When a Mainframe EBCDIC copybook consists of a single type records, you may still need to tweak the copybook and conversion options to make it work. EBCDIC files are NOT a standard and vary from mainframe vendor to mainframe vendor.

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Mainframe EBCDIC single-record type copybook conversion

With TextPipe (download), the steps are

  1. Drag and drop your ebcdic source file onto TextPipe. Note: This MUST have been transferred off the mainframe in BINARY mode, otherwise packed fields will be corrupted.
  2. In TextPipe's Input Filter, ensure that Binary files is set to 'Process'
  3. Add a Mainframe \ Mainframe Copybook filter by double-clicking it
  4. Paste the copybook into the filter
  5. Click [Check Parse Tree] to ensure there are no problems with your copybook, such as extra leading columns, missing fields etc
  6. Run the filter (with F9), and check your output file
  7. Check TextPipe's error tab for any issues


By using an output format such as CSV, and then opening the output file in Excel, you can easily check for 'field progression' where field data is moved one or more space to the right or left for each new record. This indicates either a mismatch between the copybook and the file, or more often, a mismatch with the vendor settings used to decode the file.

Try experimenting with the settings 'Assume adjacent COMP fields are overlapped' and 'Allow COMP-3 to be unsigned' of the most common or initial record type. Unfortunately the copybook does not tell us exactly how the data has been stored.

If the error log reports that there were extra bytes in the file that could not be matched, this indicates that


Once tested, the TextPipe filter can be run automatically or on a schedule from the command line. It can also be controlled by other software using COM.

Need Help With Your Copybook?

Please drop us an email with your copybook support2@datamystic.com

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