The data elements in an EDI Transaction Set are the individual items of information within the document.
For example, within many documents, such as the purchase order and invoice, you will find data elements such as city, state, country, item number, quantity and price.
Each data element in a transaction set is defined in the EDI Standard by the type of data it represents. For example, it would be important to distinguish numeric data from text data or calendar dates. The data element definition will describe:
- Data type of numeric, alphanumeric, date or time
- Minimum and maximum length
- Code values, if applicable, that must be observed with a particular type of data. For example, if the data element is unit cost, you would use a currency code element as well to allow you to indicate what currency (e.g. US dollars or euros) is being used in the unit cost field
Elements are combined into segments. Read about segments.