TRADACOMS


TRADACOMS

Tradacoms is an early standard for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) primarily used in the UK retail sector. It was introduced in 1982 as an implementation of the UN/GTDI syntax, one of the precursors of EDIFACT, and was maintained and extended by the UK Article Numbering Association (now called GS1 UK).

The standard is obsolescent since development of it effectively ceased in 1995 in favour of the EDIFACT EANCOM subsets. Despite this it has proved durable and the majority of the retail EDI traffic in the UK still uses it.

Transactions

There are 26 transactions defined in Tradacoms:


# THE PRODUCT INFORMATION FILE
# THE PRICE INFORMATION FILE
# THE CUSTOMER INFORMATION FILE
# THE ORDER FILE
# THE PICKING INSTRUCTIONS FILE
# THE DELIVERY NOTIFICATION FILE
# THE DELIVERY CONFIRMATION FILE
# THE INVOICE FILE
# THE CREDIT NOTE FILE
# THE STATEMENT/REMITTANCE DETAILS FILE
# THE UPLIFT INSTRUCTION FILE
# THE UPLIFT CONFIRMATION FILE
# THE STOCK SNAPSHOT FILE
# THE STOCK ADJUSTMENT FILE
# THE AVAILABILITY REPORT FILE
# THE GENERAL COMMUNICATIONS FILE
# THE COMPLEX ORDER FILE
# THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ORDER FILE
# THE PRODUCT PLANNING REPORT FILE
# THE PAYMENT ORDER FILE
# THE DEBIT ADVICE FILE
# THE CREDIT ADVICE FILE
# THE EXCEPTION CONDITION FILE
# THE LOCATION PLANNING REPORT FILE
# THE UTILITY BILL FILE

There are additional transactions defined for use in the Insurance Industry which use the Tradacoms syntax, but with implicit nesting.

Syntax and usage

The syntax is very similar to EDIFACT, with the following principal differences:

* STX/END segments used instead of UNB/UNZ
* BAT/EOB segments instead of UNG/UNE
* MHD/MTR segments instead of UNH/UNT
* The segment tag delimiter is an '=' rather than a data element separator
* Explicit nesting is always used, but implemented as data elements rather than tag extensions
* Only implicit decimals are used
* The compression rules are less rigorous, being merely advisory.
* The underlying GTDI standard uses SCH instead of UNA, but this is not implemented in Tradacoms. The default EDIFACT UNOA separators are used.

In EDIFACT a message is a transaction. Tradacoms uses 'Files'; with one or more examples of the message being preceded by a header message, and followed by one or more trailer messages. This avoids the duplication of common header and trailer information which can occur in a series of EDIFACT messages.

Tradacoms files are equivalent to industry EDIFACT subsets. They are not generic in the way UN/EDIFACT messages are. They are only supposed to be for use within the UK, since they make no allowance for currencies other than sterling and tax information is geared to UK requirements.

References

Tradacoms pre-dates the web era, and there is very little information about it available online. The best reference sources are the EDI websites of major retail hubs and industry associations. An example is [http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/sid/info_edi.htm Sainsburys] .


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