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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | How I Use OpenVMS
Author Packed Decimal in Openvms

Posts: 2
Joined: 15.08.17
Posted on August 15 2017 08:16
I have couple fields in the file which defined as PIC S9(4) COMP-3. When I display file (TYPE FILENAME) data appears as ASCII 26 (SUsmiley. How can I see real numeric value? Also when I FTP file to the text format how I can covert ASCII 26? Will appreciate forum's help.
Author RE: Packed Decimal in Openvms

Posts: 91
Joined: 12.03.10
Posted on August 15 2017 12:25
The COMP-3 field is a binary format used primarily by COBOL. It encodes 2 decimal digits within a single byte and thus will save on storage requirements. While this was important many years ago when computer systems had memory in the kilobyte range, saving storage is not the primary factor anymore. If you are moving data from one system to another, I would simply code a program to read the binary data and create a straight text file as the output. This can then be FTP'd to the target system. Please note that the receiving program may also need to be updated to read the straight text file.

An alternative is to use a BINARY transfer which should retain the format of the records. Since you don't specify what the data is for, I can't tell whether or not a binary transfer will work as expected.

I hope this helps a bit.

Author RE: Packed Decimal in Openvms
Bruce Claremont

Posts: 485
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on August 16 2017 02:30
Binary transfer will preserve the packed decimal. You can read the packed decimal values via a DUMP if so desired. However, a better method would be to use a COBOL or similar program that recognizes packed decimal data and unpack the fields.
Author RE: Packed Decimal in Openvms

Posts: 2
Joined: 15.08.17
Posted on August 16 2017 13:37
Dan, Bruce thank you very much for reply!
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