UN/EDIFACT DRAFT DIRECTORY
PART 4 UNITED NATIONS RULES FOR ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE FOR ADMINISTRATION, COMMERCE AND TRANSPORT
CHAPTER 2.4 - UN/EDIFACT Message Design Guidelines
TABLE OF RULES
Rules for the design of new data elements RULE 1 ......... RULE 2 ......... Rules associated with the design of coded data elements RULE 3 ......... RULE 4 ......... Rules for the design of composite data elements RULE 5 ......... RULE 6 ......... RULE 7 ......... RULE 8 ......... RULE 9 ......... RULE 10 ........ RULE 11 ........ RULE 12 ........ RULE 13 ........ RULE 14 ........ RULE 15 ........ Rules for UN/EDIFACT composite data element maintenance RULE 16 ........ RULE 17 ........ RULE 18 ........ Rules for the design of new segments RULE 19 ........ RULE 20 ........ RULE 21 ........ RULE 22 ........ RULE 23 ........ RULE 24 ........ RULE 25 ........ RULE 26 ........ RULE 27 ........ Rules for UN/EDIFACT segment maintenance RULE 28....... RULE 29....... Rules for segment groups design RULE 30....... RULE 31....... Rules for message design RULE 32....... RULE 33....... RULE 34....... RULE 35....... RULE 36....... RULE 37....... Rules for the design of message types RULE 38....... Rules for the use of UNS segments RULE 39....... RULE 40.......
1.1 Guidelines & Rules
1.1.1 One of the key requirements before organizations can exchange administrative, commercial and transport information between their computer applications, without manual intervention, is agreement on the content and structure of the information to be transmitted. 1.1.2 In UN/EDIFACT, this is achieved by developing United Nations Standard Messages (UNSMs), for both national and international use. 1.1.3 The guidelines and rules relate to work carried out by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Working Party Number 4 (UN/ECE/WP.4) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), known as EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport). 1.1.4 At the regional level, the work of the UN/ECE is supported by UN/EDIFACT Rapporteur's Advisory and Support Teams (RTs). The RTs provide a range of support and advisory services for their region, and the full addresses and contact numbers for each of the current RTs are given in Informative Annex B. 1.1.5 Most UN/EDIFACT RTs will have available (or will have access to) a database (known as a UN/EDIFACT database) which will normally contain both the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory, and the UNTDED directory (United Nations Trade Data Element Directory - ISO 7372). Any user requiring information regarding UN/EDIFACT directories should contact their regional EDIFACT Secretariat (see Informative Annex B). 1.1.6 These guidelines and rules are intended for: a) those who want to submit a draft message for registration as a new UNSM. To achieve this status: -the proposed draft message and its contents shall be designed for International use; -there must be no existing UNSM having a function identical to, nor one encompassing the function of, the proposed draft, and -the proposer(s) of the draft message need to accept that the message may be the subject of joint development, if other sectors and/or Rapporteurs' teams indicate interest in participating in the development of the message. b) those who wish to propose an amendment to an existing UNSM by means of a "Change Request"; and c) use by RTs for future technical assessment. 1.1.7 Many sections of this document are divided into sub-sections identifying "Guidelines" and "Rules". The sub-sections under the heading of "Rules" must be observed by message designers. Correct application of the rules will be verified during the course of the technical assessment of messages submitted for consideration as UNSMs. 1.1.8 The sub-sections under the heading of "Guidelines" are provided as further clarification to the UNSM message design process, and may detail additional message design concepts which may be applied at the discretion of message designers. The guideline sub-sections contents' will not be the subject of any technical assessment considerations. 1.1.9 It is essential that newcomers to the UN/EDIFACT process should be familiar with the available supporting documentation (see 1.3 below), and in particular with the rules for Syntax specified in ISO 9735. 1.1.10 Rules shown in this document shall be followed, whereas the guidelines shown are intended as an aid to message designers.
1.2.1 The general terms used in these guidelines are those specified in ISO 9735. Code Set: A set of code values related to a specific coded data element and specified in a Code List Directory. Component Data Element: A simple data element which is a subordinate portion of a composite data element and in an interchange is identified by its position within the composite data element. (ISO 9735) Composite Data Element: A data element containing two or more component data elements. (ISO 9735) Data: A representation of facts, concepts or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by human beings or by automatic means. (ISO 2382) Data Element: A unit of data which in a certain context is considered indivisible (ISO 2382). A unit of data for which the identification, description and value representation have been specified. (ISO 9735) Electronic Data Interchange: The exchange, between organizational entities, of computer processable data in a standard format. (ISO/IEC JTC 1/WG3/N106) Externally Maintained Code List: A list of code values, not included in a UN/EDIFACT Code List Directory, that is maintained and published by a recognized Maintenance Agency. Interchange: Communication between partners in the form of a structured set of messages and service segments starting with an interchange control header and ending with an interchange control trailer. (ISO 9735) Message: An ordered series of characters intended to convey information (ISO 2382). A set of segments in the order specified in a message directory starting with the message header and ending with the message trailer. (ISO 9735) Message Type: An identified and structured set of data elements covering the requirements for a specified type of transaction, e.g. invoice. (ISO 9735) Open-EDI: Automated electronic data interchange performed by multiple participants capable of multiple, simultaneous transactions using public standards and pre-defined, structured data to accomplish an explicit shared business goal. (ISO/IEC JTC 1/WG3/N106) Qualifier: A data element whose value shall be expressed as a code that gives specific meaning to the function of another data element, composite data element or segment. (ISO 9735) Segment Group: A segment may depend on a segment on a higher hierarchical level in a message structure and consequently be nested in that segment. (ISO 9735) Segment: An identified hierarchical set of segments and/or segment groups within a message Separator Character: A character used for syntactical separation of data. (ISO 9735) Simple Data Element: A data element containing a single value. (ISO 9735) Syntax Rules: Rules governing the structure of an interchange and its functional groups, messages, segments and data elements. (ISO 9735) Tag: A unique code for the identification of a message type, segment, composite data element or data element. Trigger Segment: The first segment in a segment group. No repetition is allowed for this segment and it is mandatory within the segment group. UNSM: A message may be referred to as a UN/EDIFACT standardized message only if it complies with the rules and directories in the United Nations Trade Data Interchange Directory (UNTDID), and if it has been approved by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) as a Status 2 message.
1.3.1 UN/EDIFACT documentation is published and maintained by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Working Party Number 4 (UN/ECE/WP.4) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1.3.2 This documentation forms a set of internationally agreed standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data, and in particular, that related to trade in goods and services, between independent computerized information systems. Within the context of UN/EDIFACT, the major relevant documents are: Guidelines & Rules - ISO 9735 EDIFACT Syntax Rules - The UN/EDIFACT Syntax Implementation Guidelines - The UN/EDIFACT Message Design Guidelines - The UN/EDIFACT Rapporteur's Procedures & Message documentation rules Directories - UNTDID : The United Nations Trade Data Interchange Directory (which is the current UN/EDIFACT Standards Directory Set), which comprises: EDMD - the EDIFACT messages directory EDSD - the EDIFACT segments directory EDCD - the EDIFACT composite data elements directory EDED - the EDIFACT data elements directory (part of the UNTDED, United Nations Trade Data Element Directory, also released as ISO 7372) EDCL - the EDIFACT codes list directory - UN/EDIFACT Working Directory Set which includes: TRMD - Trial Messages Directory TRSD - Trial Segments Directory TRCD - Trial Composite Data Elements Directory TRED - Trial Data Elements Directory 1.3.3 Should message designers not be familiar with these publications, they should consult their national committee /organization for the Facilitation of International Trade Procedures, or the relevant standardization organization in their country responsible for the dissemination of UN/EDIFACT standards, or their regional RT (see Informative Annex B for regional RT details). 1.3.4 All of the documents in the above list are important to message designers, with the ISO 9735 EDIFACT Syntax Rules being the international standard for formatting data elements and segments into messages. These guidelines and rules for message design are in accordance with this standard. 1.3.5 The ISO 9735 EDIFACT Syntax Rules define the rules for the structuring of message data and the use of the service segments. The UN/EDIFACT Syntax Implementation Guidelines expands some of the detail and contains more examples. Therefore, if required, this document should also be studied, and can be obtained from regional RTs.
1.4.1 Once approved within the UN/ECE WP.4, both messages and directories are accorded a certain status, the meaning of which follows. 1.4.2 Messages can have one of three status levels as follows: Status 0 - UN/EDIFACT message under development Status 1 - UN/EDIFACT Draft Recommendation Status 2 - UNSM Recommendation (available for operational use) 1.4.3 Published UN/EDIFACT directories have one of two designations. Status "S" represents a Standards Directory and Status "W" represents a Working Directory. 1.4.4 UN/EDIFACT directories are published regularly. Full details can be obtained via regional RT Secretariats, or directly from the UN/ECE WP.4 Secretariat. 1.4.5 The documentation for Status 0 messages is self supporting and is not included in any directory. The documentation refers to a specific working directory and, when relevant, includes any new segment or amended/data element, as well as new values for coded data elements.
1.5.1 A UN/EDIFACT standard message (known as a UNSM) is one which has been approved, published, and which is maintained by the UN/ECE.In this case, the Message Type, Version Number, the Release Number and the Controlling Agency used in all UNSM Message Headers are allocated and controlled only by the UN/ECE. In this documentation the term message(s) can refer to a message at to any status.
1.6.1 As with many activities, there is little point in re-inventing "wheels" which have already been designed. Message development needs to be undertaken in a coordinated, progressive and structured way if the general aim of the UN/EDIFACT initiative to develop an integrated series of messages is to be achieved. 1.6.2 Message designers are urged to consult with their relevant organization responsible for the dissemination of UN/EDIFACT standards in their country, or with the UN/EDIFACT Rapporteur responsible for coordination in their area, before starting any new message design. In some cases the required message may already exist (or an existing message may be capable of amendment to meet the required function), or alternatively, work may have already started on an identical or similar message. Guidance on message development processes is given in later sections of this document. 1.6.3 A MESSAGE is the term used to describe the structuring of data to perform a specific business or administrative function in such a way as to allow for their optimal transfer and handling by ELECTRONIC means. 1.6.4 A message designed for electronic data interchange (EDI) must have a clearly defined business function. It should be borne in mind however, that the order of presentation and the content of data in an EDI message need not (and indeed, often does not) necessarily follow the order and content of data carried on documents. 1.6.5 Although the function of a message may be the equivalent to a business document, message designers should not infer from this that the data element content of such messages will necessarily be identical to that contained in the equivalent document. Further, when designing a UNSM, the opportunity should be taken to analyze the traditional functionality, since it may be more effective to take a new approach, rather than to simply emulate the original. In some cases, the functions of messages may be the equivalent to the more traditional documents or business processes. In other cases, a single message may be equivalent to the functionality covered by a series of documents, or it may represent the direct replacement of all or part of a paper-based document or business process. Business and information modelling techniques provides a structured approach to help with task. 1.6.6 More importantly, designers should not infer that the order of data in a message needs to be the same as that found in the equivalent existing paper document or business process. However during the initial message design stage, it may be more practical to order the segments and segment groups in a sequence that assists with the interpretation of the message functionality, but during the final design stage, due account should be taken of the benefits of truncation and omission afforded by the rules for syntax, in terms of the order of presentation of data. 1.6.7 UN/EDIFACT message documentation defines each segment and its sequence within the MESSAGE, and indicates the DATA ELEMENTS and their sequence within each SEGMENT specified for use in the message. See Informative Annex C for the message structure. 1.6.8 Development of messages requires two important skills: people who are expert in the specific business area to which the message applies, be it commercial, payment, insurance, transport, etc., and people who understand the UN/EDIFACT syntax message design principles, business and information modelling, and computing systems.
2.1.1 The basic "building blocks" of messages are: 1) data elements for use in segments, or as components of composite data elements; 2) composite data elements; 3) segments (which can be used individually, or as part of segment groups within a message), and 4) the structure of the message itself, detailing the order of segments and/or segment groups.
2.2.1 The objective of the design process is to meet genuine data interchange requirements with the minimum of complexity and redundancy. The aim should be to: - support a well-defined and understood business need; - be comparatively simple (in terms of function and design), and - avoid unnecessary emulation of paper-based procedures; 2.2.2 The current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory should be used to review existing messages and segments, and utilized as a starting point in developing a new message. 2.2.3 Messages and segments should allow for multi-sectoral applications rather than a single, confined usage. 2.2.4 Simplicity is a major objective in message design. Over- complication creates difficulties in comprehension, especially for new users. Messages should not be made more complex to save a few characters in transmission.
2.3.1 If a group of users need an EDI message covering international requirements, they should first check whether a UNSM exists which has been designed for the function in question--perhaps from which a sub-set can be taken. 2.3.2 If one does exist, they may then find that it does not totally meet their requirements, in which case they can request a change or addition to the relevant UNSM, which will be passed to the appropriate message design group(s). 2.3.3 If no such message exists, they may then submit a "New UNSM Request" covering the function they require, which must be submitted to the local RT Secretariat for processing under RT procedures.
2.4.1 The following describes a step by step approach to message design. Step Action 1. Analyze business requirements for all relevant communications with business partners. 2. Model the key aspects of the business environment 3. Identify the EDI messages which are needed to satisfy the required business function. Verify if messages already exist in the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory which should be used or amended. 4. Select the highest priority message for development and define the "Business Function" for the message. If at this stage it is decided that a new UNSM is required, a "New UNSM Request" form must be prepared and submitted immediately to the relevant RT Secretariat for expedient processing. 5. Determine the detailed business data needs. 6. Select segments from the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory and review segment groups already specified for use in other UNSMs to meet the requirements for each entity identified. 7. i) Identify the data items not covered by existing UN/EDIFACT segments; ii) determine whether the requirements for these data items can be met by requesting additional qualifier values for use in existing generic segments. If not, check whether they are already defined in the current UN/EDIFACT Working Data Elements Directory or in the Trade Data Elements Directory (UNTDED). If not, then submit a Change Request for a new data element; iii) determine whether the requirements for these data items can now be met by adding them to the end of an existing UN/EDIFACT segment or composite having the correct function in the current Working Directory; iv) classify any remaining data items into conceptually related sets, providing a functional description for each set for the creation of a new segment to meet each function, and v) determine the mandatory or conditional status for each data element, composite, segment, segment group and the number of permitted repeats.
3.1.1 Informative Annex C demonstrates the hierarchical structure of a UN/EDIFACT message. 3.1.2 To support this hierarchical structure, within the UN/EDIFACT process, five directories are held in UNTDID between all of which there is both an upward and downward hierarchical relationship. | +----------------+ ^ | | MESSAGES | | | +----------------+ | | | Segments | | | +----------------+ | | | Composite Data | | | | Elements | | | +----------------+ | | | Data Elements | | | +----------------+ | | | Code Lists | | V +----------------+ |
3.2.1 Guidelines for data element design
220.127.116.11 If a new data element has to be designed it should be generic, allowing for use across the widest possible number of applications. 18.104.22.168 Having identified all of the data elements required to satisfy the function of the message under development, designers need to ascertain whether the required data elements are included in the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory, by taking the following steps: Search the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory: 1) If the required data element is found and exactly meets the user's requirement, it should be specified for use; 2) If the required data element is found, but it appears that its name, description and/or its format/ representation does not exactly meet the user's requirement, the Rapporteur Change Request procedures should be followed, to request an amendment to the element in question, or 3) If the required data element is not found a "New Data Element Request" must be submitted under the Rapporteur Change Request procedures, with reference to UNTDED as necessary. In the case of coded data elements: 1) If the required coded data element is found and the required code value is present in its associated code list, then the element should be specified for use; 2) If the required coded data element is found, but the required code value is not present, a "New Code Request" should be submitted, or 3) If a "New Data Element Request" has been submitted for a coded element, a code request for each code value required for the data element must be submitted.
22.214.171.124 A data element is the smallest unit of information within the structure of a message and there are two types, a simple data element, and a component data element used in Composite Data Elements (see Section 3.3) 126.96.36.199 A simple data element can be one of three categories: 1) Where it defines a precise business function, it is termed a specific simple data element. In tag, name and format order, an example could be: Data Element Data element name Format tag 5284 Unit price basis n..9 (where n..9 means variable length numeric containing 1 to 9 digits) 2) Where it defines a global business function which could be used across the widest range of functional/industry area, it is termed a generic simple data element. An example of such a generic simple data element could be: Data Element Data element name Format tag 6064 Quantity difference n..15 (where n..15 means variable length numeric containing 1 to 15 digits) On its own, "quantity difference" has no specific meaning. In order to identify its precise business function, a data element qualifier is associated with it. 3) Where it gives a generic simple data element a precise business function, it is termed a data element qualifier. An example of a data element qualifier could be: Data Element Data element name Format tag 6063 Quantity qualifier an..3 (where an..3 means variable length alphanumeric containing 1 to 3 characters) The qualifier code values give precise meaning to the data being qualified. For example, the list includes a code of "126" for "Quantity of goods that disappeared in transport" which, combined with the Quantity difference, gives explicit meaning to the number contained in the Quantity difference. 188.8.131.52 A component data element is one which is used within a composite data element (see Section 3.3). A component element can be one of the three categories defined above for simple data elements.
RULE 1: Existing qualified data elements shall always be used in preference to creating new data elements. RULE 2: The following naming and formatting conventions shall be followed in the UN/EDIFACT data elements directory: a) A data element which qualifies a generic simple data element, composite, or segment shall end with the name "qualifier" (e.g. "Currency qualifier"). The format of qualifiers shall be: an..3. The code lists for qualifiers shall be specified in EDCL only. b) A non-qualifier coded data element name shall end with " , coded" (e.g. "Currency, coded"). The format of non-qualifier coded data elements shall be: an..3 c) Other coded data element names shall end with "identification" (e.g. "Hazard code identification"). The format of other coded data elements shall be: an..x (where x > 3) d) Clear (plain language) data elements already specified in UNTDED shall adopt the same name and format in UNTDID. e) A new clear language data element not already specified in UNTDED shall have a format of either an..17, an..35 or an..70, along with its corresponding name, as dictated by business requirements. f) The format and naming of other types of data elements shall be specified to meet business requirements.
3.2.4 Coded data elements
184.108.40.206 A coded data element is an element which has as its value a code, described in a Code Lists directory. 220.127.116.11 There are two types of UN/EDIFACT coded data elements: those which are qualifiers; and other coded data elements.
RULE 3: Coded data elements which are qualifiers shall not have data elements 1131/3055 associated with them. RULE 4: Generic coded simple data elements shall be specified in a composite data element in conjunction with conditional data elements 1131/3055.
3.3.1 Guidelines for composite data element design
18.104.22.168 A composite data element is two or more component data elements grouped together to permit related information to be expressed in a structured way. 22.214.171.124 The composite data element directory contained in the current UN/EDIFACT Working directory should be studied to identify composite specification/layout. 126.96.36.199 One type of design of composites is where the composite itself is mandatory and all of its components are conditional. At least one of the components must be present under ISO 9735 Syntax Rules. 188.8.131.52 When deciding on the composite data elements required in a message under development, designers need to ascertain whether all of the required composite data elements are already defined in the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory by taking the following steps: Search the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory: 1) If the required composite data element is found and exactly meets the user's requirement, it should be specified for use. 2) If the required composite data element is found, but it appears that its name, description and/or its format/ representation does not exactly meet the user's requirement, the Rapporteur Change Request procedures should be followed, to request an amendment to the composite in question. 3) If the required composite data element is not found in the current Working Directory, then using the Rapporteur Change Request procedures, a "New Composite Data Element Request" must be submitted.
184.108.40.206 A non-qualified composite is one which has a single function needing no qualification. Example: Composite name : MOVEMENT TYPE Function of composite : Description of type of service for movement of cargo. Components in the composite : Movement type, coded; Movement type The above composite could then take the form: ...+[Movement type, coded]:[Movement type]+... 220.127.116.11 A qualified composite is one which needs a qualifier to identify its function. Example: Composite name : PERCENTAGE DETAILS Function of composite : Identification of the usage of a percentage Components in the composite : Percentage qualifier; Percentage; Percentage basis, coded The specific percentage (and if appropriate the percentage basis) is identified according to the value of the composite qualifier (Percentage qualifier). The values of the "Percentage qualifier" are listed in the UN/EDIFACT codes lists directory. For example: 1 - Allowance; 2 - Charge; etc. A PERCENTAGE DETAILS composite carrying "Allowance" percentage details would take the form: +1:[Percentage]+ 18.104.22.168 The use of qualified composites significantly reduces the number of entries in the Composite Data Elements Directory, and provides flexibility. For example, if the need for a new "percentage details" composite function is identified, all that is required is the addition of a further qualifier code in the relevant code list.
RULE 5: Composite data element shall have a single function, with each component data element relating directly to the function of the composite. RULE 6: A composite data element shall comprise two or more component data elements. Pairs or triplets of associated components shall not be repeated within a composite. RULE 7: Composite data elements contained in the current UN/EDIFACT Composite Data Elements Working Directory shall be used, unless it is demonstrated that the required function cannot be achieved either by: - the addition of a new qualifier value to an existing qualified composite, or by the addition of a composite data element qualifier. - the addition of a component data element at the end of an existing composite (except as defined in Rule 16). RULE 8: New composite data elements shall not contain the entire contents of an existing composite, nor shall the function of an existing composite be duplicated. RULE 9: New composite data elements shall be designed to support the widest possible number of applications. RULE 10: A qualifier giving specific meaning to a generic simple data element shall be placed directly after the data element. Both elements then become component data elements of a composite data element. The following examples explain the position and use of such a qualifier within a composite: ...+QDE:Q+... where: QDE - Qualified data element as a component in a composite Q - Qualifier as a component in a composite Example: C279 QUANTITY DIFFERENCE INFORMATION 6064 Quantity difference 6063 Quantity qualifier which could contain the following data : ...+150:126+... where 126 means "Quantity of goods that disappeared in transport" RULE 11: If a single component data element is to be qualified as part of a composite data element containing several component data elements, the qualifier shall appear after the data element to be qualified. Examples : ...+QCEl:Q:CE2:CE3+... where: QCE1 - Qualified component element Q - Qualifier for QCE1 CE2/CE3 - Component data elements ...+CE1:QCE2:Q:CE3+... where: QCE2 - Qualified component element Q - Qualifier for QCE2 CE1/CE3 - Component data elements ...+CE1:QCE2:Q1:QCE3:Q2+.. where: CE1 - Component data element QCE2 - Qualified component element Q1 - Qualifier for QCE2 QCE3 - Qualified component element Q2 - Qualifier for QCE3 RULE 12: If a composite data element is to be qualified (i.e. the complete set of component data elements contained in a composite data element), then the qualifier shall be placed at the beginning of the set as a component data element. The following examples explain the use of the qualifier in these circumstances: ...+Q:CE1:CE2:CE3+... where: Q - Qualifier CE1; CE2 & CE3 - Qualified component data elements. C501 PERCENTAGE DETAILS 5482 Percentage 5249 Percentage basis, coded 1131 Code list qualifier 3055 Code list responsible agency, coded which could be transmitted as: ...+12:20:4+... where 12 indicates that the percentage and percentage basis is that of "DISCOUNT PERCENTAGE". RULE 13: All mandatory components of a composite data element shall be placed at the beginning of the composite, followed by conditional components. RULE 14: A component data element shall not repeat within a composite data element more than five times, and then only when a valid business reason can be specified and agreed by message design groups. RULE 15: a) The clear (plain language) component of a coded/clear pair of data elements shall repeat up to a maximum of two times in the composite data element when its format is defined as an..35. b) The clear (plain language) component of a coded/clear pair of data elements shall not repeat when its format is defined as an..70. c) The FTX segment shall be used in a segment group instead of the clear component(s) of the composite data element in question when more than 70 characters are required.
RULE 16: The Addition of a component data element to a composite data element shall result in the component being added to the end of the composite data element. The only exceptions to this are: a) if a mandatory component data element is approved for insertion in a composite data element; or b) if the component data elements 1131 and 3055 need to be inserted between a coded/clear pair of component data elements in an already existing composite data element. If either of the above amendments are approved, a new tag shall be assigned and the original composite data element in the next Working Directory shall be marked for deletion after three years. RULE 17: All new messages shall always use the new composite if it is required in the message. RULE 18: At the end of the three year period, the composite data element marked for deletion shall be replaced in all segments and associated messages with the new composite data element.
3.4.1 Guidelines for segment design
22.214.171.124 When designing messages existing segments contained in the current UN/EDIFACT Working directory should be used, before considering the design of new segments. 126.96.36.199 Many advantages ensue from the use of existing segments, including acceleration of the message design process and conformity across industry and national borders. 188.8.131.52 Before designing a new segment, the following options need to be considered: If a qualified segment covering the function exists, the segment qualifier can be used to provide the segment with the required specific meaning, by requesting an addition to the associated segment qualifier code list. If it is possible to meet the required function by adding an element to an existing segment, then UN Rapporteur Change Request Procedures should be followed to request the addition at the end of the segment. If the required function can be met by use of two or more existing segments, these can be placed in a segment group within the message. (See Section 4.4) 184.108.40.206 If a new segment has to be designed, it should be generic, allowing for use across the widest possible number of applications. 220.127.116.11 By designing generic segments, it is then possible to place the segment in a range of segment groups to express different functions. This concept should however under no circumstances result in solutions not supportive of specific business requirements. The creation of a specific segment needed for certain defined business areas is permissible whenever the result is approved under the maintenance procedures. 18.104.22.168 Once designed, the status of composites/data elements within the segment (i.e. whether they are Mandatory or Conditional) needs to be decided, with mandatory data appearing before conditional data in the segment. If a segment is to be used in several different messages, in one message an element may be mandatory, while being conditional in another. If this circumstance arises, the element should be made conditional, and the usage specified in the message implementation guidelines.
22.214.171.124 A non-qualified segment needs no qualification to define its function. Example: Segment : DLI DOCUMENT LINE IDENTIFICATION Function : To specify the processing mode of a specific line within a referenced document Data Elements in Segment : DOCUMENT LINE INDICATOR, CODED; LINE ITEM NUMBER The above segment could then take the form: DLI+[Document line indicator]+[Line item number] 126.96.36.199 A qualified segment is one which needs a qualifier to specify its usage. The specific usage of the segment is attributed to it according to the value of an appropriate segment qualifier code, as defined in 188.8.131.52. Example: Segment : COT CONTRIBUTION DETAILS Function : To specify details about membership contributions Data elements in segment : CONTRIBUTION QUALIFIER; CONTRIBUTION TYPE; INSTRUCTION; etc. The specific contribution type and instruction is identified according to the value of the segment qualifier (CONTRIBUTION QUALIFIER). The values of the CONTRIBUTION QUALIFIER are listed in the EDIFACT codes set directory. The following qualifier values are examples only: 1 - Normal, 2 - Special, 3 - Reversal Therefore, a COT segment carrying "Normal" contribution details could take the form: ...COT+1+[Contribution type]+[Instructions]... 184.108.40.206 The use of qualified segments significantly reduces the number of entries in the Segment Directory, and provides flexibility. If a required segment purpose is not covered in the existing qualifier code list, a new qualifier code value should be requested. Where relevant, this technique should always be used in preference to designing a new and specific segment for the same purpose.
220.127.116.11 The ISO 9735 Syntax Rules permit segments to be transmitted in either implicit or explicit format, however, it is not permissible to mix the two techniques within one message. 18.104.22.168 The selection of either the implicit or the explicit nesting technique for repeating segments must be decided by message designers. Implicit representation is recommended for use in all UNSMs. The explicit nesting indication should only be used when the message definition would not enable the receiver to identify the logical links of segments to other segments when processing a message. 22.214.171.124 A more detailed explanation of the two techniques is found in ISO 9735.
RULE 19: A new segment shall have a single function (which can be qualified if necessary, to identify its usage). A segment shall contain sufficient simple and/or composite data elements to fulfill its functional definition and the contents shall relate directly to the function of the segment. RULE 20: A new segment shall not contain the entire contents of an existing segment, nor duplicate the function of an existing segment. RULE 21: The status of composites and/or data elements within a segment shall be defined (i.e. Mandatory or Conditional). RULE 22: All mandatory simple data elements and/or composite data elements shall be placed at the beginning of the segment, followed by all conditional simple data elements and/or composite data elements. RULE 23: 3-alpha segment codes starting with the letter "U" (i.e. U..), are reserved for use by ISO 9735 and shall not be specified for use in data segments. RULE 24: A qualifier giving the specific meaning to a qualified segment shall be placed as a mandatory data element directly after the segment code as the first data element in the segment. Example: ...QSC+Q+... QSC - Qualified Segment Code Q - Qualifier RULE 25: Simple or composite data elements shall not repeat within a segment. When multiple repeats are required, the segment should be repeated at the message level. RULE 26: Only when a valid business reason can be specified in the "New Segment Request", may the same simple or composite data element repeat within the same segment--up to a maximum of five times, as agreed by message design groups. RULE 27: Groups of two or more different composite data elements shall not be repeated in a segment. Example: the following structures are not permitted: Segment AAA Segment BBB C123 C123 C345 C345 C456 C123 C345 C123 C345 C123 C456 C345
RULE 28: The addition of a simple data element or a composite data element to a segment shall result in the simple or composite data element being added to the end of the segment. The only exceptions to this are: - if a mandatory simple or composite data element is approved for insertion in a segment; or - if a data element marked for deletion after 3 years is replaced by its substitute. If either of the above amendments are approved, a new segment code shall be assigned and the original segment shall be marked for deletion after 3 years. RULE 29: All new messages shall always use the new segment if it is required in the message.
4.1.1 The layout for message documentation (referred to as a "Boilerplate") is given in a UN document which should be obtained from local RT Secretariats. 4.1.2 Once the function and content of a message has been decided, the message has to be designed and structured. In addition to the descriptive text in messages (as defined in the boilerplate), the structure of messages has to be presented in documentation both in the form of a branching diagram, and as a segment table. 4.1.3 Branching diagrams and segment tables are graphic techniques for indicating the logical structure of a message. Their function is to present a message diagramatically, from which the order and relationship of segments and segment groups within a message can be determined, including their mandatory or conditional status. The diagram defines the transmission order of the segments as top to bottom and left to right. The following diagram is for illustration only, to explain the basic concepts of a branching diagram and a segment table. 4.1.4 An example of a branching diagram is: Level Message Type _________________________________________ | | | | | | | 0 UNH AAA BBB | EEE | UNT M 1 M 1 C 1 | C 1 | M 1 | | | | +----+ | |Gp.1| | |C 9| | |____| | 1 |CCC | FFF |M 1| C 9 +----+ | | 2 DDD C 9 4.1.5 As can be seen in the above diagram, "Levels" are shown for each level of nesting of segments in a message. Segments appearing at Level 0 shall not repeat. For each level of segment nesting, the level numbers are incremented by 1. 4.1.6 Example of a segment table is: TAG NAME S REPT S REPT UNH Message header M 1 AAA Segment AAA M 1 BBB Segment BBB C 1 - Segment Group 1 ----------------------------- C 9 ---+ CCC Segment CCC M 1 | DDD Segment DDD C 9 -----------------+ EEE Segment EEE C 1 FFF Segment FFF C 9 UNT Segment UNT M 1 4.1.7 For the above message structure, assuming that all of the conditional segments in the diagram appear once, and that Group 1 appears twice, the processing sequence of the segments would be as follows: UNH, AAA, BBB, CCC, DDD, CCC, DDD, EEE, FFF, UNT. 4.1.8 In the above message structure, the first and last segments in the message, UNH and UNT, are mandatory Service Segments, defined in the UN/EDIFACT Syntax. UNH is the message header segment, which includes the message type, version and release number, while UNT is the message trailer segment. The remaining segments (with segment codes AAA to FFF) are user data segments. 4.1.9 Associated with each segment tag in the examples is shown either "M" (if the segment is Mandatory within the message), or "C" (if the segment is Conditional), followed by a number, meaning the following: M l means that the segment must appear once only in the message in the position shown in the diagram. C l means the segment may appear once only in the message in the position shown in the diagram (dependent if necessary on a semantic note related to the segment) or that it can be completely omitted. M followed by a figure greater than 1 means that the segment must appear at least once in the position shown, but could repeat up to a maximum number of times equal to the figure shown. C followed by a figure greater than 1 means that the segment may repeat in the position shown, up to a maximum number of times equal to the figure shown, OR --because of its Conditional status-- that it may not appear at all. Exactly the same concept applies to segment groups in respect to their status and their number of repeats.
4.2.1 A study of Status 2 messages in UNTDID will show that messages often contain a high proportion of conditional segment groups. This decision is often taken by message designers to permit flexibility of use. 4.2.2 Grouping of segments also permits information carried in individual segments to be related in a structured way. 4.2.3 The first segment of a group must occur only once per occurrence of the group. and is designated as the "trigger" segment for the group which it heads. The trigger segment determines the function of the group. 4.2.4 Message designers should be aware, that a segment group which is contained within another segment group cannot be entered, other than via the segment group immediately before (its parent segment group). This means that at least the trigger segment for the parent segment group must contain data when transmitted. 4.2.5 In the message example given in 4.1.4, Group 1 (containing segments CCC and DDD) shows a simple repeating structure. Up to a maximum of 9 occurrences of the group may appear, or the group may be omitted since its is conditional. Within each occurrence of the group, the trigger segment CCC must appear (since it is mandatory). Segment DDD may be omitted since it is conditional, or may repeat a maximum of 9 times. A group of segments can, and often does, contain one or more lower level groups of segments. 4.2.6 A fuller description of the hierarchical dependency of segments in groups appearing at levels l, 2, 3, etc., repeating segments and their representation implicitly or explicitly etc., can be found in ISO 9735. 4.2.7 As draft messages are developed, designers may find that they may have to amend some of their original thoughts on the structure and contents of the message as this can be an iterative process. 4.2.8 A typical example of a segment group used in the same way across many messages is the "Name and Address", segment group which optionally includes segments to provide related "Contact" & "Communication Number" data. This segment group normally follows a structure where NAD is the trigger segment for group, with the dependent CTA and COM segments below.
RULE 30: Every group shall start with a non-repeating mandatory segment. RULE 31: A segment group nested within another segment group shall be headed by its own trigger segment, and cannot be entered other than via the group which precedes it.
4.4.1 "Stand-alone" segments within segment groups (i.e. segments with no dependent segment(s) below them) should be placed immediately after the mandatory trigger segment of the group to which they belong, in order to reduce the risk of segment collisions. 4.4.2 Segment collision occurs for example: 1) if two or more segments with identical segment codes appear in a message with no mandatory segment with a different segment code intervening between them at the same or higher level; or 2) if two or more segments with identical segment code appear in a message with no mandatory segment group triggered by a segment with a different segment code intervening. In some cases, a mandatory segment with a different segment code is also needed after the colliding segment, to prevent the collision. 4.4.3 An example of segment of collision is: Level ____________________________________________________________ | +-----+ | Gr 3| |-----| | C|99| |-----| 1 | AAA | |-----| |M | 1| +-----+ | | __________________________________________________ .... | | | | | | | | | +-----+ | | +-----+ | | +-----+ | |Gr 4| | | |Gr 6| | | | Gr 7| | |C 9| | | |C 9| | | | C 9 | | |-----| | | |-----| | | |-----| 2 BBB | CCC | FFF DDD | GGG | III EEE | JJJ | C 9 | M 1 | C 9 C 9 | M 1 | C 1 C 9 | M 1 | +-----+ +-----+ +-----+ | | | +-----+ | | |Gr 5| | | |-----| | | |C 9| | | |-----| +-----+ +-----+ 3 | DDD | | HHH | | KKK | | M 1 | | C 1 | | C 9 | +-----+ +-----+ +-----+ | | 4 EEE C 9 4.4.4 In the above example, since the stand-alone segment FFF is conditional (and therefore may be omitted), there is a segment collision between the stand-alone segment DDD (after segment FFF) and segment DDD which is the trigger segment for Group 5. 4.4.5 The risk which arises with segment collision, is that the receiving translator routine could incorrectly associate identical segments. 4.4.6 A segment collision also occurs between the stand-alone EEE segment appearing immediately before group 7 and the EEE segment in group 5, since everything between them is conditional. 4.4.7 Segment collision would be eliminated if stand-alone segments FFF, DDD, III and EEE were moved before segment group 4.
RULE 32: A message is a set of ordered segments and/or segment groups, starting with the message header UNH segment, and ending with the message trailer UNT segment. At least one additional segment or segment group shall appear between the header and trailer segments. RULE 33: The contents of the current UN/EDIFACT Working Directory shall be used as the starting point for the development of a message. RULE 34: A proposed new message shall not duplicate the function of an existing message. RULE 35: Messages shall be designed for use at the international level. RULE 36: Any changes made to an existing message structure shall conform to the stated message functionality or else the message functionality shall be modified to conform with the changes to the message structure. RULE 37: Messages shall be structured without segment collision.
RULE 38: Each message type shall have allocated to it a unique six letter identifier (e.g. INVOIC for the Commercial Invoice). Designers may allocate a code of their own choosing, controlled only by RT Technical Assessment Groups in the event of duplication with an existing code.
RULE 39: The service segment UNS shall only be used to prevent segment collision between segments contained in the Header, Detail and Summary sections of a message. RULE 40: No more than two UNS segments shall be defined in a single message. UNS segments shall have a maximum occurrence of one, a status of mandatory, and shall appear at the beginning of either the Detail section, and/or the Summary section as necessary.
5.1 If any part of these guidelines and rules are unclear to any message designer or message user, the specific query should be directed to a Technical Assessment Group (TAG), via a local RT Secretariat. 5.2 Such queries will be dealt expeditiously via Joint RT/TAG discussions. 5.3 After change requests to the message design guidelines and rules have been processed and agreed, the changes will be published giving the appropriate interpretations, addenda and/or revisions.
(INFORMATIVE) Usage of data elements 1131/3055
The capability to use externally maintained code lists is accomplished in UN/EDIFACT message design through the use of two data elements, 1131 and 3055, which immediately follow a coded data element. The combination of the elements 1131/3055 shall only be used in association with one preceding component. The specifications contained in A.2 and A.3 below are not mandatory. However, if the choice is made to implement A.2 and A.3, then the detail in those sections shall be applied.
A.2 USE OF 1131/3055
The UN/ECE Secretariat will allocate code values in data element 3055 to identify responsible agencies. Specific code list identification numbers for data element 1131 can be obtained from the appropriate responsible agency identified in data element 3055. Each agency will be responsible for assigning code list identification numbers for each category of code list it maintains. These identification numbers will not be contained in the UN/EDIFACT Code Lists Directory for 1131. The only value in the UN/EDIFACT code list directory for data element 1131 is "ZZZ". This identifies that the coded data element used in association with 1131/3055 is mutually defined by trading partners. Data element 3055 would contain a list of responsible agencies. Examples of the values currently contained in data element 3055 are: 3 IATA (International Air Transport Association) 5 ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 6 UN/ECE 16 DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) 116 US, ANSI ASC X12 178 AU, SAA (Standards Association of Australia) Additional values should be requested, as needed, to identify additional responsible agencies such as national and regional authorities. Whenever data element 3055 is used, data element 1131 is mandatory. If data elements 1131 and 3055 are not used, the value of the associated coded data element value is from the UN/EDIFACT maintained code list.
A.3 EXAMPLES FOR THE USAGE OF 1131/3055
1) Example of the omission of 1131/3055 which implies use of the UN/EDIFACT maintained code list 1131 3055 COMMENT The coded data element value used in association with 1131/3055, is in the UN/EDIFACT code list for the coded element in question 2) Example of trading partner defined reference numbers 1131 3055 COMMENT ZZZ The coded data element value used in association with 1131/3055 is mutually defined by trading partners (1131='ZZZ') 3) Example of UN/ECE maintained 1131 code list 1131 3055 COMMENT 20 6 The coded data element value used in association with 1131/3055 is one maintained by the UN/ECE (3055="6"), in UN/ECE Recommendation 20 (1131="20") 4) Example of an organization maintained code list 1131 3055 COMMENT 1 16 The coded data element value used in association with 1131/3055 is one maintained by Dun and Bradstreet (3055="16"), in the Duns list of enterprise numbers (1131="1") 5) Example of nationally maintained 1131 code list 1131 3055 COMMENT 4 116 The coded data element value used in association with 1131/3055 is one maintained by ANSI ASC X12 (3055="116"), in the American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number identification table (1131="4")
(INFORMATIVE) Rapporteur Advisory & Support Teams (RTs)
B.1 UN/EDIFACT MAINTENANCE
1.1 It is via the RTs that maintenance procedures for the UN/EDIFACT Syntax Rules, and the UN/EDIFACT Directory Sets will be coordinated, in conjunction with the UN/ECE Secretariat.
2.1 Rapporteurs currently appointed by UN/ECE Working Party 4 represent Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Central and Eastern Europe, Pan America and Western Europe (including EFTA). 2.2 The names and contact points for the above Rapporteurs can be obtained from either the UN/ECE Secretariat, or from local RT Secretariats.
B.3 RT SECRETARIAT CONTACT POINTS
Western Europe: The EC UN/EDIFACT Co-ordinator Tel: +32-2-299-0250 Commission of the European Communities Fax: +32-2-299-0286 DG XIII - D5 Belliard 1/25 rue de la Loi 200 l040 Brussels Belgium Pan America: The PA UN/EDIFACT Co-ordinator Tel: +703-548-7005 DISA (Data Interchange Standards Association) Fax: +703-548-5738 l800 Diagonal Road Suite 355 Alexandria VA 223l4 USA Eastern Europe: The EE UN/EDIFACT Co-ordinator Tel: +3 5 9 287-4572 BULPRO Fax: +3 5 9 280-3968 Ministry of Trade 12, Al. Batenberg Str. BG-1000 SOFIA Bulgaria Asia : The AS EDIFACT Co-ordinator Tel: +81 3 3437-6135 JASTPRO Fax: +81 3 3437-6136 Daiichi Daimon Bldg Shiba Daimon 2-10-1 Minato-ku TOKYO Japan Australia/New Zealand: The AZ EDIFACT Co-ordinator Tel: +61 2 879-9135 P.O. Box 422 Fax: +61 2 817-2085 Gladesville NSW 2111 Australia Africa : The African EDIFACT Board Tel: +241763 652 AFEB Co-ordinator Fax: +241765 838 PO Box 561 Libreville Gabon
B.4 UN/ECE SECRETARIAT
United Nations Economic Commission Tel: +41 22 9172773 for Europe (UN/ECE) Fax: +41 22 9170036 Trade Facilitation Section Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland