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Consider the following scenario:

  • You use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to process an Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT) message in Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009.

  • The EDIFACT message meets the following conditions:

    • The length of the regular characters in a data element of the EDIFACT message is smaller than the maximum length limit of the data element.

    • The data element includes release characters. The combined length of the release and regular characters is greater than the maximum length limit.

      Note A release character is a character that is used to restore the original meaning of characters that are used to separate syntax. For example, the question mark (?) is frequently used as a release character.

In this scenario, the EDIFACT message is not processed.  Additionally, you receive an error message that resembles the following:

39: Data element too long
This error indicates the message cannot be processed because a data element is longer than the maximum length specified by the schema.


This issue occurs because BizTalk Server incorrectly counts release characters as regular characters. Therefore, the following EDIFACT standard is not implemented:

"When used, the release character is not counted in the length of the data element value."Note For more information about EDIFACT standards, visit the following United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) website:

General information about EDIFACT standards


Cumulative update information

The hotfix that resolves this issue is included in cumulative update package 2 for BizTalk Server 2009.

For more information about how to obtain the cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2497794 Cumulative update package 2 for BizTalk Server 2009


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


For more information about BizTalk Server hotfixes, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2003907 Information about BizTalk Server hotfixes

For more information about the "Data element too long" error message, visit the following MSDN website:

General information about the "Data element too long" error message

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