netCONVERT Product Information

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netCONVERT is designed to perform data file conversions between Mainframe and UNIX file formats. A cross-platform solution, netCONVERT runs under the MVS, VM, and a number of UNIX operating systems.

netCONVERT accepts data in one format and converts it to another. The conversion may be any of the following

  • one mainframe format to another
  • mainframe format to workstation/desktop format
  • workstation/desktop format to mainframe format
  • one workstation/desktop format to another

netCONVERT also includes support for converting date fields from two-digit format to three- or four-digit format, according to the methodology adopted for Year 2000 remediation projects. Bi-directional support for date conversions is supported, allowing bridging between compliant and non-compliant applications as well as on-demand conversion of archival data.

netCONVERT uses the COBOL File Description as the basis for data mapping. If a COBOL FD exists for an input file, netCONVERT can use that file for the record map. If a COBOL FD does not exist, the options for defining the data mapping include

  • using the -record record-mapping syntax of the filter program
  • converting other types of data mappings to a COBOL FD

For date conversions, the COBOL FD is required since the date conversion directives are specified as comments in the FD.

Regardless of the input or output source, you may specify record length, blocksize, and record format. Mainframe record formats supported include

  • Fixed: F, FB, FBS
  • Variable: V, VB, VBS
Both the input and output sources may also be VSAM files, for which you may specify the record organization as
  • KS - key sequential
  • ES - entry sequential
  • RR - relative record
Workstation/desktop record formats supported include
  • Fixed
  • Variable
  • Segmented (variable, but with a segment byte as in ANSI standard)
  • Text (line-feed delimited)
  • NT (like Text, but carriage-return/line-feed delimited)
  • MFCOBOL (Micro Focus COBOL special variable format)
  • Fortran
  • CSV (comma-separated values)

Input may be from disk files, tape files, or other sources piped to stdin. Output may be directed to disk, tape, or piped to other sources through stdout.

Tape I/O includes support for both IBM and ANSI standard labelled tapes as well as for unlabelled tapes. You may specify a volume id, device name and file position for both input and output. For output, you may also specify the file disposition and expiration date.

For conversions between platform types, netCONVERT includes a standard ASCII/EBCDIC translation table that produces reversible results. You may also define your own translation tables for data or applications where the standard table does not achieve the desired results.

netCONVERT Implementation

netCONVERT is designed for portability so that it can be executed on virtually any platform in your network. The kernel is written in ANSI Standard C.

netCONVERT Components

netCONVERT includes several components:

  • filter program to access and translate data
  • utility to automatically generate a new COBOL FD to match data files in which date fields have been expanded
  • a test data generator utility which will build and write data files corresponding to any file description
The filter program is provided for all environments.

The filter program may also be used in conjunction with Micro Focus COBOL two-way pipes to allow a COBOL program to use the output of the conversion process directly.

The FD conversion utility creates an expanded-date-compliant FD from the original, in which date conversion directives were specified. The output FD also has the date mappings reversed (to perform date field contraction) as part of the support for bi-directional date conversion.

Platforms Supported

netCONVERT is available for all the following computing environments:

  • IBM mainframe: VM, MVS, OS/390
  • UNIX workstation: HP/9000, IBM RS/6000, Sun Solaris