Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Set Support for Translation for XCOM
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Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Set Support for Translation for XCOM


Article ID: 9396


Updated On:


XCOM Data Transport XCOM Data Transport - Windows XCOM Data Transport - Linux PC XCOM Data Transport - z/OS


This document summarizes the Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Set Support feature for XCOM Data Transport, the parameters used to support it, how to use it and answers a few basic questions about it.

You can use Unicode to:

  • Transfer text files that are encoded using multi-byte character sets
  • Transfer text files and convert them into another character set without the need to code custom translation tables.


  • XCOM™ Data Transport® for Windows
  • XCOM™ Data Transport® for z/OS
  • XCOM™ Data Transport® for UNIX/Linux PC



How do I use it?

These are the parameters used for Unicode support.

  1. There are two new values supported for the existing parameter CODE (in Z/OS) or CODE_FLAG (in Linux/Unix/Windows) - UTF8 or UTF16 format. Any of these values instruct XCOM to use Unicode services for character conversion.

  2. There are two parameters, LOCAL_CHARSET and REMOTE_CHARSET which allow you to specify the character set (also known as CCSID or encoding) of the local and remote files for the transfer.

  3. The MBCS_INPUTERROR and MBCS_CONVERROR parameters allow you to specify what action is taken in the event of a conversion error (a malformed input character and a character that has no conversion to the target CCSID . If not specified the value of DEFAULT_INPUTERROR and DEFAULT_CONVERROR parameter values will be used.

  4. LOCAL_DELIM and REMOTE_DELIM are used to specify the encoding scheme for record separators in the local and remote files.

Both XCOM partners must be running r11.6 or higher to be able to use Unicode for character conversion..

How is the translation being done?

The XCOM partner that is sending data converts the characters from the 'input' character set (specified in LOCAL_CHARSET) into the 'transport' character set (either UTF-8 or UTF-16, depending on CODE parameter) using a standard Unicode conversion API and sends the UTF-8 or UTF-16 data to the partner.

The partner converts the data from the 'transport' character set to the target character set (specified in REMOTE_CHARSET)

The standard API used for character conversion depends on the platform:

Where can I find out more?

You can find out more from the online documentation. 

XCOM for z/OS Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Set Support

XCOM for Unix and Linux Supporting Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Sets for Data Transfer

XCOM for Windows Support Unicode and Multi-Byte Character Sets

Does Unicode replace old-style ASCII-EBCDIC translation tables?

Translation tables may still be used. However going forward use of the new Unicode support is a better way to handle translation for any language. Note that translation between ASCII and EBCDIC is just a particular case of Unicode character conversion (using an ASCII and an EBCDIC character set)

Use of Unicode would alleviate you having to keep translate tables up to date or the need for any new ones or calling support for help with a translation table.

You can setup and use the new Unicode support without having to remove your existing translate tables.

Is this support available on all XCOM platforms?

Unicode support and Multi-Byte Character set support are available in XCOM platforms starting with the 11.6 level.

Currently, AS/400 and HP NonStop platforms are still at release 11.0 so they don't support Unicode transfers