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Back  RFI # 458: 837I IG/standard discrepancy

Formal vs. Informal Help Informal Formal


Marilyn Lang


A trading partner creates and transmits in the 2010BA loop for an 837I an 837 with one character in the N4 segment with N401 (city name). Since the 4010A1 implementation guide says field must be two characters long, the trading partner add a space for the second character.
Our translator errors it out as they interpret the X12 standard guide to say trailing blanks are not allowed. Type AN is a 'string'. A string data element is a sequence of any characters from the basic or extended character sets and contains at least one non-space character. The significant characters shall be left justified. Leading spaces, when they occur, are presumed to be significant characters. In the actual data stream trailing spaces should be suppressed. The representation for this data element type is AN. This causes the claim to error and since it is a level one or two error in the standard guide, not implementation guide, the entire interchange errors out. Both entities claim they are right. Which one is more correct?


This issue is explicitly addressed in IG 004010X098. Section A. states "Leading spaces, when they occur, are presumed to be significant characters. Trailing spaces should be suppressed unless they are necessary to satisfy a minimum length." This is consistant with the ASC X12 standard. Since the min length is 2, a single character city would need to have a space added on the right to meet the requirements, since the space is not significant.
Submission 9/28/2006
Status Date 10/23/2006
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 004010X098A1
Set ID837I