Advance Ship Notice

Advance Ship Notice or Advanced Shipping Notification, also known as an 856 transaction. An EDI transaction sent by the shipper of material to the receiver advising that the shipment has been sent, and providing details such as manifest, PO number, estimated time of arrival, carrier, etc.


American National Standards Institute: is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that works to develop and promote standards in the United States and around the world. Its subcommittee, the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ANSI ASC), recommends a standard referred to as ANSI ASC X12 or simply X12.

ANSI Standards

A published transaction set approved by ANSI through the consensus process of public announcement and review. Each of these standards must be reviewed every five years for update, reaffirmation or withdrawal.


“Application Reference”. Found in the ISA02 data element of the EDI data Interchange. It is authorization information used for additional identification of the data in the interchange.

In Pubnet, the value is either blank or defines the document ID and version number and is in the format of dddBKvvvv, where ddd is the document id (850, 855, 856, 810) and vvvv is the standards versions # (3060, 4010). For Functional Acknowledgements, the APRF is 997. This value in the ISA02 is only used by the US Trade & Higher Ed community.

The APRF value is also displayed in FTP server output. If the ISA02 is blank, the value of the APRF is Doc ID value found in the ST01 data element.


Applicability Statement 2: Specifies how to transport data and the means to connect, deliver, validate and reply to data in a secure and reliable manner. AS2 Software specifically supports transmissions using the AS2 protocol.


See Advance Ship Notice.


See Business to Business.


Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee began as a result of a meeting to promote the use of the ISBN in the publishing industry. It is a sub-group of BISG. This organization has been the main standards forum of the Book Industry Study Group since 1980 and is responsible for helping to develop and maintain technology and electronic commerce standards for the entire publishing industry.


Book Industry Study Group is the U.S. book industry's trade association for research and supply chain standards and policies. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. This organization provides a forum for publishing professionals to address issues, such as production identification standards, bar coding practices, and the dissemination of electronic data about book titles.

Bookland EAN

See ISBN-13.

BookNet Canada

One of the Trading Communities on the Pubnet VAN whose EDI Standard is Unified CBISAC 004010 version 1.1.

Business Document

A set of information components that are interchanged as part of a business activity.

Business Message

See Message.

Business Partner

The entity with which EDI Business documents are exchanged. This may be either the sender or the receiver of information in EDI.

Business to Business (B2B)

The practice of buying and selling between companies through the use of electronic transactions.


Canadian Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee.

Communication Session

The uninterrupted flow of data from one computer system to the other.

Compliance Checking

A process for ensuring that the EDI transmissions comply with the established standard ANSI X12 syntax rules (US). The function of EDI processing software is to ensure that all transmissions contain the mandatory information demanded by the EDI standard. Compares information sent by an EDI user against EDI standards and reports exceptions. Does not ensure that documents are complete and fully accurate but does reject transmissions with missing data elements or syntax errors.

Conditional (C)

In EDI standards, a data element requirement designator which indicates that the presence of a specified data element is dependent on the value or presence of other data elements in the segment. The condition must be stated and must be computer processable


A notification that the transmission has been received by the intended receiver. (See also Functional Acknowledgement.)

Control Number

Also known as Reference Number. An identification number used to distinguish a standard data element (data element identifier) or a standard segment (segment identifier). There is a unique control number for the Functional Group (GS06/GE02) and each Transaction Set (ST02/SE02) within each Interchange ISA13/IEA02. The Interchange control number must be unique over all interchanges sent to a trading partner.

Control Segment

A control segment has the same structure as a data segment but is used for transferring control information for grouping data segments. Control Segments are Loop Control Segments (LS/LE)-not used in Pubnet, Transaction Set Control Segments (ST/SE), and Functional Group Control Segments (GS/GE), defined in X12.6, and Interchange Control Segments (ISA/IEA,TA1) defined in X12.5.

Core Four

The four basic business documents most commonly traded: 850- Purchase Order, 855 – Purchase Order Acknowledgement, 856 – Advanced Ship Notice and 810 – Invoice.

Cross Dock

A distribution system in which merchandise received at the warehouse or distribution center is not put away, but instead is readied for shipment to retail stores. Cross docking requires close synchronization of all inbound and outbound shipment movements. By eliminating the put-away, storage and selection operations, it can significantly reduce distribution costs.

CSV File

Comma Separated Values file: A File format in which the data elements are separated with commas, also know as Comma Delimited File.

Data Element

The smallest unit of EDI information. A data element could be a code, a name, a quantity or any other individual piece of information.

Data Element Length

This is the range, minimum to maximum, or the number of character positions available to represent the value of a data element. A data element may be of variable length with range from minimum to maximum, or it may be of fixed length in which the minimum is equal to the maximum.

Data Element Requirement Designator

A code defining the need for a data element value to appear in the segment if the segment is transmitted. The codes are mandatory (M), optional (O), or conditional (X).

Data Element Separator

A unique character preceding each data element that is used to delimit data elements within a segment. Defined as the character in the 4th column of the ISA segment. The most common separators are the asterisk (*) and the pipe (|), although other characters are permitted.

Data Mapping

The method by which information in one format is translated into a different format.


In EDI, a form, such as an invoice or a purchase order, that trading partners have agreed to exchange, and that the EDI software handles within its compliance-checking logic. (See Transaction Set and Message.)


The process of receiving data from another computer at a remote site onto the computer under the control of the operator.

EAN or EAN-14

See ISBN-13.and UCC / EAN-14.


An EDI communications platform provided by Loren Data which Pubnet uses to move interchanges to and from interconnect trading partners on other VANs and provide AS2 connections.


Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (aka, US ECPA Christian): one of the Trading Communities on the Pubnet VAN whose EDI Standard is the US ECPA Christian – X12 vers 3060


Electronic Data Interchange: The computer-to-computer transfer of business transaction information using standard, industry-accepted message formats.

EDI ID / EDI Address

Consists of the Qualifier and Mailbox ID. Pubnet trading partners use a ZZ for the Qualifier and their SAN for the Mailbox ID. Each user in the EDI Trading Community within an EDI VAN need a unique EDI Address.

EDI Standard

Standards prescribe the formats, character sets, and data elements (and in some instances code values) used in the exchange of business documents as a Message / Transaction Set. EDI standards commonly used are X12 (North American based)

EDI Translation

The conversion of application data to and from a standard format.

EDI Translator

Computer software used to perform the conversion of application data to and from a standard. Usually licensed rather than developed in-house. May have subsystems for mapping, auditing and document management.

EDI Version

EDI standards are supported by updates to the standard, known as versions, that are published (typically annually) to allow for new data elements, transactions needed to support changing systems, and business requirements.

Electronic Envelope

Electronic information that binds together a set of transmitted documents sent from one sender to one receiver. There are three types of envelopes, the ISA/IEA, or transmission envelope, the GS/GE envelope, and the ST/SE envelope.

Electronic Mailbox

See Mailbox.

Electronic Trading

The electronic exchange of business messages between parties. Electronic trading can be any format as long as both parties are in agreement with structure, content, and code/values.


The smallest item of information in the standard. Also, see Data Element.

Element Delimiter

Single character delimiter; follows the segment identifier and each data element in a segment except the last.


Anyone who uses a computer system and its output.


The combination of header, trailer and sometimes other control segments, that define the start and end of an individual EDI transaction set / message.


An EDI management software function that groups all documents of the same type, or functional group, and bound for the same destination into an electronic envelope. Enveloping is useful where there are multiple documents of the same type, such as orders or invoices issued to a single trading partner that need to be sent as a packet.

ERP System

Enterprise Resource Planning System: A class of software for planning and managing "enterprise-wide" the resources needed to take customer orders, ship them, account for them and replenish all needed goods according to customer orders and forecasts. Often includes electronic commerce with suppliers. Examples of ERP systems are the application suites from SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and others.

eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

eXtensible Markup Language is a universal format, maintained by the W3C, used for representation and transfer of structured data on the Internet or between different applications.

XML tags give instructions to a browser or to application software which help to define the specifics about the category of information. It is designed to improve the functionality of the Web by providing more flexible and adaptable information identification. It is called extensible because it is not a fixed format.


See Functional Acknowledgement.


A collection of related records treated as a basic unit of storage in a computer system.

Fixed Length

Term that describes a data field with an established number of characters.


Fully Qualified Domain Name is the complete domain name for a specific computer, or host, on the Internet, which includes the hostname and domain name. For example, the FQDN for the production Pubnet UI is, where “www” is the host and “” is the domain Name.


File Transfer Protocol: A standard method of transmitting files from one computer to another over the Internet.

FTP Server

A dedicated network server or software within a network server that enables uploading and downloading files via the FTP protocol.


File Transfer Protocol secure uses FTP with support for encryption protocols TLS or SSL to provide greater security in transferring files.

FTP Server IP Addresses and Domain Names (for MVB servers):

MVB Pubnet 2.0 production server. The domain name is

MVB Test (sandbox) FTP server’s IP address. Domain name is This is where users will do their testing. A valid mailbox will need to be setup by Pubnet Tech Support

Functional Acknowledgement

A Transaction Set (997) transmitted by the receiver of an EDI transmission to the

sender, indicating receipt and syntactical acceptability of data transmitted according to

the ASC X12 standards. The functional acknowledgment allows the receiving party to

report back to the sending party problems encountered by the syntax analyzer as the data is interpreted. It allows the receiver to notify the sender if problems have been encountered within the data. It is not intended to serve as an acknowledgment of data content.

Functional Group

A group of one or more transaction sets bounded by a functional group header segment (GS) and a functional group trailer segment (GE) to envelop a complete functional group.

Functional Group Segments (GS/GE)

These segments identify a specific functional group of documents sun as purchase orders.

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

Used in proper context, any IBN, EAN or UPC Code is a GTIN. However, this term is often used in this industry to refer to the 14-digit UCC/EAN code.


Segment Control Identifiers for the Functional Group segments: These segments comprise the Functional Group envelope. It contains information such as the type of transaction enclosed, the sender and receiver information, and defines the version, transmission date and control number.


The specific segment that, in simplest terms, tells the receiving computer where an individual EDI message starts.


The exchange of information from one company to another. A group of transaction sets sent from one sender to one receiver at one time. The interchange is indicated by an interchange control header and an interchange control trailer. It is comparable to an outer envelope in paper transmissions.

Interchange Envelope

An envelope that contains the interchange header and trailer segments, control numbe and a number of functional groups in the interchange. One interchange envelope is required for each transmission.


Two VANs who link to one another’s address. These VANs exchange data with each other using a mailbag with EDI batches used for exchanging EDI files and for tracking purposes.

Interconnect Trading Partner

A trading partner who is on another VAN.


A computer term which refers to an interconnected group of computer networks from all parts of the world, i.e. a network of networks. Accessed via a modem and an on-line service provider, it contains many information resources and acts as a giant electronic message routing system.

Interconnect Trading Partnership

A partnership is a set up process within each trading partners EDI translator needed to be done by each trading partner’s VAN to allow the exchanging of business documents between the two trading partners on different VANs.


See Invoice.


A request for payment that communicates to a buyer the specific items, price, and quantities delivered that must be paid for by the buyer. Payment terms will usually accompany the billing information. Also known as an 810 transaction.


Interchange control header; identifies the beginning of an interchange of one or more functional groups and interchange-related control segments.


Segment Control Identifiers for the Interchange Control segments: The outer envelope known as the Interchange Envelope. It contains information on the number of transaction sets included, identifies the sender and receiver, and provides date and time of the transmission.


The original book identifier, prior to 2007, that uniquely identified each book with a 9 digit core number and a tenth check digit.


After January 1, 2007, all 10-digit ISBN’s were re-expressed as a 13 digit number by appending a 978 prefix to the 9-digit core and recalculating a new check digit. A 979 prefix will be used when all 978 prefixes in a given block are assigned. This will effectively double the number of ISBN’s available. These 13 digit ISBN-13’s are identical in construction to the Bookland EAN.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address. The address of a connected device in an IP network (TCP/IP network), which is the worldwide standard both in-house and on the Internet. Every desktop and laptop computer, server, scanner, printer, modem, router, smartphone, tablet and smart TV is assigned an IP address, and every IP packet traversing an IP network contains a source IP address and a destination IP address.

Loren Data/ECGrid

The VAN Pubnet uses to provide the exchange of documents with interconnect trading partners on other VANs or Pubnet trading partners using AS2 connections using the Loren Data ECGrid platform.


A group of semantically related segments; these segments may be either bounded or unbounded. The N1 loop, which includes segments N1 to PER for name and address information, is an example of a loop.


A file storage area within a computer, usually one used by a Network Service Provider, where information is placed until it can be retrieved by the intended receiver.


ANSI-defined standard for interconnects between VAN (EDI) addresses.

EDI VANs use the Interconnect Mailbag Control Structures (X12.56 Standard) to pass interchanges between each other. This standard defines the control segments used to start and end a mailbag, containing EDI data to be exchanged between two interconnecting entities. The purpose of this standard is to provide control structures and an audit mechanism to facilitate the exchange and receipt acknowledgment of EDI data between interconnecting VANs.

Mailbag Number

The “Mailbag Number” is the main way Networks / VANs verify the receipt and processing of interchanges through interconnects. When a company on Network-A sends an interchange to a trading partner on Network-B and the interchange does not arrive, one of the first requests from Network-A is, “What was the Mailbag Number?”


The pattern in which EDI Information is to be arranged.

Mandatory (M)

A data element/segment requirement designator which indicates the presence of a specified data segment or element is required.

Max Use

Specifies the maximum number of times a segment can be used at the location in a transaction set.


A block of information in EDI making up a business transaction or part of a business transaction, including the outer envelope. Also, see Transaction Set.

Message Standards

The system of syntax, data elements, segments and messages (transaction sets) with which EDI will be conducted.

Message Type

An identified and structured set of data elements covering the requirements for a specified type of transaction, e.g., an invoice.


An electronic communications system that links computers together to allow EDI to take place.

Network Service Provider

A company that maintains a network and offers its services and capabilities to others for a fee.

Order Manager

An MVB Pubnet application which allows a user to create, send and receive the “Core Four” EDI documents. There is a Vendor and Retailer version. A user needs to be authorized to use it. Access is through the Pubnet UI once logged in.


See Purchase Order.


See Purchase Order Acknowledgement.


Point of Sale: often referred to as the point of service because it is not just a point of sale but also a point of return or customer order. POS terminal software may also include features for additional functionality, such as inventory management, CRM, financials, or warehousing.

Pubnet User Interface (UI)

MVB Pubnet User Interface (UI) homepage provides links to information and documentation. Once logged in, the user has access to Tracking and Order Manager (if authorized). Production Pubnet URL is the recommended access,, as it is possible the IP address could change or IP address

Pubnet FTP Server Ports:


The Pubnet FTP server port containing a more standard Pubnet FTP server, but not complete standard.


The Pubnet FTP server port containing the original, highly customized Pubnet FTP server port.


The Pubnet FTP server port that uses Passive mode and requires the following range of ports be open: 22000-22500, 23000-23500

Purchase Order

Purchase Order, also known as an 850 transaction. A document issued by a buyer to a seller that details the terms of sale under which the buyer will purchase the seller’s goods.

Purchase Order Acknowledgement

Purchase Order Acknowledgement, also known as a POA, PO Acknowledgment, Confirmation or an 855 transaction. A confirmation to the buyer that the supplier will be filling the purchase order as requested.


A data element which identifies or defines a related element, set of elements, or a segment. The qualifier contains a code taken from a list of approved codes.


The party to whom the EDI message or transaction set is transmitted.

Remote Server

A server that is dedicated to handle users that are not on the LAN but need remote access. In layman’s terms, a remote server is a computer that is not attached to your peripherals but you have some degree of control over it (mostly through internet), whether it is in the same room, another part of a building or even another country.


See Standard Address Number.


Segments consist of logically related data elements in a defined sequence. A data segment consists of a segment identifier, one or more data elements each preceded by an element separator, and ending with a segment terminator. In non-EDI terms, a segment is analogous to a record.

Segment Identifier

A unique (predefined) identifier/code for a segment composed of a combination of two or three uppercase letters and digits. The segment identifier occupies the first character positions of the segment. The segment identifier is not a data element.

Segment Terminator

A unique character appearing at the end of a segment to indicate the termination of the segment. A line feed/new line is a segment terminator. Also called an End of Segment Terminator.


The party who transmits the EDI messages.


Simple File Transfer Protocol. A network protocol that provides file transfer and manipulation functionality over any reliable data stream. It is typically used with the SSH-2 protocol to provide secure file transfer. (See also SSH).

Shipment Notification

See Advance Ship Notice.


Secure SHell. A set of standards and an associated network. A security protocol for logging into a remote server.


Simple Object Access Protocol. A lightweight XML-based protocol for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment, defined by the W3C.

A message-based protocol based on XML for accessing services on the Web. Initiated by Microsoft, IBM and others, it employs XML syntax to send text commands across the Internet using HTTP.

Standard Address Number

Identification system which provides a discrete code for each address within or served by the publishing industry. (7 numbers or 6 numbers + X). A US Company can obtain one from the Bowker ISBN/SAN Agency. A Canadian company obtains a SAN from BookNet Canada.


Segment Control Identifiers for the Transaction Set segments: These segments indicate the beginning and the end of a singular transaction and are therefore referred to as the Transaction set envelope. They include information such as the number of segments in the transaction set to ensure complete transmission.


The grammar or rules which define the structure of the EDI standards (e.g., the use of loops, qualifier, etc.). Syntax rules are published in the ANSI X12 standards.


An MVB Pubnet tool that allows a user to track documents sent and received with their trading partners. Accessed by logging in at

Trading Community

Trading communities consist of groups of companies that regulate trade with each other and generate significant repetitive business transactions. Trading Communities using EDI to exchange business transactions will do so on the same VAN using an agreed upon set of EDI standards. Pubnet is the VAN for three trading communities, each with their own EDI standards which are similar and based on the BISAC standards: BookNet Canada, US ECPA Christian, and US Retail & Higher Ed.

Trading Partner

A person or organization that has agreed to exchange EDI business transactions / documents electronically in a set.

Trading Partner Agreement

This document outlines all the conditions that will allow electronic communication between trading partners. The agreement states that the parties intend to operate in the same manner as though they were exchanging hard copy paper documents, with the signature on the agreement serving as a substitute for signature of each paper-based business document previously submitted.


The specific segment that in simplest terms, tells the receiving computer where an individual EDI message ends.

Transaction Set

The transaction set unambiguously defines, in the standard syntax, information of business or strategic significance and consists of a transaction set header segment, one or more data segments in a specified order, and a transaction set trailer segment. X12 standards identify a series of basic electronic documents called transaction sets. These cover common business documents such as purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgement, manifests and invoices. Outside North America, this is normally called a message (see Document and Message).

Transaction Set ID

An identifier that uniquely identifies the transaction set. This identifier is the first data element of the transaction set header segment. Example: “850” in the ST segment for a Purchase Order transaction.

Transaction Set ID for Transaction Set Types


EDI Document ID Number for an Invoice


EDI Document ID Number for a Purchase Order


EDI Document ID Number for a Purchase Order Acknowledgement


EDI Document ID Number for an Advance Ship Notice, Advanced Shipping Notification or Shipment Notice


EDI Document ID Number for a Shipment & Billing Notice


EDI Document ID Number for a Functional Acknowledgement

Transaction Set Standards

The system of syntax, data elements, segments, and transaction sets (messages) with which EDI will be conducted.


A program used to convert information from flat file to EDI format, or from EDI format to flat file.

UCC / EAN-14

In the UCC/EAN-14, a leading digit is added to the ISBN-13 that specifies the packaging level (such as a carton). When the packaging level is greater than a unit (such as a carton), a new check digit must be calculated.


See User Interface.

User Interface

Visual part of the computer application or operating system through which a user interacts with a computer or software. It determines how commands are give to the computer or the program and how information I displayed on the screen.


Universal Product Code


To send data from a user’s machine to a server.

US Retail & Higher Ed

One of the Trading Communities on the Pubnet VAN whose EDI Standard is the Pubnet US Retailer & Higher Ed EDI ANSI X12, version 3060 standards.


An entity, either an individual or a company, who utilizes a computer or system of standards for a specific purpose like EDI.


To check whether a document is the correct type for a particular EDI system, as agreed upon by the trading partners, in order to determine whether the document is going to or coming from an authorized EDI user.

Value-Added Network

Often abbreviated as VAN and today called an EDI Network Services Provider, a third-party entity which handles the electronic exchange of information between subscribers to its services. It acts as a clearing-house for electronic transactions, receiving EDI transmissions from sending trading partners and holds them in a “mailbox” until retrieved by the receiving partners. Services provided by VANs include electronic mailboxing of EDI transmissions, protocol and speed conversion, and EDI record keeping for audit tracking.


See Value-Added Network

Version / Release

Identifies the publication of the standard being used for the generation or the interpretation of data in the X12 standard format.

VAN Interconnect

The connection between two third-party networks that allows messages from one to be communicated to the other.


World Wide Web Consortium, An international industry consortium founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards for the Web.


A computer term used to describe the global Internet. World Wide Web.

Web Services

A standard means of interoperating between different software applications, running on a variety of platforms and/or frameworks, over the Internet.

Web Services Descriptive Language

An XML-based language that describes the protocols and formats used by a Web service.


See Web Services Description Language.


The official designation of the U.S. national standards body for the development and maintenance of EDI standards. The most widely used standard for EDI in the United States and much of North America. Pubnet standards are based on the BISAC X12 standards. X12 is also known as ANSI ASC X12.


The usual abbreviation for eXtensible Markup Language – an open standard for describing data defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). See eXtensible Markup Language.