Binary or COMP Format
Description and Discussion
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This document provides an overview (description and discussion of content and size) of binary (or COMP) fields as they are implemented on an IBM Mainframe System or a Micro Focus environment implemented on a Linux, UNIX or Windows System.
Note: The items in this document are appropriate for applications that are written in COBOL, Mainframe Assembler (HLASM) or PL/I. The IBM Mainframe architecture drove many of the numeric formats that existed in the early ANSI specifications for COBOL and have been carried forward to the current COBOL ANSI specifications.
The following table shows the structure of a three digit numeric field using the Binary format that is used on an IBM Mainframe System (i.e. the COBOL syntax would be USAGE IS COMP). The field contains a value of one-hundred-twenty-three (or 123). Since the binary format stores the number as an actual binary value the field will only be two (2) bytes in length.
|Note: 1 A binary field that is defined as "Unsigned" (i.e. PIC 999) is an implied positive value. A two (2) byte unsigned, binary field may contain a range of implied positive values from 0 to 65,535.|
|Note: 2 A binary field that is defined as "Signed" (i.e. PIC S999) will use the high-order, leftmost bit as the sign. A zero (0) is a positive sign and a one (1) is a negative sign. A two (2) byte signed, binary field may contain a range of values from -32,767 to +32,767.|
|The BINARY Format for a Numeric Field|
The creation and processing of COMP or BINARY data on a Windows or UNIX platform must be done in the same manner as the mainframe. On the mainframe COMP or BINARY fields must be 2, 4, or 8 bytes in length (the mainframe was originally a half-word, full-word and double-word centric system). On Linux, UNIX or Windows (using Micro Focus COBOL with Net Express or Server Express) the COMP or BINARY fields may be 1 through 8 bytes in length.
Note: The syntax for COBOL is "USAGE IS COMPUTATIONAL". However, this is usually abbreviated to COMP or may be coded as BINARY.
Notice the following, the record layout for the Item Master File contains two (2) COMP or BINARY fields. These fields are defined as PIC 9(7) and may contain values from zero (0) through 9,999,999 or the binary values of x'000000' through x'98967F' which may be contained in a three (3) byte binary field.
Herein is the problem, on the EBCDIC-encoded, half-word, full-word, double-word, mainframe environment the fields would be allocated with an actual length of four (4) bytes for a binary field. For the Micro Focus, ASCII-encoded, byte-oriented environment the fields would be allocated with an actual length of three (3) bytes for a binary field.
01 ITEM-RECORD. 05 ITEM-NUMBER PIC X(12). 05 ITEM-DATA. 10 ITEM-DESCRIPTION PIC X(48). 10 ITEM-QTY-ONHAND PIC 9(7) COMP. 10 ITEM-QTY-ALLOCATED PIC 9(7) COMP. 10 ITEM-UNIT-OF-MEASURE PIC X(16). 10 ITEM-COST PIC S9(7)V9(2) COMP-3. 10 ITEM-PRICE PIC S9(7)V9(2) COMP-3. 10 ITEM-LADATE PIC X(8). 10 ITEM-LATIME PIC X(8). 10 ITEM-TOKEN PIC X(3). 10 ITEM-D-CODE-1 PIC X. 10 ITEM-D-PERCENT-1 PIC S9(3)V9(4). 10 ITEM-D-CODE-2 PIC X. 10 ITEM-D-PERCENT-2 PIC S9(3)V9(4). 10 ITEM-D-CODE-3 PIC X. 10 ITEM-D-PERCENT-3 PIC S9(3)V9(4). 10 FILLER PIC X(375).
The solution to this problem for the Micro Focus environment is to use the IBMCOMP and NOTRUNC directives when compiling the programs. This will enforce the mainframe rules for COMP or BINARY fields and the field lengths will be the same as the mainframe.
An alternative solution is to modify the copy file and change the PIC 9(7) to PIC 9(9). However, this solution requires a source code change and is not recommended during the first phase of a data migration.
The following table shows the COBOL picture clause, the number of digits, the length of a packed field, the length of a binary (COMP) field for an IBM Mainframe and the length of a binary field for the Linux, UNIX and Windows (LUW) environments running Micro Focus COBOL.
The differences in field (or data string) length are high-lighted in RED .
Binary (Micro Focus)
It is important to note that Micro Focus Mainframe Express supports the mainframe format for binary (or COMP) fields. This is accomplished by pre-setting the compiler directives to force this behavior. The compiler directives are IBMCOMP and NOTRUNC. These directives may also be used with Net Express and must be configured manually since the default for Net Express is to allow binary fields to be any length.
The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of binary formats for numeric data strings or fields. This document may be used as a tutorial for new programmers or as a quick reference for experienced programmers. In the world of programming there are many ways to solve a problem. This document and the links to other documents are intended to provide a choice of alternatives.
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This section includes links to documents with additional information that are beyond the scope and purpose of this document. The first sub-section requires an internet connection, the second sub-section references locally available documents.
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Note: The latest versions of the SimoTime Documents and Program Suites are available on the Internet and may be accessed using the icon. If a user has a SimoTime Enterprise License the Documents and Program Suites may be available on a local server and accessed using the icon.
Explore The Binary or COMP format for numeric data strings. This numeric structure is supported by COBOL and may be explicitly defined with the "USAGE IS COMP" or "USAGE IS BINARY" clause.
Explore The Edited for Display format for numeric data strings. This numeric structure is supported by COBOL and may be used with an edit-mask to prepare the presentation for readability by human beings.
Explore The Packed-Decimal or COMP-3 format for numeric data strings. This numeric structure is supported by COBOL and may be explicitly defined with the "USAGE IS COMP-3" clause.
Explore The Zoned-Decimal format for numeric data strings. This numeric structure is the default numeric for COBOL and may be explicitly defined with the "USAGE IS DISPLAY" clause.
Explore commonly used formats and processing techniques for managing various numeric formats available on the mainframe.
Explore the Numbers Connection for additional information about the structure and processing of numeric data items (or numeric fields).
Explore How to Generate a Data File Convert Program using simple specification statements in a Process Control File. This link to the User Guide includes the information necessary to create a Process Control File and generate the COBOL programs that will do the actual data file conversion.
Explore The ASCII and EBCDIC Translation Tables. These tables are provided for individuals that need to better understand the bit structures and differences of the encoding formats.
Explore The File Status Return Codes to interpret the results of accessing VSAM data sets and/or QSAM files.
The following links will require an internet connect.
A good place to start is The SimoTime Home Page via Internet Connect for access to white papers, program examples and product information.
Explore The Micro Focus Web Site via Internet Connect for more information about products and services available from Micro Focus.
Explore the Glossary of Terms for a list of terms and definitions used in this suite of documents and white papers.
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|Binary or COMP Format, a Description and Discussion|
|Copyright © 1987-2013 SimoTime Enterprises All Rights Reserved|
|When technology complements business|