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EDI 850 Purchase Order

September 5th, 2023

Learn everything about EDI 850 purchase orders, transactions, specifications, EDI Compliance, file formats and layouts, and x12 850 samples.

What is an EDI 850 Purchase Order?

850 EDI Purchase Order is a document in the X12 transaction set used to place an order for goods or services. It is the standard format for an electronic purchase order and is used to initiate the purchase order (PO) process. The EDI 850 is an encrypted document, and it provides sellers with a secure way of handling purchase requests.

EDI 850 Components

An EDI 850 document provides the necessary information that is required to make an order request, such as:

  • Date of the order
  • Purchase order number
  • Items requested and their prices
  • Quantities ordered
  • Vendor name and address
  • Buyer name and address
  • Billing and shipping details
  • Shipping instructions
  • Payment method
  • Carrier details

This information is organized into segments and data elements as specified in that specific transaction set. Ensuring adherence to EDI 850 specifications is essential as an EDI 850 purchase order is intended to be sent, received, and interpreted by a computer.

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EDI X12 850 Purchase Order Sample 

The following EDI X12 850 format lists the different data elements, segments, and EDI 850 specification[1]:

ISA*00* *00* *ZZ*5489002 *01*197607336 *20000616*1549*U*00400*191154908*0*P*| ISA represents interchange control header.

It marks the beginning of one or more functional groups and control segments.

ISA01 – Authorization Information Qualifier. Code 00 indicates that no authorization information present in I02.

ISA02 – Authorization Information

ISA03 – Security Information Qualifier. Code 00 indicates that no security information present in I01.

ISA04 – Security Information

ISA05 – Interchange ID Qualifier

ISA06 – Interchange Sender ID. The ID here is 5489002.

ISA07 – Interchange ID Qualifier

ISA08 – Interchange Receiver ID

ISA09 – Interchange Date. The date is 16/06/2000.

ISA10 – Interchange Time. The interchange time is 15:49.

ISA11 – Interchange Control Standards Identifier. ‘U’ indicates that U.S. EDI Community of ASC X12, TDCC, and UCS is responsible for the control standard used by the message.

ISA12 – Interchange Control Version Number. Code ‘0400’ specifies the standard issued as ANSI X12.5-1997.

ISA13 – Interchange Control Number. The control number for this transaction is 191154908.

ISA14 – Acknowledgement Requested. Code ‘0’ indicates that no acknowledgment has been requested.

ISA15 – Usage Indicator. Code ‘P’ indicates that the interchange envelope contains production data.

ISA16 – Component Element Separator



GS represents functional group header.

It marks the beginning of a functional group and is used to provide control information.

GS01 – Functional Code Identifier. The code ‘PO’ indicates purchase order.

GS02 – Application Sender’s Code is 5489002.

GS03 – Application Receiver’s Code is 197607336.

GS04 – Date is 16/06/2000.

GS05 – Time is 15:49.

GS06 – Group Control Number is 191154909.

GS07 – Responsible Agency Code is X which represents Accredited Standards Committee X12

GS08 – Version/Release/Industry Identifier Code. The code 004010 indicates that the draft standards approved for publication by ASC X12 Procedures Review Board through October 1997.

ST*850*191154910 ST represents transaction set header.

It marks the beginning of a transactions set and is used to assign a control number.

This is a purchase order with transaction set control number 191154910.

BEG*00*SA*144**20000616 BEG represents the beginning segment of the purchase order.

It marks the beginning of the purchase order transactions set and convey identifying dates and numbers.

00 represents a new purchase order.

SA shows that it is a stand-alone order.

144 is the purchase order number.

Date of issuance was 16/06/2000.

N9*PO*144 N9 represents reference identification.

PO shows that it is a purchase order.

144 is the purchase order number.

DTM*097*20000616*1549 DTM stands for date/time qualifier.

It is used to specify important dates and times.

097 specifies transaction creation date.

The date was 16/06/2000.

The time was 15:49.



MSG represents message text.

This segment contains special instructions for shipping. For example, “Please ship ASAP”.



N1*ST*WEST PARK*91*77756

N1 represents several data elements including entity identifier code, name, identification code qualifier, and identification code.

‘91’ shows assigned by seller.

123456, 55123456, and 77756 are vendor customer numbers.

Buying party is General Hospital.

Bill to party is General Supplies.

Ship to West Park

N3*1000 Pacer Drive*SUITE 400 N3 represents address information.

This segment contains address information of the organization.

N4*CHICAGO*IL*60020 N4 represents geographical location including the name of the city, state and zip code.

The City is Chicago.

The State is Illinois.

The Zip Code is 60020.

PER*SR*BARRY WILSON*TE*8475374800 PER represents administrative contact.

Sales Representative, Barry Willson’s telephone number is 8475374800.



PO1 represents purchase order item data.

PO line number is 1

Quantity ordered is 1

Unit of measure is case

Price is 0.01

IN stands for item number which is 7237823.

VC stands for vendor catalog number which is 7219D.

SN stands for serial number which is BRD951028817.

PID*F****PCD 100ML VIALS This segment contains product’s description.
REF*CA*1000*1-WEST REF represents reference identification.

It is used to specify identifying information.

CA stands for Cost Allocation.

SDQ*CS*57*1000*1 SDQ represents for destination quantity.

This is used to specify destination and quantity details.

CS stands for case which is unit of measure.

57 is the identification code.

1 represents the quantity.



This segment contains special instructions.

For example, the message text is “please ship the item as soon as possible.”

CTT*1*1 CTT represents for transaction total.

The total number of purchase order line items is 1.

Total number of units ordered is also 1.

SE*24*191154910 SE represents transaction set trailer.

The number of segments included between ST and SE is 24

The transaction set control number is 191154910.

GE*1*191154909 GE represents the end of a functional group and provides control information.


IEA represents interchange control trailer.

1 represents the number of functional groups involved in an interchange.

191154908 and 000000002 are the control numbers assigned by the sender.

[1] ANSI X12 850 Purchase Order Specifications, Medtronic

Note: The example may not show all segments or qualifier combinations.

Workflow for the Exchange of an EDI 850 Purchase Order

An EDI 850 Purchase Order is used to communicate the specific items a buyer wishes to order from a supplier. Upon receiving the purchase order, the supplier will validate the document against the EDI 850 specifications and send an EDI 997 functional acknowledgment. The purpose of a functional acknowledgment is to confirm the receipt of a purchase order.

Documents that are exchanged between trading partners in response to an 850 purchase order include:

Why Use EDI 850?

It provides an alternative to traditional paper-based purchase orders. Electronic documents are easier to store and retrieve – especially when sellers receive multiple orders daily.

Using EDI software, vendors can also automate the purchase process at their end. Once an EDI 850 document is received, the software automatically verifies and translates it. It then updates the order system and notifies the relevant people. This automation allows sellers to fulfill requests quickly and efficiently.

EDI documents are also encrypted, which makes them a secure medium for communication between buyers and sellers.

Automate EDI Transactions with EDIConnect

EDIConnect is designed to work with EDI X12 and EDIFACT transaction sets. With a built-in parser, validator, and transaction builder, EDIConnect simplifies the process of sending and receiving EDI 850 orders, enabling seamless communication between trade partners and helping businesses achieve EDI compliance.

Find out how EDIConnect Can Simplify EDI 850 Transactions.

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