This document covers the following topics:
Code page conversion and Unicode support make use of functionality
provided by International Components for Unicode for Software AG (ICS). If you
want to enable Natural for Unicode and code page support, you have to install
the components provided with ICS: the ICS module
SAGICU or an
alternative ICS module
(z/VSE and z/OS only) and ICU data
CPare set to
SYSCPutility. See Invoking and Terminating SYSCP in the Utilities documentation of the Natural for Mainframes documentation.
If you want to enable Natural for Unicode and code page support, you need to link and load an ICU data library during the installation of Natural as described in Installing International Components for Unicode for Software AG for z/OS (see ICS Transition Version 222 and ICS 311), z/VSE and BS2000.
The ICS module
SAGICU is intended to be used
independently from localization data. It contains no statically-linked code
pages and locales. A dataset containing the entirety of the ICU localization
data, modulated in data items, is part of the ICS 311 delivery. Its name can be
specified by the
CFICU STEPLIB parameter or statically in the JCL
as a Natural steplib.
Statically-linked collation data (set of code pages and locale IDs) is still supported and is part of the ICS Transition Version 222.
Another feature of this module is collation services. Collation services are used to compare Unicode strings. They consider the fact that the alphabetical order varies from language to language. It is a big challenge to accommodate the world's languages and writing systems and the different orders that are used. However, the ICU collation service provides excellent means for comparing strings in a locale-sensitive fashion. For example, in German locale, the character "Ä" is sorted between "A" and "B"; in Swedish locale, it is sorted after "Z". In Lithuanian, the character "y" is sorted between "i" and "k". The ICU implementation of collation services is compliant to the Unicode Collation Algorithm and conforms to ISO 14651. The algorithms have been designed and reviewed by experts in multi-lingual collation, and are therefore robust and comprehensive.
Statically-linked collation data (set of code pages and locale IDs) is not supported with ICS 311. It is still supported and is part of the ICS Transition Version 222 (see ICS Transition Version 222).
ICS 311 uses all of the ICU localization data.
The ICS module
SAGICU provides the following code
pages and locales:
This section does not apply to BS2000.
If your Natural system runs on z/OS or z/VSE with an IBM processor
with architecture level 9 or higher, you can replace the ICS module
SAGICUA9 is built to
use advanced machine instructions introduced with IBM's ESA/390 and
z/Architecture. You can use the system command
(see the System Commands documentation) to find out the
architecture level supported on your current machine.
SAGICUA9 improves the execution performance, especially
for Natural statements that use Unicode variables or code-page encoding
instructions (for example,
MOVE ENCODED). For more information on
architecture levels, refer to the related documentation from IBM
(z/Architecture, Principles of Operation).
An operation exception error (abend code S0C1) can occur if the ICS module
These modules are not delivered with ICS 311, as the load modules of
ICS 311 (
SAGICUA9) are already minimal in
size and contain no statically-linked ICU localization data.
If ICS Version 222 is installed at your site, you can use the load
SAGICUM9 to include only the bare
minimum of collation data in the module build. This enables a light-weight
configuration and better performance for particular use cases.
Data libraries provided by Software AG are not supported with ICS 311. They are still supported and are part of the ICS Transition Version 222 (see ICS Transition Version 222).
ICS 311 uses all of the ICU localization data.
If you want to enable Natural for Unicode and code page support, you need to link and load an ICU data library during the installation of Natural as described in Installing International Components for Unicode for Software AG for z/OS, z/VSE and BS2000.
ICU data libraries are supplied with the following ICS data modules
nn denotes the current version of
the module as announced in the current Natural Release
Notes for Mainframes.
||Contains the most popular code pages and
locales. The code pages are already declared in
|| Contains all possible converters and
locales offered by the currently supported ICU version. It supports about 230
different code pages (predominantly EBCDIC code pages) and 238 locales.
Therefore, the module size is huge.
It is possible to create your own ICU data library that exactly matches your requirements (see Customizing the ICU Data Library).
The ICU data items supported by Natural include converters and
collators. For example: a converter is used when a
statement executes, and a collator when strings are compared in an
An ICU data item is either statically linked to an ICU data library or it is dynamically loaded on request during the Natural session.
ICU data items are supplied as loadable modules on the ICS data set supplied for installation of Natural, and must be accessible through the Natural steplib chain.
When a data item is used for the first time, ICS attempts to open it from the linked or loaded ICU data library. If no data item is associated with a library, ICS attempts to dynamically load the data item from the ICS data set.
This section covers the following topics:
The name of a data item module in the ICS data set is restricted to eight characters. As indicated in the table below, it consists of the following:
A prefix (
A two-digit ICU version
A logical group identifier (
A four-digit sequence number
||Charset mapping tables (converter modules)|
||Collators (collation services)|
||Localization (formatting, display names and other localized data)|
||Miscellaneous data (rule-based number formats and transliterators)|
I58C0074 is the name
of a converter for ICU Version 58.2 and code
However, in a
MOVE ENCODED statement, Natural expects
the long name of the code page that corresponds to the data item module. Any
valid alias name of the code page can be used. The name of the code page is
automatically mapped to the eight-character short name when the data item
module is loaded.
For further information, see the appropriate ICU web site.
Using dynamically loaded single data item modules allows for extensive flexibility. Data is loaded on demand and supports all code pages. A dataset containing all of the ICU localization data, modulated in single data items, is part of the ICS 311 delivery.
A single data item module is loaded when first accessed (e.g. by a
MOVE ENCODED statement) and is available for future use instantly
without the need to reload. Only the already used code pages will be kept in
memory and no statically-linked data or a separate data library as was the case
with previous ICS versions.
Single data item modules are especially useful for z/VSE and B2000, as they do not support the extended data library functionality (which was available with previous ICS versions).
If a Natural session is enabled for code page or Unicode support, you should ascertain that Natural's Adabas user session also uses the appropriate user encoding for accessing Adabas data.
Because Adabas uses Entire Conversion Services (ECS) for conversion,
the ECS name must be specified in the related
entry in module
To ascertain that Natural's Adabas user session uses the correct code page,
WCODE option in the
parameter for the databases used.
For more information on Adabas Unicode and code page support conversion, see the Adabas documentation for mainframes.
Natural uses various tables for character translation and character
property definition. The contents of the tables can be modified via profile
during the start of a Natural session.
If Natural is running with code page support (that is: the
parameter is set to a value other than
OFF), the tables cannot be
modified by the user. In this case, the following Natural startup message will
be issued to notify the user that the above mentioned session parameters are
Character translation parameter
table-name ignored due to CFICU=ON.
Natural adjusts the tables automatically, according to the code page
used for the Natural session (value of the system variable
See also Translation
Tables in the Operations
Natural supports multi-byte code pages (MBCS) such as IBM-939 which
is a Japanese code page based on EBCDIC and DBCS. Multi-byte code pages can be
selected using the
CP parameter (by
AUTO (if supported) or to the
name of a code page). If Natural is running with a multi-byte code page, it
uses internal I/O buffers which are based on Unicode. This means that all data
written into the internal I/O buffers by an I/O statement are converted to
Unicode. Due to the requirements of Unicode and multi-byte code pages, the size
of the I/O buffers is increased as compared to the traditional I/O since
Unicode characters need twice as much space as EBCDIC characters and enhanced
attributes are needed to describe a field.
In the case of single-byte code pages (SBCS) such as IBM-1140, the traditional EBCDIC-based I/O is still used to preserve resources.