Flat file message structures

Records or group of records contained in flat files define the structure of a message. Every record is specified in a single line and consists of a special sequence of fields. The sequence of fields in a record is defined as having a number of occurrences.

The first row in a flat file refers to the field name. Fields are separated by comma, records are separated with a line feed character (UNIX style), or a combination of line feed and carriage return character (Windows style). Flat files that include comma as delimiters help ensure fixed-width data formatting, also called comma separated value (CSV) file.

Example 1, six records separated by a line break

The fields in each record are separated by a comma. The third and fourth records are two occurrences of the same type of record which are structured in exactly the same way.

DHDR,JSA EENMI567,Blueberryhills Technologies;222-555-1234EENMAM98329A0176643002200011796V4000230,DAVID JONES CO;C011000209485456-145RM IV23456,41796RM IV2345,-30000CM,CREDIT MEMO ADJUSTMENTA0425577710000110316V40000004,SOFTBANK

Example 2, a record that uses extra formatting to avoid separator confusion

If you use a separator without its special meaning, use an escape sequence consisting of a string of characters. When it precedes a separator, an escape sequence has the effect of negating the separator’s special meaning. The escape sequence forward slash "/" is used to parse fields.

This field has a comma/,that needs to be escaped,this is another field,

Example 3, a record that uses an identifier

The first field in the record is defined as an identifier which allows the enclosing records’ signature to separate from other records in the message.