SEF Standard Exchange Format

The Standard Exchange Format (SEF) is an open-standard file format - files ending with the extension .sef - that defines the format and implementation guideline for proprietary and standard EDI documents.

SEF holds key advantages over other file formats (e.g. pdf, .docx, rft, html and paper), including:

  • SEF files are immediately useable by both users and computers
  • They're small files and are easily transmitted easily via the web
  • You can edit them with either a text editor or an SEF manager
  • SEF is an open standard, so you can create and distribute SEF files without special permissions or royalties

Industries Using SEF

SEF is used broadly by many industries for their proprietary EDI messaging needs as well as in logistics and supply chains more generally.

Types of SEF Transactions

SEF can be used for any type of EDI transaction, as it is used to create proprietary, custom EDI messages by enterprises and industries. It also supports many X12 and UN/EDIFACT standard messages, such as logistics, shipping and financial messages, including purchase orders, invoices and more.

Governing Body

  • The SEF standard was developed by Foresight Corporation, now owned by tech giant Tibco, to encode any EDI specification and put it into the public domain. Foresight, under Tibco leadership, governs SEF.