This Glossary of Terms provides descriptions of the most widely used technical terms and acronyms relating to B2B Outsourcing. Terms and associated descriptions were collected from a variety of sources and B2B professionals from around the world.
99.90% (Service Level Agreements): A typical baseline SLA offered by most service providers in the industry. The provider commits to a downtime time of no more than 44 minutes, 38 seconds a month.
99.95% (Service Level Agreements): A mid-tier SLA that is appropriate for most business-critical transactions. The provider commits to a downtime time of no more than 22 minutes, 19 seconds in a month.
99.99% (Service Level Agreements): An aggressive SLA that is appropriate for mission critical applications. The provider commits to a downtime time of no more than 4 minutes, 27 seconds in a month.
Alerting: For critical events, such as non-receipt of an Advance Ship Notice, provides you with near-real time notifications so immediate corrective action can be taken.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI): The national standards body for the United States. ANSI, through its accredited standards committees, keeps the standards for all applications of technology and mechanics for U.S. Industry, especially with regards to setting EDI standards. Business documents in the U.S are often referred to by their ANSI code such as 850 (PO), 810 (Invoice) and 856 (ASN). ANSI is the U.S. representative to the International Standards Organization (ISO).
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII): Simple text-based data with no formatting. The standard code for information exchange among data processing systems. Uses a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check).
ANSI ASC X12: American National Standards Institute, Accredited Standards Committee X12, comprises government and industry members who create EDI standards for submission to ANSI for approval and dissemination.
Archiving: Can keep data longer than the default length of time. This is required, for example, in order to comply with e-invoicing legislation in some European countries that require data retention for up to 11 years.
AS1: Applicability Statement (AS) 1. A communication protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over SMTP.
AS2: Applicability Statement (AS) 2. A newer communication protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over HTTP. The specification is an extension of the earlier version, Applicability Statement 1 (AS1).
AS3: Applicability Statement (AS) 3. The most recent communication protocol developed by the IETF to implement secure and reliable messaging over FTP.
AS4: Applicability Statement (AS) 4. Offers secure B2B document exchange using web services. AS4 was developed by the sub-committee of the OASIS ebXML.
ASC X12: Accredited Standards Committee X12. A committee of ANSI chartered in 1979 to develop uniform standards for the electronic interchange of business documents.
ALE: Application Link Enabling. (Also SAP/ALE.) The SAP proprietary technology that enables data communications between two or more SAP R/3 systems or between R/3 systems and external systems.
Automated Partner Registration Workflow: Enables potential suppliers to build an online visual resume of their company capabilities and product offerings to streamline new supplier qualification. Automates the process of collecting, tracking and analyzing business terms, contracts and key partner credentials. Allows for multi-party approvals and notifications according to automated workflow process configured according to your requirements.
Authentication: Enables users to validate their identity through the use of credentials, often a user ID and password combination but can also be via digital certificates or security tokens.
Basic Forms: Designed for users who lack the budget, experience, resources or desire to implement more complex integration via EDI or XML. The equivalents of paper documents are represented on a web portal for users to download or input data. Forms are popular in the supply chain as a means to share purchase orders and remittance advices or to create shipment notices and invoices.
Basic Maps: Develops a single full map for each sender/receiver document-type combination, which includes the definition of the sender’s document and the receiver’s document. If you do business with 10 vendors, and use 3 document-types, up to 30 maps may be developed. A change in one of your documents may necessitate the update of 10 maps.
B2B Gateway: Software that provides the ability to integrate data from back-office systems enabling information exchange across trading partners. B2B Gateways also provide a centralized point for transformation of multiple data sources through interoperability standards such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), cXML (Commerce XML) and EDI (electronic data interchange).
B2B Integration Services: Also referred to as Integration as a Service (IaaS). According to Gartner, “B2B integration capabilities that are hosted in a multi-tenant environment were traditionally known as “EDI value-added networks (VANs)”; we now call these hosted offerings “integration as a service.”
Blade Server: A server architecture that houses multiple server modules (“blades”) in a single chassis. Either self-standing or rack mounted, the chassis provides the power supply and each blade has its own CPU, memory and hard disk.
Business Process Experts: Skilled set of resources who are knowledgeable about the various procure-to-pay and order-to-remittance business processes and the B2B implications.
Business Rules-Based Data Field Validation: Validates that field values in a document do not conflict with company policy, that fields do not conflict with each other, and uses conditional logic to populate fields of a document. For example, determines an item’s delivery date based on contents of another field in the document.
Canonical Forms: Reusable forms that can be used across multiple communities. For example, a European automotive supplier can use the same portal and web form to submit invoices to four different automakers. Allows companies to avoid the inconvenience of logging into multiple separate portals to do business with their trading partners.
Canonical Maps: Develops a separate half-map for each sender type of document and a separate reusable half-map for each receiver type of document. If you do business with 10 vendors, and use 3 document-types, up to 33 half-maps may need to be developed. A change in any of your or your partner’s documents necessitates the update of only 1 half-map. This approach can reduce map development and maintenance time.
Carbon Copy: Can automatically send duplicate copies of a transaction to one or many other recipients. For example, you may want your 3PL to be copied on every purchase order you receive.
Centralized Business Partner Directory: Collects key business partner credentials in a centralized directory, accessible to all your authorized personnel. Data can be corporate-level data (products, technical capabilities, compliance status) and content-level data (names, emails, photo, skills, roles, responsibilities).
Cloud Computing: Technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.
Communications-Level Testing with Each Partner: Tests with each partner to ensure the ability to successfully exchange documents via partner’s preferred communications protocol (e.g., AS2, FTPS, SFTP) prior to moving the partner into the document-level testing phase.
Complex Forms: Forms that include dynamic fields that are populated based upon database inquiries or web services calls. For example, a complex purchase order form would perform an API call to a product catalog to obtain real-time pricing and items available for sale.
Complex Maps: Maps that require a large number of rules and/or special processes are considered complex. For example, the provider may translate your file into an EDI invoice and also provide a special report including details about the translation of your invoices to a 3rd party collection service that uses the report to set up collection accounts.
Compliance Dashboards: Provides visibility into the status of your business partners’ compliance with your various regulatory, sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs.
Compression: Can store data in a format that requires less space than usual. This can be useful to reduce transmission time, reduce costs based on file size or to reduce the likelihood of failure during transmission of high data volumes.
Confirmation: Informs you that your business partner received your message, for example, when your supplier received your purchase order.
Connectivity: 1. Physical connectivity. The ability of computing devices to connect with each other or the internet via electronic communication protocols such as (but not limited to): AS2, FTP, SFTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, OFTP, X400. 2. Application connectivity. Connecting applications through a set of adapters (also referred to as connectors). The adapter performs two-way communication, performing requests from the hub against the application, and notifying the hub when an event of interest occurs in the application (a new record inserted, a transaction completed, etc.).
Cross-Document Tracking: Ensures compliance to your business rules by monitoring the relationship among documents — e.g., invoices may not be paid without prior receipt of a purchase order and ship notice.
cXML: Commerce XML. A streamlined protocol intended for consistent communication of business documents between procurement applications, e-commerce hubs and suppliers.
Data Element: One or more data items, forming a unit or piece of information as defined in the data dictionary of a system of EDI Standards, and contained in an EDI message or transaction set. The term “data element” is often abbreviated as “DE” followed immediately by the data element number (i.e., data element 128 would be abbreviated as DE128) in some texts.
Data Enrichment: Augments the content of a transaction with additional data. Examples might include standing settlement instructions, product codes, or manufacturer specifications. Enrichment can be performed based upon static reference data, real-time database inquiry or an external application interface.
Data Leakage Protection: The service ensures security against unauthorized physical or electronic access to the data while being processed, transmitted, or at rest. For example, everything transmitted over the network is logged; to prevent unauthorized access to data at rest, USB ports are deactivated and printing is disabled. Consider for sensitive data such as social security numbers or credit card numbers. Required for compliance with HIPPA and some financial industry regulations.
Data Synchronization: Data synchronization is the electronic transfer of standardized product and location information between trading partners and the continuous synchronization of that data over time.
Dedicated Help Desk for You: Assigns specialized resources to exclusively manage and support your production environment, including customized escalation procedures when issues occur.
Dedicated Help Desk for Your Community: Assigns specialized resources to exclusively manage and support business partners who trade electronically, including answering the phone using your company name and providing custom support in completing B2B- related processes.
Digital Signature: A method for ensuring that messages received are indeed authentic and were created by a known sender. For example, the use of digital signature is a popular method for complying with various country regulations to confirm the integrity of data within an electronic invoice, allowing the document to be used when completing tax returns and during tax audits.
Duplicate Checking: Validates that transactions containing the same control numbers as previously processed transactions are rejected prior to sending or receiving. For example, if an invoice has already been received, subsequent invoices with the same invoice number will be rejected.
EDI Over the Internet: A protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force. Originally developed to transmit Electronic Data Interchange via email over the Internet. Applicability Statement 1(AS1), the first version, used Simple Mail Transport Protocol as the transport protocol, bouncing direction to get to the end connection. Applicability Statement 2 (AS2), the current version, uses Hypertext Transport Protocol to build a tunnel to the recipient address, establishes the connection, and then sends the information in a secured environment assuring the sender of receipt.
EDI: Electronic Data Interchange. The computer-to-computer transfer of business transaction information using standard, industry-accepted message formats.
EDIFACT (also UN/EDIFACT): United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport: The international standard for EDI trading in a wide range of commercial and non-commercial sectors developed under the United Nations.
Encryption at Rest: Data is encrypted when not being processed or while stored in a database. Ensures that system or database administrators do not gain unauthorized access to sensitive data such as credit card or bank account numbers.
Encryption in Motion: Data is encrypted while being processed or transmitted through the network. Popular encryption protocols include SSL and PDP. Most companies use encryption when sending financial data or as an add-on to FTP for added security.
End-to-End Testing and Certification: Tests with each partner to ensure successful compliance to your business rules (i.e. accurate document contents) in addition to successful communications and compliance with standards rules.
ERP Firewall: An infrastructure that either allows, prevents, or even goes so far to take corrective action to B2B transactions that are exchanged between an organization’s ERP system or its supply chain management applications and its external trading partners.
Exception Management: Identifies, manages and responds to business process exceptions, such as non-compliance with an EDI standard or your proprietary requirement.
eXtensible Markup Language: XML. An open standard for describing data defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML is also referred to as a meta language (a language for describing other languages) that allows individuals to customize markup languages for limitless different types of documents. It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format like Hypertext Markup Language (a single, predefined markup language).
File Merge and Split: For companies that find it convenient to send or receive batches of transactions in a single file, the provider can divide them into individual transactions prior to sending them to trading partners. Likewise, the provider can consolidate individual transactions from trading partners into a single file prior to delivery to your system. For example, you may generate a single file of customer invoices at the end of the day and rely on the provider to split them into individual transactions prior to transmission to your customers.
File Reorganize: Reorganizes transactions sent to meet the needs of business partners. For example, with Direct Store Delivery orders, the provider can reorganize the line items of an order to sort by store and thus streamline stores’ receiving process.
Filtering: Eliminates unnecessary data from files or messages prior to transmission. In some cases you may need to strip unnecessary fields from a document (or rows from a file) before uploading into your internal systems.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol. A standard method of transmitting files from one computer to another over the internet.
FTPS: FTP Secure and FTP-SSL. An extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. FTPS should not be confused with the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), an incompatible secure file transfer subsystem for the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. It is also different from Secure FTP, the practice of tunneling FTP through an SSH connection.
Functional Test: Quality Assurance personnel test the map to ensure that all functionality as stated in the Functional Requirements Specification works properly and is fully integrated into the solution — e.g., pre and post processing works correctly, data is routed correctly with proper headers.
GCI: Global Commerce Initiative. A global industry user group which identifies issues hindering supply chain performance and suggests potential global solutions for data, messages, processes and associated requirements which it can offer to standards bodies such as GS1 for adoption.
GDD: Global Data Dictionary: a GS1 standard which allows all the potential attributes of an item to be defined. These attributes may include size, brand information, logistical information, etc.
Global Program Management: For global programs, assigns region-based Program Managers, all coordinated by the Global Program Manager.
GS1: A worldwide network of standards bodies and service providers which develops global supply chain standards and solutions used by over one million companies for bar coding, electronic business messaging, data synchronization and through the EPC global Network, radio frequency identification.
HIPAA: Complies with the security and privacy rules of the HIPPA Act of 1996 for patients’ protected health information. (Applies to companies that exchange healthcare information in the US.)
HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol. A protocol used to request and transmit files, especially web pages and web page components, over the internet or other computer network.
HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. The de facto standard mechanism for securing web communications. It is a combination of the HTTP with the SSL/TLS protocol to provide encryption and secure identification of a network web server. HTTPS connections are often used for payment transactions on the Web and for sensitive transactions in corporate information systems. HTTPS should not be confused with Secure HTTP (S-HTTP)—a little-used alternative to the HTTPS URI scheme for encrypting Web communications carried over HTTP.
IaaS: Integration as a Service. According to Gartner, “B2B integration capabilities that are hosted in a multi-tenant environment were traditionally known as “EDI value-added networks (VANs)”; we now call these hosted offerings “integration as a service.” See also B2B Services.
IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force. An open standards organization that develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite.
Integrated Release Management: Formal change-management process when releasing new maps or other code into or out of production, including maintaining a library of changes, reversion processes, health checks.
ISAE 3402: Complies with ISAE 3402 reporting standards according to ISA 402, Audit Considerations Relating to an Entity Using a Service Organization.
ISO: International Standards Organization. An international organization, working with the United Nations that maintains the standards for all applications of technology and mechanics for global industry.
ISO 27001: Certified to be compliant with ISO/IEC 27001 standard for information security management. Includes 12 main sections ranging from risk assessment and access control to human resources and physical security.
ITIL: Utilities the ITIL methodology for IT Service Management, a best practice that provides a framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services.
Mapping: The process of converting electronic documents from the data structures of ERP applications into XML, or a proprietary application structure, or EDI formats to enable the exchange of data and information between trading partners with disparate systems.
Matching: Compares data fields in one message to another. For example, provides automated 3-way matching of data in purchase order to the invoice and the advance ship notice to enable fast payment approval and qualification for early payment discounts.
MFT: Managed File Transfer. A software application that facilitates the secure transfer of data from one computer to another through a network (e.g., the Internet). Typically, MFT offers a higher level of security and control than FTP. Features include reporting (e.g., notification of successful file transfers), non-repudiation, auditability, global visibility, automation of file transfer-related activities and processes, end-to-end security, and performance metrics/monitoring. MFT applications are available as both licensed software packages and SaaS solutions.
Multi-Country: Resources knowledgeable about B2B requirements for each country in which the customer operates.
Multi-Country, Country-Specific Experts: Experts in B2B requirements for all countries in which the customer does business — e.g., e-invoicing regulatory compliance requirements in Europe and South America.
Multi-Factor Authentication: Requires multiple credentials to prove your identity and determine access level. For example, you may need a token and a password for login. This is popular in the financial services industry.
Multi-Industry Experts: Skilled set of resources who are very knowledgeable about the document standards that are specific to various industries such as Automotive, Retail and Financial Services.
Multi-Site in Multi-Region: In the event of a disruption throughout a geographical region that affects all local data centers, service can continue to be provided in an alternative physical location in a different geographical region.
Multi-Site in Same Region: In the event of a disruption that affects the entire data center, service can continue to be provided from an alternative physical location in the same geographical region. Data privacy regulations in Europe and the US are driving customers to place increased focus on the locations of data centers. Data privacy laws may require that all data remains within a country or a region.
Multi-Tenancy: A principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a server
, serving multiple client organizations (tenants).
Non-Repudiation: Provides proof of the integrity and origin of data being exchanged between the sender and the receiver. The service provider should be able to assert that the authentication was genuine with a high degree of confidence.
Notification: Automatically notifies you and/or your partner via email of non-critical events, as you have defined them. For example, notifies you when your Internet-forms partner has opened a document you sent him.
OASIS: Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. A not-for-profit global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business and web service standards.
OFTP: Odette File Transfer Protocol. A protocol used for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) between two communications business partners. OFTP is the de facto file transfer standard within several business sectors, including Automotive, Engineering and Transport. The new version 2 of the OFTP protocol (OFTP2) allows secure data exchange over the public Internet, with security guaranteed by the use of digital certificates.
Orchestration: Executes a series of steps in a process according to your business rules. For example, upon receipt of purchase orders, automatically sends copies to assigned sales people within your organization.
PCI: Certified as compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS, a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. (Applies to companies that exchange credit information.)
PIP: Partner Interface Processes. RosettaNet PIPs define business processes between trading partners via XML-based dialogs.
Priority Delivery: Prioritizes delivery of certain messages to ensure that they get sent before others. This is useful in the event of a service interruption because it ensures that your documents are among the first to be delivered.
Proactive Monitoring and Problem Resolution: Continually monitors a global B2B environment to detect and resolve issues that may arise.
Proactive Sales and Marketing to Business Partners: Via a variety of vehicles (e.g., email, phone, custom microsite) to speed partner implementation, contacts your partners with your program-specific messaging, provides B2B and program-specific education and provides ongoing communication.
Program Management (Single Country): Provides a Program Manager to coordinate and manage all onboarding-related planning activities, including the development of program documentation, execution of onboarding-related activities and scheduling of internal and external meetings.
Protocol mediation: The automated translation between two differing protocols that allows a company to exchange files with internal and external users using a wide variety of open standards and Internet-based communication protocols including SFTP, AS3, FTP (private IP) and HTTPS.
Protocol: In the context of technology, a communication protocol that provides an agreed-upon set of instructions for transferring data and determines message content and format, enabling uniformity of transmissions e.g.,: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
RAID: Redundant array of independent disks. Technology that provides increased storage reliability through redundancy, combining multiple relatively low-cost, less-reliable disk drives components into a logical unit where all drives in the array are interdependent.
Reactive Problem Resolution: Help Desk responds to customer support requests 24x7x365 around the world with notification and escalation processes to efficiently and accurately address problems.
Root Cause Analysis: When issues arise, determines and addresses root causes instead of dealing with only the symptoms.
RNIF: RosettaNet Implementation Framework. The purpose of RNIF is to facilitate the execution of Partner Interface Processes (PIPs).
RosettaNet: A non-profit consortium dedicated to the collaborative development and rapid deployment of open, business process standards that align processes within the global trading network. RosettaNet is a subsidiary of GS1 US.
SaaS: Software as a Service. Software that is deployed over the internet and/or is deployed to run behind a firewall on a local area network or personal computer. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers as a service on demand, through a subscription, in a “pay-as-you-go” model, or increasingly at no charge. sometimes referred to as “software on demand,”
Self-Service Profile Maintenance: Your business partners are empowered to maintain their own company and contact profiles to keep the directory up-to-date. They can upload contracts, insurance certificates and other key documents directly to their profiles.
Service: Distinct activities performed by a person or functions generated by technical systems that serve a purpose and benefit the other. In the context of enterprise architecture, service-orientation, and service-oriented architecture, the term service refers to a set of related software functionality, together with the policies that should control its usage.
SFTP: SSH File Transfer Protocol. A network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management functionality over any reliable data stream. It was designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as an extension of the Secure Shell protocol (SSH) version 2.0 to provide secure file transfer capability, but is also intended to be usable with other protocols.
Single Country: Resources knowledgeable about B2B requirements for the country in which the provider does business.
Single Site: In the event of a disruption that affects the entire data center, there is no alternative physical location for providing backup services.
SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The protocol that is most commonly used for transferring email between servers over the internet.
SOA: Service-Oriented Architecture. The underlying structure supporting communications between services. SOA defines how two computing entities, such as programs, interact in such a way as to enable one entity to perform a unit of work on behalf of another entity. Each interaction is self-contained and loosely coupled, so that each interaction is independent of any other interaction.
SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol. A lightweight XML based protocol for exchanging structured information in a de-centralized, distributed environment, defined by the W3C.
SSAE16: An audit of the vendor’s service is performed by a 3rd party to ensure that that security policies and procedures adhere to AICPA’s Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE)No. 16 Type II.
SSL/TLS: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) predecessor to Transport Layer Security (TLS), are cryptographic protocols that provide security for communications over networks such as the Internet. SSL and TLS encrypt the segments of network connections at the Application Layer to ensure secure end-to-end transit at the Transport Layer.
Table Lookup: Sometimes referred to as transcodification. Can replace values within a file with data from another source. For example, a country code may be replaced by the full country name prior to transmission.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): The basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network, either an intranet or an extranet.
TDI: Trading Data Interchange. Abbreviation for EDI common in Europe.
Tier 1 Data Center: Tier 1 facilities include uninterruptable power supplies, dedicated cooling equipment and emergency generator.
Tier 2 Data Center: Tier 2 facilities include Tier 1 plus redundant critical power and cooling components and extra UPS modules, chillers, pumps and engine generators.
Tier 3 Data Center: Tier 3 facilities include tier 2 plus the capability for the data center operators to perform “concurrent maintenance” on systems such as power and HVAC. There is a redundant delivery path for power and cooling. Tier 3 facilities are designed to support the high-availability requirements of organizations with 24 x forever.
Tier 4 Data Center: Tier 4 facilities include tier 3 and are fault tolerant. Individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions do not impact IT operations. Tier 4 is most appropriate for organizations with an international market presence delivering 24 x forever services in a highly competitive or regulated industry.
Tokenization: Temporary replacement of sensitive data with substitutions during data processing. For businesses that transmit highly sensitive data (e.g., social security numbers, checking account numbers, credit card information), the provider may offer a PCI-compliant data tokenization service to ensure the highest level of data security.
Tracking: Automatically monitors each transaction step-by-step as it moves from origin to destination. Service providers typically offer a web portal which allows users to review the current state or entire lifecycle of a transaction.
Tracking and Reporting on Partner Enablement Status: Provides you with ongoing partner enablement status reports and performance scorecards to ensure you have the latest information and can take necessary actions in the event of any impediments to progress.
Transaction Sequencing: Upon receipt of transactions from your trading partners, checks the transaction header information to ensure that they are in the proper order prior to delivery to your system. Will resequence transactions when necessary. This may be required if your back-office system can process documents only in a specific order.
Translation: Accepts messages or files in your native format and converts them into industry standard messages prior to distribution to your business partners. For example, data is translated from SAP IDOC to EDIFACT or RosettaNet XML.
Translator: A program used to convert data and information from flat file to EDI format, or from EDI format to flat file. Can also perform the conversion of application data to and from a standard.
Transliteration: When electronic messages (EDI) are being transmitted between applications using different character encoding schemes there is a need to convert the data from one format to another. For example, data may need to be converted from EBCDIC to ASCII, UTF-8 or UTF-16. When B2B integration platforms perform this conversion it is called transliteration.
UCC: The Uniform Code Council. The organization that oversees the standards for product identification and related electronic communications. The UCC oversaw the Universal Product Code (UPC) in the United States – now superseded by GTINs – as well as Uniform Communication Standards (UCS) for EDI in the grocery industry and Warehouse Information Network Standards (WINS) in the warehousing and transportation industry.
UCS: A subset of the ANSI X12 EDI standard.
UDF: Universal Disk Format. An open vendor-neutral file system for computer data storage for a broad range of media./dd>
UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration. A platform-independent, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based registry for businesses worldwide to list themselves on the Internet and a mechanism to register and locate web service applications.
UN/CEFACT: The United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. It supports activities dedicated to improving the ability of business, trade and administrative organizations to exchange products and services effectively.
Unit Test: Developer runs tests to ensure that the map enables documents to be translated correctly.
User Acceptance Testing: Provider supports the customer when the customer tests maps within its own environment.
VAN: Value-Added Network. A third-party entity which handles the electronic exchange of information between subscribers to its services. Services provided by VANs include electronic mailboxing of EDI transmissions, protocol and speed conversion, and EDI record keeping for audit tracking.
W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. The body that defines standards (such as HTTP) for the Internet.
Web Self-Service: Provides a web-based interface to enable quick and easy viewing on status of documents sent and received, including date and timestamps for all process steps, such as transmission, processing and pickup or delivery.
Web Service: a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using the XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards over an Internet. The W3C defines a “Web service” as “a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network.”
Web-Based Self-Service: Provides your business partners with an easy-to-use, 24×7 Web portal to test their EDI documents for syntactical compliance with your chosen document formats.
Web-EDI: A generic term for the transmitting of structured business messages over the internet. This may include solutions such as a log-on to a portal and inputting commercial transactional information into a form on a website using an internet browser. This method requires an element of manual intervention.
WS-1: Web Services Interoperability. An open industry organization chartered to establish Best Practices for Web services interoperability, for selected groups of Web services standards, across platforms, operating systems and programming languages.
WSDL: Web Services Description Language. An XML-based language for describing Web services and how to access them.
X.25: A standard family of protocols for packet switched wide area network (WAN) communication. X.25 networks are in use throughout the world.
X400: A suite of ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union) recommendations that define standards for Data Communication Networks for Message Handling Systems (MHS) — more commonly known as “email”.
XML/EDIFACT: An Electronic Data Interchange format used in Business-to-business transactions. It allows EDIFACT message types to be used by XML systems.
XML: Extensible Markup Language. An open standard for describing data defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML is also referred to as a meta language (a language for describing other languages) that allows individuals to customize markup languages for limitless different types of documents. It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format like Hypertext Markup Language (a single, predefined markup language).