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Formal vs. Informal Help Informal Formal


Todd Cochrane


One of our customers have been sending us ANSI 820 messages that occasionally contains structural or syntax errors (e.g. missing mandatory segment) in one or a number of transaction sets. When we receive a file containing any structural or syntax errors, we reject the entire file and return an ANSI 997 message identifying the nature of the errors. However, our customer has requested that we only reject those transaction sets that contains the structural or syntax errors and process any remaining valid transaction sets. My question is: Where a ANSI 820 message contains structural or syntax errors, is the industry standard to reject the entire file, or should we only reject the transaction sets which contain errors?


The X12 Standards are silent on industry practice. As the scope of your question is limited to industry practice, no formal interpretation is appropriate.


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.

X12 defines Interchange (X12.5), Functional Group, and Transaction Set Structures (X12.6), and provides certain acknowledgements of receipt and acceptance of these structures by a receiving party. This request for interpretation includes an additional structure (a file ) that is not within the scope of the X12 Standards. Both industry practice and communication protocol standards may dictate the organization and content of transmission files, and their subsequent storage at a receiving site. As X12 does not define a file structure, X12 also does not provide a means to convey full acceptance or to convey full or partial rejection of a file structure. X12 defines acknowledgements by which entire interchanges may be accepted or rejected. X12 also defines Acknowledgement Transaction Sets by which some or all of the received Transaction Sets within a single Functional Group may be accepted or rejected. Within the X12 membership, we have observed that industry practice in the area of your concern varies across industries and business scenarios. The X12 web site (www.x12.org) provides contact information for its industry subcommittee officers. You may wish to contact them directly for more information on your specific industry practice. We have also invited the current chair of the X12F Finance Subcommittee to contact you to provide more detailed information on industry practice in that industry. The X12 Committee appreciates your inquiry, and hopes the response is instructive to your company as it deals with its own industry and company-specific business requirements.
Submission 1/1/2005
Status Date 1/1/2005
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 4010