Invalid EDI Files is quite important topic in X12 Standard. In order to understand the meaning of invalid EDI files, we should, first of all, make it clear with valid files. So what are the properties of valid EDI X12 files? Let us have a look at features below.
Valid EDI X12 properties:
- File starts with ISA letters
- There will be a word GS after 106 characters (if on a second line there might be 108 characters). However, there are some exceptions, e.g. if the segment separator is carriage return then you have 105 characters in ISA and one non-printable carriage return character at the end of line with GS following it)
- ISA is 106 characters or more long.
Usually translators read and process EDI X12 files according to the above listed rules. But there are few scenarios when it I impossible to do this (invalid EDI files). Such cases are given below.
Invalid EDI Files scenarios
- The received file is not an EDI file but possibly a flat file, XML, image etc.
- The file was copy-pasted from browser. In this case the number of spaces differ and the number of characters between ISA and GS are wrong.
- EDI file can be encrypted. Due to this ISA and GS segments remain valid, but the other part of the file is considered to be invalid and unreadable.
- EDI files sent from mainframe systems are formatted into columns of 80 characters long. In this scenario extra carriage return and line feed characters break segments into multiple lines – we get invalid EDI Files.
- Sometimes it happens that two EDI files (e.g. 810 Invoice and 997 Acknowledgement) are sent together (in some communication packages). As a result, the translator will combine files and the loops (or separators) will be mixed wrong. This type of scenario is quite rare however we should mention this.
Today we have mentioned some cases when X12 EDI files can be treated as invalid EDI files and therefore cannot be processed by a translator. Also, there may be other mistakes in files which will make it impossible to accept the file in the receiver’s system.