Importing file from mainframe with packed decimal fields

Hello everybody,

I have combed through the existing threads regarding “packed decimal” topics, but still don’t know how to attack this problem.

We have a new customer who wants us to import address data, which is being exported from a mainframe every night, into an Oracle database, via webMethods IntegrationServer.

The file is not readable with standard file means, it seems. The host administrators said it’s packed decimal, and they refuse to export the data in any other format.

What do I need to have and plug together to be able to read and parse such a file?

I have read that I need a wMMainframe package. Is this really required?

We’re running wM 8.2 on Solaris 10.

Thanks for any pointers!


There was an adapter called ‘multibyte file parser’ but this is no more with our product suite since 7.1 release. You got to check with SAG support to find equivalent solution. Keep the forum updated with your reply.


Hi Senthil,

thank you for your reply.

I was hoping that there was an easier way than molesting SAG support again :lol:

Anyway, I think this might be the quickest route. :?


I wrote a package of flow and Java to do this for a customer (they were importing files from a major credit card bureau). As it was developed for them, I don’t have the code to provide examples. Basically, the code had to step through the variable length segments and extract and convert each data element from EBCDIC to UTF.

The package wmMainframe has been deprecated and replaced with wmEntireX Adapter, which provides wrappers for accessing mainframe services and automatically converts data formats to target native formats.

Hi Douglas,

entireX rings a bell. I have come across this package during the wM installation process. However, we haven’t had any need for that, yet, and thus haven’t installed it.

Following Senthil’s advice I opened a ticket with SAG support and they are currently looking into it. I am awaiting their response and will pick up the entireX trace if SAG doesn’t have a practicable solution.

Thank you for your input! I appreciate it.


Hi all,

sorry for taking so long to get back, but I’ve been really busy lately.

This project is a roller coaster. On several ends the clients change their minds more than once. :x

Therefore, they also did that with the mainframe file import. :?

They decided to have an internal team import the file into an SQL-Server database (as they have done so several times with other applications) and instead offer us access to this database, from which we should retrieve the customer data.

That means, I had to cancel my support request with SAG. However, they still provided me with a (theoretical) solution, which I would like to share, in case somebody else stumbles across the same problem.

Thanks to all for your feedback and also thanks to SAG tech support for their effort.


Great…thanks for updating this thread back:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!