Data Type Conversion


Next Steps
Overview Alphabetic Date/Time Multi-Byte Numeric Endianness


Translating mainframe binary data types (like COMP), and typical data type conversions like these:

  • packed or zoned decimal values to binary integer
  • numbers to currency
  • European to ISO timestamps
  • floating point to numeric
  • big to little endian

traditionally requires one or more specialized data conversion tools and I/O passes and, in some cases, data conversion services. Reversing the process (e.g., conversion from ASCII to packed decimal data) may be difficult, or require specialized data transformation techniques. Either way, translating data types is not often a seamless part of data migrations generally, nor typically folded into other foreseeable operations like ETL, data cleansing, and reporting.


Data (and File) Type Conversion Only

IRI-Supported Data Type Groups

  • ASCII / C
  • Dates
  • Multi-Byte
  • Numerics
  • Timestamps
  • Unicode
  • Composites
  • Packed Decimal
  • Zoned Decimal

IRI NextForm converts data types as you migrate, replicate, or federate files and tables. Translate source fields from EBCDIC to ASCII, packed decimal to numeric, American to ISO timestamp, IP address to whole number, etc. Save time and money using NextForm to convert between more than 100 built-in (or custom-defined) data types.

NextForm also supports database migration and conversion and converts files from one format to another. For example, you can upgrade or change RDBs like Oracle, convert a Micro Focus COBOL I-SAM or Vision file to a text file, move from LDIF to CSV, etc. NextForm can also: reformat records; manipulate field elements; filter, validate and scrub data; and, generate custom reports.

Data Migration, Data Transformation, and Reporting

The conversion of data types is just one of many reformatting options supported in the IRI CoSort data transformation product and IRI Voracity data management platform which includes CoSort.

Their common Sort Control Language (SortCL) program allows you to convert data types and formats as you:

  • integrate and stage data in DW ETL operations
  • migrate between apps, DBsor off a mainframe
  • replace slower shell or 3GL programs
  • create custom detail, delta, and summary reports

Use SortCL to convert a fixed-length EBCDI file to a CSV, ASCII, or XML file, while sorting, and change big endian data to little endian. Such consolidated processing saves design steps and run times when offloading and pre-sorting data for relational DB loads.

Indeed, SortCL programs transform data in other ways, too. They filter and scrub, sort and merge, join and aggregate, plus mask PII and reformat fields into multiple output targets -- and report -- all at once.

Contact IRI to discuss your use case. It is also possible to provide a customized data type conversion or comparison routine for special data forms.

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