An element is a data field, that is, a portion of a structure. Elements in a structure correspond generally to elements in XML documents and columns in databases. Each element is associated with information like the length of the field, the number of occurrences, and its position in a record.
Elements are associated with both structures and maps (the elements in maps are always automatically derived from the elements in the structure). Each structure has a single root element that contains all other elements, and like an XML document, each element may contain other elements or just contain character data.
An XML attribute is defined as an element.
Code values are defined as specially marked elements. Typically structure inheritance is used to group a set of code values into a code table structure, and this code table structure is inherited by the required elements.