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Here I would like to explain the difference between the data type and message type.

Data Type : A data type is a basic unit for defining the structure of the data(xml elements).

  • Data type is equivalent to xsd
     Just as RFC parameters are based on data type that are defined in the data Dictionary,XI message types are based on data type that are defined on XSD types
  • Structure can be defined in the data type editor and reused in other Structures

 A data type in a programming language is a set of data with values having predefined characteristics. 
  Examples of data types are: integer, floating point unit number, character, string, and pointer. 

Message type : Message type is the wrapper of data type. You will be using your message type while mapping but not the data type. Its the abstraction concept
used in oops. A message type comprises a data type that describes the structure of a message.

Data type is like a Structure and message type is like a internal table in ABAP

Message Type

  • Corresponds to the root of the XML message
  • References one single data type
  • Describes what the actual payload message of an XI interface will look like

Following link would also be of great help in understanding message types:

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