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 the ICS module
SAGICU or an
alternative ICS module
(z/OS and z/VSE only) during the installation of Natural as described in
Installing International Components for Unicode for Software
AG for z/OS, z/VSE and
The ICS module
SAGICU is intended to be used in most
European countries as well as in North and South American countries. It
contains a reduced set of code pages and locale IDs for English, German, French
and Spanish language areas. Due to the reduced set of supported languages, it
is relatively small.
The ICS module
SAGICU contains the following:
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.
The ICS module
SAGICU provides the following code pages
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
Depending on the ICS Version installed at your site, you can use the
ICS231MA9 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.
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)|
I60C0038 is the name of a
converter for ICU Version 60 and code page
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.
An ICU data library is faster but less flexible than dynamically loaded single data item modules. A data library is loaded once during session initialization.
The default ICU data library is usually sufficient for most applications but you may have to customize a data library to meet your particular requirements.
If you do not know which data item module you require, in a z/OS
environment, you can load the extended, and therefore very large,
ICSDTnnX. But this is a
potential waste of space and can cause performance degradation, whereas single
data item modules, which are dynamically loaded as required, occupy less space
but still support the required code pages.
A single data item module is loaded when first accessed (for example,
MOVE ENCODED statement). Single data item modules are
especially useful for z/VSE and B2000, which do not support the extended data
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.