Edit Properties of Segments and Other Schema Constructs

To create custom document definitions, you can modify a standard B2B schema to suit your requirements by editing properties of constructs, such as segments and elements, available in the schema.

A B2B schema represents the message format of an EDI document, which is a hierarchical structure based on four types of constructs:

  • Element: The smallest unit that represents a single data field of a primitive type, such as, alphanumeric text, integer, decimal, date, time, or binary.
  • Composite: A complex data type consisting of one or more elements.
  • Segment: The next higher level construct, consisting of a sequence of elements and composites.
  • Loop or Loop Segment: A container for a specific set of segments or child loops, which make its structure nested and hierarchical.

The schema editor in B2B for Oracle Integration displays each of these constructs in its own row. The rows for segments, composites, and loops are expandable, and display the elements they contain. The order of the rows in the schema defines the exact order in which each of the constructs must appear in an actual EDI document.

Finally, an EDI document, which is the topmost construct, is defined as an ordered set of segments and loops. The schema for all EDI X12 documents starts with a segment named ST and ends with the segment SE, across all documents types. These segments are called transaction set envelope segments, and they cannot be deleted in the B2B schema editor.

To view the properties for any row in the schema editor, hover over the row and click View Details View Details icon. The Details panel appears on the right, displaying the Properties tab. The property fields displayed in the tab vary for element, composite, segment, and loop rows. You can edit the field values to customize and deviate from the X12 standard according to your business requirements. The following sections describe the different property fields that are displayed for each construct type.

Element Properties

Property Description

A descriptive name for the element.

Element ID

The ID that identifies this element in the EDI X12 element dictionary. This field is not editable.


The element's position number within the parent segment or composite. This field is not editable.


A detailed description of the element's purpose.

  • Mandatory: The element must have a nonempty value in an EDI document.
  • Optional: The element may have a value or be empty.
  • Conditional: The element may have a value or not depending on syntax rules defined on the parent segment or composite.

This setting is preselected by the X12 standard and typically not modified. To override this setting, modify the Usage field.


This field overrides the Requirement field. When this field is left blank (no value selected), it implies that the element is used and the selection made in the Requirement field is enforced.

  • Must Use: Overrides the selection in the Requirement field and treats the element as mandatory.
  • Not Used: Overrides the selection in the Requirement field and specifies that the element should remain empty (that is, not have a value).
  • Recommended: Follows the selection in the Requirement field, but suggests that the element is a preferred element.
  • Not Recommended: Follows the selection in the Requirement field, but suggests that the element is not a preferred element.

The element's type as defined by the X12 standard in the EDI X12 element dictionary. The type is one of the following: ID (Identifier), AN (Alphanumeric Text String), DT (date), TM (time), N(0-9) (Integer with implied decimal), R (Decimal), or B (Binary). This field is not editable.

Length (Min / Max)

The minimum and maximum characters (or numeric digits) that the element's value allows.


Specifies if it's a repeating element.

  • 1: Indicates that the element has a single value (non-repeating).
  • A number greater than one or the >1 symbol: Indicates that this is a repeating element; that is, one element accommodates multiple values.

The EDI X12 version 4012 and older versions do not support repeating elements; therefore, this setting is ignored for those versions.

Composite Properties

A composite has property settings similar to an element construct, except for the Type and Length fields.

Segment Properties

A segment has several property settings similar to an element construct. However, it doesn't have the Element ID, Type, and Length fields. In addition, there are the following differences.

Property Description

For a segment, this property indicates how many consecutive instances of the segment may occur in an EDI document. Segment repetition is supported in all X12 versions, unlike elements.

Table Area

Indicates the section of the EDI document to which this segment belongs. Typically, an EDI document is defined with a heading, summary, and detail sections, also called table areas.

Loop Properties

A loop has four property settings, namely Requirement, Usage, Repeat, and Table Area, which have similar meanings as those of a segment.