Explicit delimited syntax

An explicit-format group with a delimited syntax is one whose components are separated by a delimiter and the delimiter appears as a placeholder even when a component has no content.

About delimiters and explicit-format groups:
  • The only time a delimiter can be missing is when all components following the delimiter are optional and there is no data for the optional components.
  • A delimiter is a character or series of characters that separates data objects.
  • A delimiter cannot be longer than 500 bytes.
  • The delimiter of a group appears inside the group, separating its components. When a group is delimited, that indicates something about the components of the group. The delimiter inside a group is delimiting the components.


The group Employee has an explicit-delimited format because a comma delimiter appears between Employee's components, the items that make up the Employee object. In addition, the delimiter is displayed when a component is missing and there is data for components following it.

The components of Employee are the items ID#, Name, Department, Address, and Age.