Definition of ANSI ASC X12

ANSI ASC X12, also known as American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12, refers to a set of standardized electronic data interchange (EDI) formats established in the United States. These standards facilitate the exchange of business data, such as invoices and purchase orders, between organizations and industries. They were developed by the ANSI ASC X12 committee, which comprises representatives from various industries and government agencies to ensure a common communication framework.


The phonetics of the keyword “ANSI ASC X12” are:A – AlphaN – NovemberS – SierraI – India(space)A – AlphaS – SierraC – Charlie(space)X – X-Ray1 – One2 – Two

Key Takeaways

  1. ANSI ASC X12 is a set of standards for electronic data interchange (EDI) that facilitate the exchange of business documents and information between different computer systems.
  2. The ASC X12 standard is widely used in various industries such as healthcare, insurance, transportation, and government, enabling effective communication and streamlining processes among diverse partners.
  3. The organization responsible for maintaining and updating the X12 standards is the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC), which is governed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Importance of ANSI ASC X12

The technology term ANSI ASC X12 is important because it refers to a set of electronic data interchange (EDI) standards widely used for exchanging structured business information between organizations.

Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, these standards enable companies to communicate crucial data in a consistent and uniform format, streamlining business operations and enhancing efficiency.

By ensuring compatibility across industries and systems, ANSI ASC X12 promotes seamless communication and collaboration between trading partners, improving productivity, reducing errors, and minimizing the reliance on paper-based processes.


ANSI ASC X12, also known as the American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12, serves a critical purpose in the realm of electronic data interchange (EDI) by standardizing and streamlining the process of exchanging business documents and information. The purpose of having this uniform convention cannot be overstated as it facilitates seamless communication between businesses, organizations, government entities, and other institutions, which significantly contributes to the overall efficiency of the global markets.

As an ANSI-approved standard, it adheres to rigorous requirements, promoting reliability and interoperability. Although ASC X12 covers a wide range of industries, some notable examples of its applications include supply chain management, insurance, transportation, finance, and healthcare.

Utilizing ASC X12 standards, businesses are able to communicate quickly and securely, ensuring the smooth flow of critical data such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notifications, and financial transactions. The digitization of such document exchanges has significantly reduced the risk of errors, costs due to manual interventions and delays, ultimately streamlining the process and allowing organizations to operate at a heightened pace in the global marketplace.

Examples of ANSI ASC X12

The ANSI ASC X12 (American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12) is a collection of electronic data interchange (EDI) standards designed to facilitate the exchange of business information among organizations. Here are three real-world examples of how this technology is utilized:

Healthcare Industry: In the United States, the healthcare industry widely uses ANSI ASC X12 standards for exchanging medical insurance claim information between hospitals, medical practices, insurance companies, and government agencies. For example, healthcare providers use the 837 Transaction Set to submit insurance claims, while insurers use the 835 Transaction Set to provide remittance advice and payment information to healthcare providers.

Supply Chain Management: Many major retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers use the ANSI ASC X12 standard for electronic data exchange in their supply chain management processes. For example, the 850 Purchase Order Transaction Set is used to send purchase orders from a retailer to a supplier, the 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment Transaction Set is sent by the supplier to confirm receipt of the order, and the 856 Advance Ship Notice Transaction Set is used to communicate detailed shipping information before delivery of goods.

Transportation and Logistics: Companies in the transportation and logistics sector use ANSI ASC X12 standards to automate and streamline communication between carriers, shippers, and receivers. Examples of EDI transactions include the 204 Motor Carrier Load Tender, used by shippers to request a quote from a carrier, the 214 Transportation Carrier Shipment Status Message, which provides updates on shipment status and delivery, and the 210 Motor Carrier Freight Details and Invoice, used to provide billing information for transportation services.


What is ANSI ASC X12?

ANSI ASC X12 (American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Committee X12) is a widely-used electronic data interchange (EDI) protocol in the United States, created to exchange standard formatted business transactions electronically. It was developed by the ANSI X12 committee, providing a set of standards for the creation, transmission, and acknowledgment of electronic documents between businesses.

What are the benefits of using ANSI ASC X12?

Using ANSI ASC X12 offers various benefits, such as reducing paperwork, increasing processing efficiency, improving data accuracy, speeding up business transactions, and streamlining information exchange between trading partners. By implementing ANSI X12 standards, businesses can reduce errors, save time, and lower costs associated with manual document processing.

What types of documents can be exchanged using ANSI ASC X12?

ANSI ASC X12 covers a wide range of business transactions, including purchasing and order management, invoicing, transportation, finance, and many industry-specific transactions. Some common document types exchanged using X12 are purchase orders, invoices, shipment notices, and financial information.

What industries commonly use ANSI ASC X12?

ANSI ASC X12 is used across various industries, such as retail, healthcare, transportation, insurance, finance, and government. Manufacturing, supply chain management, and electronic commerce are some sectors that heavily rely on X12 for efficient information exchange and streamlined business processes.

How is ANSI ASC X12 different from other EDI standards?

ANSI ASC X12 is one of the many EDI standards available, specifically popular in North America. Other standards, such as UN/EDIFACT, are more widely used in Europe and other regions. The primary difference between X12 and other EDI standards is the syntax, structure, and transaction sets, which are compliant with the specific needs and requirements of the region or industry where they are used.

Related Technology Terms

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Transaction Sets (TS)
  • Interchange Control Structures (ICS)
  • Functional Acknowledgement (FA)
  • Implementation Guide (IG)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents