Cross Platform Data Conversion
for transmitting files between
IBM Mainframe and UNIX systems
Application systems are evolving, often moving away from traditional IBM mainframe platforms. In some cases entire isolated applications are being moved to smaller platforms running UNIX.
|More often the application being moved is not completely isolated, but periodically requires data from other mainframe applications. Sometimes data must be routinely sent back to the mainframe as well.|
Industry experience shows that typical COBOL applications are easily ported to smaller platforms. Compilers are available for most platforms. You can easily move program source using the standard FTP utility, which automatically handles the EBCDIC-ASCII translation required for character data. In some cases you can replace user-written applications by pre-packaged software or reengineer them using modern database systems.
Once you have ported an application, you must also port the data files used by that application before production processing can begin. If the ported application must share data files with other applications running on the mainframe, then you must create ongoing processes to port the required files back and forth. A generalized file conversion tool such as netCONVERT is the best way to address these needs.
You can move simple data files consisting of fixed length character data using the FTP utility that was used to transfer the program source code. But most applications have much more complex record formats than that.
|Field Type||Mainframe Encoding||UNIX or NT Encoding|
|character||EBCDIC encoding||ASCII encoding|
|numeric packed||IBM standard encoding||simulated IBM encoding|
|numeric binary||big endian||big or little endian|
|numeric zoned||IBM standard encoding||no equivalent|
|numeric floating point||IBM format||IEEE format|
Records containing intermixed fields with different encoding techniques present a difficult conversion obstacle. And yet a file conversion tool that addresses just the above issues meets only the minimum requirements of most organizations.
Experience shows that there are additional file format considerations requiring advanced capabilities:
Applications running on various platforms on the network must access the data they need without assistance from programs running on other platforms. FTP facilities and Network File Systems are available on all platforms to support this requirement. For a complete solution, you must also have the conversion software available on all platforms.
Less complete file translation facilities are only available on a limited number of platforms. This limitation leads to convoluted time-dependent batch processes where one system deposits a file for eventual use by another.
You can run netCONVERT on all the platforms that are important to your organization, including:
netCONVERT's combination of advanced file translation capabilities, multiple platform availability, and JAVA-based GUI adds up to a superior data conversion solution. You can port application data files with ease, readily converting them for use by ported COBOL applications. Or translate the data to a "comma separated values" format acceptable to most pre-packaged applications and advanced database systems.
Your data can travel in either direction, with the conversion process running on the most convenient platform for your application batch stream. And netCONVERT is capable of handling your most complex data files. netCONVERT provides a crucial piece of your platform migration strategy.
Contact The Workstation Group at
for the enterprise solution for data access and translation!
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Phone: 847 540 3390 Last modified: 18 Jan 2013