications
  3. Automates paper-based tasks. Frees up your staff time for higher-value tasks and provides them the tools to be more productive
  4. EDI can quickly process business documents accurately, which will help reduce manual re-entry of orders stock outs and cancellations.
  5. EDI ensures that all data sent on time and is tracked in real time. Automates application data exchange across supply chain.
  6. Shortening order processing and delivery helps organizations reduce inventory
  7. EDI reduces the transaction costs of paper, printing, reproduction, storage, filing, postage and document retrieval, saving businesses 1000’s of dollars.
  8. Improve supplier relationships. Help do business with multiple trading partners.
  9. Position yourself for success by automating your processes and improve business efficiency
  10. EDI ensures order accuracy and elevates strategic decisions

Ready to find out more about Commport EDI Solutions?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

In-house EDI Vs EDI Outsourcing

In-house EDI Vs EDI Outsourcing

In house EDI vs EDI outsourcing

In-house EDI vs EDI outsourcing - This is the question every company must answer at one or the other time regardless of business size or operations

In House EDI

In-house EDI solutions require companies to allocate space to build the EDI infrastructure this includes installation of servers, mapping and translation tools, specific data integration solutions, and communication services to manage the protocols for sending and receiving EDI transactions.

EDI Outsourcing

EDI outsourcing is the process of having a third-party company like Commport Communications manage a part or entire process of using EDI to exchange data with trading partners. While businesses of many sizes use EDI outsourcing, the primary benefit is usually associated with smaller businesses.

In-House EDI

EDI Outsourcing

Needs to build a hardware infrastructure

Existing reliable state-of-the-art infrastructure

Translation and mapping software

Managed translation via cloud / SAAS platform

Require continues learning

Decades of relevant industry experience

Needs experienced staff and consultants

You will have 24/7 expert support

Need to develop each data format from scratch

Unlimited data formats

Can only support limited document types. Adding new document types is time-consuming

Endless document types

Any given type can only support a few communication protocols. Adding new protocols needs experienced staff and skills

A wide array of communication protocols

You are completely responsible for the maintenance of your infrastructure

You do not have to worry about infrastructure or technology. Your outsourcing firm handles all of that.

In-house, EDI solution must be constantly monitored and needs to invest in manpower to do that

Outsourcing firms are experts in EDI solutions, so you do not have to be

You need to handle your trading partner’s special requirements

A third-party outsourcing firm can handle your trading partners’ special requirements

It’s difficult to enter new markets and territories

Increase business agility by giving you a means to quickly enter new markets and territories

You need constantly upgrade your technology

Your outsourcing company will always have access to the latest technology

You to develop each new solution on your own

Can provide multiple solutions under a single platform

You need to perform ongoing maintenance

EDI provider handles the ongoing maintenance which includes upgrades, mapping changes, and trading partner requirement changes

Require lots of IT resources

Reduces IT costs

It May require manual data entry

Reduce manual data entry or you can 100% automate it

Difficult to scale and add new trading partners

Easy to scale and add new trading partners. Integrates once to connect with anyone in the network

Prone to human error

Human errors are eliminated

Ongoing costs for licensing, certifications, resources, security and more

Pay only for what you use and scale up or down based on business demands

Hosted on your own servers and hardware

Cloud based technology


Ready to find out more about EDI Outsourcing?

Here is the link to Complete Guide on EDI Outsourcing

Ready to find out more about Commport EDI Outsourcing Services?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!