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Back  RFI # 1500: Empty Trailing Separators

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Submitter

Todd Cochrane

Description

Do the trailing empty elements in a Segment need to include their element separators?

As an example the B4 04 Date and B4 03 Status Code are both optional elements in B4 -315 Beginning segment.
Data provided example: B4***CT*20100920~

So are all of the following valid:
B4***CT~
B4**~

Or must it be:
B4****~

Submitter Assigned Keywords

Element Separators Trailing Empty

Response

FORMAL INTERPRETATION
In response to the question, Do the trailing empty elements in a Segment need to include their element separators? The standard is very clear with regard to trailing data element separators. Per section 3.7 the trailing data element separators shall be suppressed. Applying this to your examples result in the following:

Example B4***CT~ is correct.

Example B4**~ is not correct, based on the standard B4 segment definition.

Example B4****~ is not correct, based on the standard B4 segment definition.

FURTHER DISCUSSION
In preparing this Request for Interpretation, the ASC X12C (Communication & Controls) Subcommittee made the following observation:

In your RFI you mention searching the publically available specs. The documents which define the X12 control standards are located in the following documents which are available from the X12 secretariat.

X12.6 – Application Control Structure
X12.5 – Interchange Control Structures

These documents may prove helpful in your EDI implementation.

While this RFI is referencing Version 6 Release 1, from inception of the standard X12.6 has always included the section referenced above, so this interpretation would apply to all versions of X12 standards.

Recommendation

The official response to a formal RFI is a letter from the current ASC X12 chair. This website often displays a summary of the RFI. Click here to view a PDF of the letter for this RFI.
Submission 1/20/2012
Status Date 1/20/2012
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 006010
SectionX12.6