Convert, Transform, Report, and Protect Index File Data


Ten Micro Focus COBOL Index Sequential Access Method (MF-ISAM) sub types are in file formats that many applications cannot import or process, especially off the mainframe.

You may need to process this data directly and retain its format, convert it to another file format, or populate a database table or report with values from the file.


IRI delivers conversion and other data handling functionality for MF-ISAM (and MFVL) files in several products. Choose based on need:

IRI NextForm (COBOL edition) converts files in MF-ISAM (index files) to popular target formats (like CSV, ODBC, text, XML, etc.), or from other formats into MF-ISAM. NextForm also supports COBOL and other data type conversions at the field level, and the remapping of record layouts (e.g., fixed to delimited). The NextForm DBMS add-on allows you to source and target relational database tables.

NextForm file definitions will work in the SortCL programs under IRI CoSort. Re-use the metadata if you upgrade to CoSort's for fast transformation, custom reporting, and/or data-centric protection.

The CoSort SortCL program can manipulate, convert, and write files in multiple MF-ISAM sub-types. Use SortCL to sort, join, aggregate, integrate, reformat, protect, or produce reports on COBOL data sets off the mainframe.

Both SortCL and IRI FieldShield can privatize data in MF-ISAM files. Apply (auditable) field-level encryption, masking, de-identification, and other routines, based on the nature of the data and the recipient of the file.

IRI's NextForm, CoSort (SortCL), and FieldShield products support these MF COBOL index file formats:

  • C-ISAM (default)
  • IDXFORMAT 3, 4 and 8 format
  • Btrieve formats (with/without ANSI emulation)
  • Mainframe print format Heap file
  • ESDS file
  • MF Variable Length (MFVL) long/short
  • ACUCOBOL-GT Vision files

Files in these formats can also be processed and reformatted to/from the other file formats listed above. For example, you can convert an MF-ISAM file to CSV or XML and vice versa.