Which characters are not in the allowed character set? (Notification of EDI Document Rejection)

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We received a Notification of EDI Document Rejection.  The details stated "Element MSG01 (Free-Form Message Text) contains characters not listed in the allowed character set."  I believe the bad character was a % symbol.  Can we get a list of all the characters that are NOT allowed, so that we can be sure not to send them in our data?
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Charlotte Goska

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Posted 3 years ago

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Katrina Wolyniec, Employee

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Hello,

Thank you for posting in the Support Center!

Unfortunately, the answer to the question is not very cut and dry.  The general answer is that any alphanumeric characters will be accepted and any special characters as well alpha characters not on an English keyboard, may not be accepted.  For example: á would most likely error the document.

There are special characters that are usually allowed: dashes (-), parentheses (), and slashes /\.  However, other characters are usually reserved for EDI communication and will error the document: *, ~, etc.

It can also depend on the requirements of the trading partner as to which characters are allowed in their system as well.

The best practice is to limit your communication to alphanumeric characters and only and special characters when expressly needed.

Thank you,

SPS Commerce Infinite Retail Power

Katrina Wolyniec

Customer Support Analyst II | Fulfillment Support 

P: 1-888-739-3232

niservices@spscommerce.com

 

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Ken Edick

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I definitely agree with Katrina that there needs to be agreement with your trading partner on what characters are used.  The guiding X12 document is

X12.6 APPLICATION CONTROL STRUCTURE. 

 The 004060 version of this document can be found at the following link

http://www.x12.org/x12org/subcommittees/X12j/J0000_ANSV5_Foundtn_CtrlSt.PDF


Regards.

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Charlotte Goska

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OK, but the rejection is coming from SPS Commerce, they are the ones sending the 997 and the error notification, not my trading partner.  Are you telling me that my trading partner somehow sets up what characters they don't want, within SPS Commerce?   We do direct EDI with SPS Commerce and my document in question is NOT making it to the SPS site to be processed because of an invalid character.  Therefore I think SPS Commerce is the one who has the problem with the character, not my trading partner.  My trading partner doesn't do EDI, they print out the PO's on the SPS website and acknowledge them through the website. 
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Charlotte Goska

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Katrina, please see my comment under Ken's.  I'm new to this support site and not sure how to post comments / replies yet.


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Katrina Wolyniec, Employee

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Hello,

When we set up a connection between trading partners, we work closely with the retailer to ensure that the specifications they want are set up in the systems.  So, there are times when the retailers do set up characters they don't want within SPS Commerce during the implementation process.  We then monitor the transmissions to ensure that the characters are all within the guidelines they have set.

If you trading partner is using the WebForms solution, they they most likely just want with the usual connection package and did not add or remove any characters from what would be considered invalid. Since this is most likely the case, we then monitor for characters that could error in the many systems we connect with. It can be very broad.

That is how the over all system works.  If you are interested in having the trading partner change the allowed characters, the best practice is to reach out to them, then forward us the change request and we can send that request to implementation to have them allow that character. It is important to note that is will then allow that character for all their trading partners.

Let me know if you have any further questions,
Katrina

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