What is New in the GEFEG.FX 2023-Q4 Release

With the new GEFEG.FX quarterly release 2023-Q4, the following new or enhanced functionalities are available for use.

New data packages in GEFEG.FX

    • UN/EDIFACT D.23A
  • ISO20022: External code lists update
  • DK Guidelines 3.7: pain.001, pain.002 and pain.008
  • GS1 eCom Standards: GS1 XML 3.6

New filter function for Notes in GEFEG.FX – More organised overview with the new notes filter in the models and schemas editors

Notes filter in the GEFEG.FX view

The use of notes offers every user the opportunity to enhance their guides or standards with additional, valuable information and is an essential aspect of specifying guides with GEFEG.FX. This can include validation rules, mapping IDs, internal notes, customer descriptions and much more. Notes in GEFEG.FX are used for output in documentation in MS Word/HTML format, but also for executing special functions, such as validation. In the case of comprehensive commenting, navigation in the Notes section can become time-consuming due to the large number of Notes.

Thanks to the new Notes filter function, you now have the option of only displaying the notes relevant to your current task. This allows you to concentrate on the essentials when updating by hiding all notes that are not relevant to your current task. This is particularly useful for comprehensive guides in which the Notes section contains a wealth of information. For example, you can hide mapping IDs that are not relevant outside of mapping projects or focus specifically on validation rules.

Notes filter in the GEFEG.FX search

The filter function not only extends to the display, but can also be used effectively when searching. If you only want to include certain notes in a search, you can find the relevant results much more quickly by setting a filter. This further filter function can be called up and used via the search function. There you can easily select the notes you want to display or hide.

All in just one project: Create and update multilingual documentation centrally

Creating multilingual documentation has never been so easy! Previously, it was necessary to create a separate publishing project for each language. This also required reports and layouts for each language, which was associated with a high potential for errors during updates, as these files had to be maintained separately.

From now on, all languages can be managed in a single publishing project. This not only saves time during creation, but also for future updates. There are also fewer systematic errors if only one publishing project has to be maintained instead of several.

The new functionality is controlled via layouts. The layouts now have the “Languages” function at the top left. Here you can add the required languages and then select the desired language(s) to be taken into account when generating new documentation. Individual fields can also be linked to a specific language.

Does existing documentation need to be updated?

No, it is not absolutely necessary to change existing publishing projects. The new function is primarily recommended for customers who want to create new multilingual documentation.

If you already manage multilingual documentation in GEFEG.FX, you can of course simply retain the layouts and report files already in use or switch to the new language function later as part of a publishing project update.

With the rapid expansion of the internet came the ever-increasing need to standardise communication between web applications and their users. For this reason, JSON was developed in 2001 to facilitate communication between a client and server as an open file format. Because of its ease of use and great versatility, JSON became established as the central exchange format on the Internet.

Though JSON was first used on the web, this data format is also becoming increasingly popular in electronic data exchange. As with all exchange formats, JSON files must be read, evaluated and verified by the recipient. For this reason, JSON Schema was developed. In a JSON schema, rules and conditions are defined that must be observed by JSON data. Typically, such criteria are, among others, properties, references, and types.

Also with JSON, an understanding of the underlying business processes is necessary. Thus, software is needed that effectively handles these challenges. For these reasons, we have developed the JSON schema editor as an extension to our GEFEG.FX software solution. The new editor now offers all companies the possibility to effectively manage all these challenges.

Powerful JSON schema design

GEFEG’s JSON Schema Editor provides a powerful solution to design JSON schemas. Companies can now intuitively design complex data structures that meet the requirements of their specific business processes. The editor’s user-friendly interface allows users to easily define and organise JSON objects and their properties. This not only facilitates the design phase, but also ensures a consistent and clear presentation of the data – a big plus for smooth cooperation with partners and customers.

Efficient editing of JSON schemas

GEFEG.FX’s JSON Schema Editor offers a comprehensive range of editing tools that allow organisations to precisely customise JSON schemas. Whether it’s updating existing schemas or adding new elements, the editor makes the process easier than ever. With the ability to create and modify complex hierarchies, users are in control of their data structures and can make changes with ease.

Converting XML files into JSON schemas

Another notable feature of GEFEG’s JSON Schema Editor is the ability to convert XML files into JSON schema structures. XML files are widely used and are an important technical format for data exchange. By converting XML files, a JSON schema is available with one click, which organisations can use, for example, for use in databases and processing procedures, without having to laboriously re-enter the XML schema in JSON-format.

Since experience shows that companies are using multiple data exchange formats and need to orchestrate the interplay of multiple syntaxes, this step enables a smooth migration to a more modern data exchange landscape and facilitates the adaptation to the latest EDI trends. In addition, the conversion from XML to JSON schema helps to improve interoperability between different systems and platforms, resulting in seamless and efficient data exchange.


In the dynamic world of EDI, innovative solutions are critical to meet the demands of the modern business world. The GEFEG.FX JSON Schema Editor complements the existing functional areas and offers a powerful way to design, customise and reuse customer-specific data structures in JSON format. This fulfils important current requirements in the electronic exchange of business data. GEFEG continues to provide critical functionality that businesses need to succeed in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

We look forward to presenting the features and benefits of the new JSON editor to you and supporting you in its use. You would like to learn more about the JSON editor? Please contact us!

Roman Strand, Senior Manager Master Data + Data Exchange at GS1 Germany, on the success and future of EANCOM® and the GS1 application recommendations based on EANCOM®.

Roman Strand has been working for GS1 Germany for more than 20 years and is, among other things, the head of the national EDI/eCommerce specialist group. In this interview, he explains the role of the EANCOM® standard and why the GS1 specification with the associated application recommendations will continue to determine the business of mass data exchange in the future.

Hello Mr Strand, you have been working for GS1 Germany for over 20 years. What were the major focal points of your work during this period?

I work all the time at GS1 in the national and international standardisation department. In the early years I was the apprentice under Norbert Horst, who helped develop the EANCOM® standard in Germany. During this time I learned a lot and also started working with GEFEG.FX. I have remained loyal to this department and the topic of national and international standardisation to this day. In various committees, I drive the further development of our standards together with our partners from the business community. In addition, I work as a trainer and conduct EDI training courses in which our customers are trained to become certified EDI managers, among other things.

Which topics did you deal with a lot last year?

Next to the further development and maintenance of our EANCOM® and XML standards, we deal with the current digitalisation topics and check to what extent new innovations could be relevant for our work at GS1. Furthermore, we had our big anniversary celebration last year, because EANCOM® is now more than 30 years on the market and our application recommendations have been around for more than 20 years.

Why was the EANCOM® standard developed and what function does it fulfil?

The EANCOM® standard was developed before my time at GS1. There is the mother standard EDIFACT, which is much too big and complex. The great achievement of the EANCOM® standard is to reduce this complexity of the mother standard to those elements that are important for our customers. Approximately 220 EDIFACT messages became 50 EANCOM® messages, which were then further adapted to industry-specific EANCOM® application recommendations. The leaner a standard is, the more economically and efficiently it can be implemented. This simplification made the widespread use of the standard by many companies possible in the first place. We also translated the English-language standard almost completely into German. This was another great simplification for the German community.

How were you personally involved in the development of the EANCOM® standard?

The development of the EANCOM® standard is mainly driven by our customers from trade, industry and other sectors. They pass on their requirements to GS1, which are then processed in the EDI/eCommerce specialist group. The decisions of the expert group are then implemented by me, among others, as a representative of GS1.

How can I imagine the role of GS1 in this process?

There are many published standards on the market for electronic data exchange between companies. But behind very few of them is a reliable organisation that is continuously committed to the further development of its standard. With us, clients can be confident that implementing the standard is a future-proof investment. If, for example, there is a legal change that also has to be taken into account in the standard, we adapt the standard.
Furthermore, we are responsible for the documentation and specification of the EANCOM® standard. Again, our focus is on simplification. Among other things, we ensure that as many codes as possible are used from code lists instead of free-text fields. Because with free-text fields, automated data processing is often associated with errors.

You use GEFEG.FX for data modelling and documentation of the EANCOM® standard. For what reasons do you rely on the software for these work steps?

I have been working with GEFEG.FX for many years now and it took me a while before I could really use the software to its full extent. In the foreground you have your specification and in the background you have the standard, which is linked to the corresponding code lists. This means that as a user, when developing my own specification, I cannot do anything in the foreground that is not already stored in the underlying standard. As soon as there is a deviation from the standard, GEFEG.FX reports an error message and ensures that there is no erroneous deviation. For me, this control function is the main advantage of GEFEG.FX as a standard tool. Otherwise, a comma could always be quickly forgotten or some other small syntactical error overlooked.
With the standard running in the background, validations or checks can be carried out conveniently. In addition, documentation can be created quickly at the touch of a button using the various output options. Thanks to these functions, you don’t have to start all over again and save a lot of time in many work steps.

How do you assess the future development of the EANCOM® standard?

For me, EANCOM® is Classic EDI, which is considered old-fashioned by many workers in innovative companies. However, in my opinion, this classic EDI offers many advantages. It is a defined structure that works in the mass data exchange business and will continue to work in the future. I once said to my colleague who has been working in EDI at GS1 as long as I have: “Until we retire, we don’t have to worry about EANCOM® being shut down.”
Because the business is still going and the demand remains high. There have been and continue to be new technologies that are supposed to replace classic EDI. When I started at GS1, there was a lot of hype about XML. The same happened years later with blockchain technology and today with APIs. All three technologies were seen as replacements for classic EDI, but in the end they are all just additions that offer supporting possibilities in the EDI area. Mass data exchange will continue to be regulated by classic EDI and therefore I assume that the future of the EANCOM® standard is also secured.

Are there any challenges or difficulties that need to be considered in the further development of the standard?

The problem of a global standard is its complexity. Over the years, new information has been added to the standard. For example, every relevant change in the law led to new additions without anything ever being deleted, even if no one has used it for 20 years.
We should therefore work more towards lean EANCOM® standards, in which only the information that is absolutely necessary is stored. After all, this reduction of complexity is one of the central strengths of GS1 standards. We achieve this above all by developing application recommendations in which the underlying standard is specified even further for a specific application. This leads to less information needed and fewer potential sources of error.

We are nearing the end of our conversation. Is there anything else important beyond the EANCOM® standard that you would like to talk about?

Yes, we are currently working on a semantic data model and are thus building a new content basis that contains all relevant information that is to be exchanged electronically. GEFEG is also involved in this development process. With the data model, our customers have the possibility to freely decide which syntax form they use for their data formats for electronic data exchange This fundamental work will therefore help users to be more independent of a specific syntax in the future and to be able to decide freely whether an XML, EANCOM® or even an API should be used for data exchange.

Mr Strand, thank you for this interview.