Element separators

Elements are the words in your EDI transactions, where the actual data of your transaction resides. Similar to words in a sentence, elements are strung together in a series. This series is called a segment.

Just as words in a sentence must be separated to be understood, elements in a segment must be separated to be read. Element separators are characters that separate elements.

You and your trading partner need to agree on a character to use as an element separator in your EDI transactions. Lawson recommends choosing a unique character that does not appear anywhere else in your EDI data. Using a unique character as an element separator ensures that the character distinguishes elements and is not confused with actual data. A common choice for an element separator is the Hex 5E (^) character.

Sub-element separators

Sub-elements are the pieces that make up elements, similar to letters that make up a word. Similar to elements, sub-elements must be strung together and separated to be understood.

You and your trading partner must select a sub-element separator. The Hex 7C ( | ) symbol is often used as a unique character to separate sub-elements.

Segment terminators

A segment, which is made up of string of elements, is the equivalent of a sentence in your EDI document. But segments, similar to sentences, need an ending point. In EDI terms this ending point is called a segment terminator.

You and your trading partner must agree on a character to use as a segment terminator. This can be any unique character that is not used in the actual EDI data. A recommended value is the Hex 7E character, the ( ~ ) symbol.