July 11, 2012       By Ray Atia
An electronic envelope is a nifty little term that means there are a network of codes that outline the boundaries of electronic documents. The electronic envelope has the document inside it. The EDI information is sent out to trading partners, and you have to put the transaction details inside the electronic envelope. There are a set of three layers to the electronic envelope. The first is the document. The second is the set of documents that are similar. The third is the documents that pertain to a certain trading partner. The first layer employs the ST and SE. These stand for transaction set header and transaction set trailer respectively. These areas outline the beginning and end of the transaction group. The second layer employs the GS and GE. GS stands for functional group header and GE stands for functional group trailer respectively. The third layer works with the ISA and IEA. These stand for the interchange control header and interchange control trailer respectively. These segments are used to entail the first two identities for the sender and receive. The translation software should put an ST segment before a purchase order transaction group and an SE segment as well. You have to figure out the beginning and end of each transaction set. The entire purpose of EDI standards is to make sure that your computer knows that they can expect to get an electronic document. The computer has to have the information in hand of where one electronic document starts and another one ends. They have to be able to determine if a document is a purchase order or an invoice. They have to separate out which is the shipping name and which is the bill-to name. It would be so confusing to think about which companies started with EDI when the first public standards werent even adopted yet. That mental concept would give you a picture of how companies came to the conclusion that if the standards were missing, electronic exchange of business files would be a huge administrative task. These are very important things to think about when youre implementing EDI envelope structure. There are a lot of elements of EDI envelopes that you have to really think about before you implement it into your organization. There are some harsh elements that are hard to consider, and it can be hard to come to the right conclusions about the matter.