Idd part 1 Interfaces with bsc parties and their Agents

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2 Common Interface Conventions

2.1 Interface Mechanisms

This section outlines the different interface mechanisms used.

2.1.1 Manual

Some interfaces employ a manual mechanism. This means that the information is delivered by mail, by a telephone call, by email, or by fax from one person to another. (Perhaps in an electronic file attached to an email or written to a floppy disc)

All incoming manual flows are required to have been initiated by an Authorised Signatory. The flow will contain the Authorised Signatory Name and Password plus:

  1. for flows submitted by post or fax, the signatory’s signature is required;

  2. for those flows which are submitted by email, the sending email address must be that registered for the signatory.

Where applicable, the sender will have read the information from a computer screen or printed it out before sending it. Similarly, where applicable, the recipient enters the information into a computer system, probably via a data entry screen-based interface.

More details of the manual mechanism are given where appropriate for a particular flow.

2.1.2 Electronic Data File Transfer

The majority of non-manual interfaces use electronic file transfer. A data file is created on the source system, and is then copied to a predetermined directory on the destination system. The mechanism for the network copy is described in [COMMS].

A common format is used for data files transferred between the Central Services and the BSC Parties and their Agents. This is specified in Section 2.2.

2.1.3 Meter System Interface

The MV-90 interface is used to interact with meter systems. (This is defined in the CDCA Design Specification Appendix A.)

2.1.4 BMRA Publishing Interface

A TIBCO messaging interface running over IP is used for providing screen-based data for BMRA users.

2.2 Data File Format

A common format is used for data files transferred electronically between the Central Services and the BSC Parties and their Agents.

These files use the ASCII character set. They consist of:

  1. Standard header

  2. Collection of data records using standard format

  3. Standard footer

The file format is similar to the Data Transfer Catalogue file format defined for use in Supplier Volume Allocation. The difference is that the format defined for Central Volume Allocation has the following enhanced features:

  1. sequence number added to the header;

  2. Party Ids in the header longer than the 4 character Pool Participant Ids;

  3. Role Codes in the header longer than the 1 character Pool Participant Role Codes;

  4. Message Role (Data/Response) added to the header;

  5. free-format message type allowed

The components of the file are specified below:

2.2.1 File Header

The file header will be a record containing the following fields:

AAA-File Header


Field Name




Record Type




File Type


5 character type plus 3 character version


Message Role


‘D’ Data or ‘R’ Response


Creation Time


Date/Time file was created. Specified in GMT.

(For Response messages this field contains the Creation Time of the message being replied to)


From Role Code



From Participant ID



To Role Code



To Participant ID



Sequence Number


rolling over from 999999999 to 0

A separate Sequence Number is used for each From Role Code / From Participant ID / To Role Code / To Participant ID combination.

NB numbers used must be contiguous so recipients can detect missing files. See section 2.2.8 for more details of the use of Sequence Number.

(For Response messages this field contains the Sequence Number of the message being replied to)


Test data flag


Indicates whether this file contains test data

=OPER or omitted for operational use, other values for test phases

Either field 6 or field 8 will be the Participant ID of the Central Systems in every case.

The possible values for role code are




(BSCCo Ltd)


(BSC Party)






(Distribution Business)






(Energy Regulator)




(Interconnector Administrator)


(Market Index Data Provider)


(Meter Operator Agent)




(BSC Party Agent)


(Public - also used for files made available for shared access)




(BSC Service Agent)


(System Operator)



This is a subset of the domain ‘Organisation Type’ defined in section, containing only those organisation types which send or receive electronic data files. Considering flows to BSC Parties: when a party receives a file because it is a Distribution Business, the To Role Code will be ‘DB’; when it receives a file because it is an Interconnector Administrator, the To Role Code will be ‘IA’; in all other cases, the To Role Code will be ‘BP’.

Message Role is used for handling receipt acknowledgement, and is further described in Section 2.2.7.

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