X12 Licensing Program

Standards exist so that we can talk to each other with a common understanding of what is being communicated, enabling us to conduct business efficiently, and reliably.

X12's multi-tier licensing does away with the traditional one-size-fits-all approach and bases the categories on how you benefit from X12's standards. The licensing categories are:



Embeds X12 IP into a commercial product or service



Embeds X12 IP into an internal product or service



Uses software or service that has X12 IP embedded



Uses X12 IP in a development-only environment

X12 offers cloud-based access to the guiding documents that underlie the X12 Standards at no cost to registered users. Beyond this, licensees will have direct access to X12 products and information via X12's cloud-based toolset. X12 intends to increase and enhance the content available to licensees significantly over the next few years.

Frequently Asked Questions

X12's standards have been trusted and working across many industries for a long time but the costs of creating and maintaining the standards have not been distributed fairly among all the parties accruing value from the standards. This is unsustainable over time and unfair to those who have been paying more than their fair share to make up for those paying less than their fair share. With hundreds of thousands of X12 based transactions moving between thousands of trading partners daily, a licensing program that is based on a nominal fee for every trading partner allows X12 to continue to develop and maintain standards which drive effective and efficient business practices.

Additionally, the electronic world is changing fast as public cloud-based processing, more prolific customer-configurable applications and mobile-computing constantly evolve to create a new reality. X12 standards are important across these areas and this licensing program allows X12 to expand it's offerings to keep up with new opportunities as they're presented.

Software companies and other EDI service vendors have traditionally licensed X12 products for a set fee similar to the fee paid by companies who only use X12 Intellectual Property (IP) internally. The software companies and other EDI service vendors then embedded the intellectual property in software and tools for the benefit of their customers, distributed the value of the IP widely, and collected fees from their customers based in part on the value of the IP, without sharing any portion of that revenue with X12.

The licensing program was initiated in 2016 and has been steadily rolling out since then.

This applies to the following categories of licensees:
  • Commercial Use Partners that embed and effectively distribute X12 Intellectual Property (IP) in third party software or for the benefit of third parties
  • Internal Use Partners that use X12 IP in internal software for their own organization's benefit
  • Users of software that has X12 IP embedded in it and users of X12's Online Viewer
  • Developers that are creating software not yet ready for production use

Partner fees vary based on the number of X12 work products incorporated and, for Commercial Use Partners, the functionality being offered to Users. These costs are not intended to be punitive of prohibitive.

User fees vary based on whether they are directly licensed by X12 or by one of X12's Commercial Use Partners. Again, the costs to these Users are intended to remain very low and fixed annually.

Fees for Developers are fixed at a low rate to encourage development of solutions based on X12 work products.

Partners obtain a license directly from X12 through a Partner License Agreement.

Users may obtain a license from one of X12's Commercial Use Partners or directly from X12, depending on the respective Partner License Agreement.

Developers obtain a license directly from X12 through a simple on-line purchase process.

This licensing program is not expected to have any direct impact on your relationship with your trading partners. For additional information, please contact us via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A User license obtained directly from X12 will offer additional benefits over time as X12 has projects in development that will offer even more value to this group of licensees.

An X12 license doesn't change your X12 membership in any way.

An X12 licensee has an agreement with X12 that allows them to access and use X12 intellectual property that is contained in its work products for specific purposes. An X12 membership allows the member and the member’s representatives to participate in X12’s collaboration activities, attend X12’s Standing Meetings, vote on X12 Standards and other X12 matters, access X12’s collaboration and work product development tools, and receive announcements and other updates. In addition, a member's primary and alternate representatives receive complimentary license to Glass, X12's online viewer. Read more about benefits of membership here.

X12 members have many benefits and privileges but access to and use of X12 intellectual property contained in its work products is not covered under the membership agreement. If you want to access X12’s IP online, internally, or in a commercial service or product, you’ll need to license that use from X12.

For additional information, please contact us via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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