July 23, 2014

EDI Expert Video Series Episode 2: What is an EDI ID? What is an EDI Qualifier?

EDI Expert Insights with Tom Guzik, Manager, B2B EDI Solutions

We have a new EDI Expert Video Series, featuring IDEA’s Manager, B2B Solutions, Tom Guzik. Each issue, we will bring you answers to frequently asked questions about electronic data interchange (EDI) for users and non-users alike. This issue’s video answers the questions of what an EDI ID and an EDI qualifier are. Click here or on the video above to view. If you have any questions you would like answered in a future segment, submit your topic to communications@idea4industry.com

Q: What is an EDI ID? 

A: An EDI ID is a description; it’s a coded description that is used within an EDI transaction set, which uniquely identifies a sender and a receiver. Every trading partner doing EDI has an EDI ID. That ID is unique to that partner, so that when the EDI document is sent to a VAN, it allows for the routing of the document because all of the routing tables for all of the VANs contain every ID. So when you’re sending a purchase order to your VAN, or to one of your trading partners, the VAN is reading that EDI ID for your trading partner and the routing tables tell them how to deliver it.  If it’s on one VAN, it will send it to one place; if it’s a different VAN, it will know how to send it because the ID is registered to one location only.

The real premise is that it has to be unique – you can’t have an ID somebody else is using because when an EDI transaction set gets delivered, that will be the first thing that is seen. So if you’re using somebody else’s ID, depending on where it falls on the routing table, that’s who’s going to actually get it.  You can use a phone number, a Dun and Bradstreet number – anything that you know is really unique to your company that would not typically be used by somebody else. 

Q: Can you create your own EDI ID?

A: You can actually create your own EDI ID, because most people will use their corporate phone number. Or you can use your Dun and Bradstreet, which is really limited to a company, because no two companies have the same Dun and Bradstreet number.  However, there is a way you can create your own and that falls under the qualifiers. For example, you can ZZ qualify it an IDW, which means it’s a mutually-defined number or code.  So you could put anything together, any combination of numbers or letters, as long as it’s a unique combination.  It must be confirmed that nobody else is using that same combination, because that code belongs to you and identifies you as the send or receiver.

Want to learn more about EDI or IDEA’s IDX services? Contact Tom Guzik at tguzik@idea4industry.com.