How to create and import EDI specs?

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The OpenEDI format

All EDI messages in EdiNation are represented as EDI models that match the official EDI guidelines and can be downloaded in our proprietary OpenEDI format.

The OpenEDI format is based on the Schema object in OpenAPI 3 and is used to represent EDI messages across all available EDI standards in EdiNation.


The EDI SEF format

EdiNation supports the SEF format (the Standard Exchange Format) and specifications in SEF format can be imported into EdiNation. The end result of a SEF file import operation is a new EDI model in our OpenAPI EDI format, e.g., the SEF file is converted into our proprietary format.

The level of support for SEF is detailed in the How to migrate from SEF? article.


How to create custom EDI models?

The purpose of the custom EDI models is that you will have partners whose specification might differ from the standard and requires modification. 

You can either obtain a new specification as a SEF file, or download an existing EDI model, and modify it according to the rules of the OpenEDI format.

Let's assume that we are making a change to the X12 4010 850 model (X12's purchase order).

  • Navigate to the EDI Formats page
  • Choose X12 and select the 4010 format


  • Select Message ID 850 to display the spec. Then navigate to the JSON tab.


  • Click the download button. The EDI specification will be downloaded as a JSON file with the name en-josn.json.


  • Rename the file to a meaningful name. The name will be used as the ID for the new model and must be globally unique across EdiNation. The name must be a combination of letters and numbers, .(dot) or _(underscore), to begin with, a letter, and not begin with EdiNation.
  • Navigate to the EDI Studio page.
  • Click the import button and select the JSON file that you renamed (for this example to x12_850_import.json)


  • After the import, a notification of a successful import will be displayed and the imported EDI spec will be loaded in the JSON editor.


When the import was not successful, a dialog listing all issues will be shown instead.

  • Following the rules of the OpenEDI format, modify the OpenAPI according to the partner-specific requirements. Let's assume that a partner needs the CUR segment to be mandatory instead of optional. Apply this change in the OpenAPI.


To finalize the creation of the new model, click the Update button. This will upload the new specification (or model) into your subscription and it will be ready for use straight away.


  • A notification will be displayed when your new EDI model is successfully uploaded.

To update an existing model, first, delete it by clicking the Delete button, and then re-import the new version.


How to use the custom EDI models?

Once you create a custom EDI model, either via SEF file import, or EDI model creation, that model won't be used automatically. You have to explicitly configure EdiNation to use it when:

  • Analyzing EDI files
  • Converting between EDI and JSON

To configure the x12_850_import custom model, do the following:

  • Copy the model name
  • Open the setting button (the settings button is in the top-right corner)


  • Paste the model name in the Translate according to this EDI format box, and then click the Save button.


Now, every time you upload a file for analysis, this custom model will be used instead of the standard one


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