Variable Blocked Records


Convert and Process Mainframe and Tape Data


Most systems cannot handle the variable blocked (VB) record format indigenous to Unisys and other mainframe and tape drive formats with a blocking factor.

You may need to convert these files to (or from) a format other applications and platforms can use, such as Micro Focus Variable Length, C-ISAM, Record Sequential, CSV, LDIF, or XML.


IRI delivers VB file (and other file) format conversion functions, along with data type conversion, in two products.

All of these actions, one or more at a time, are available for mainframe application and data migrations.

Block File Conversion Only

IRI NextForm converts large files with a blocking factor into other file formats (like CSV, LDIF, COBOL, text, etc.).

NextForm also converts the data types in your files so you can go from EBCDIC to ASCII, packed to numeric, and so on. You can also convert between fixed and variable length files, and between big and little endian data.

Block File Processing & Conversion

The SortCL program in IRI CoSort features the same data conversion options and metadata in NextForm, but adds blocked file manipulation and reporting functionality.

With SortCL, you can perform and combine blocked file:

  • filtering (select, scrub, links to DQ tools)
  • transformation (sort, join, aggregate, calc, etc.)
  • conversion (data-type and file-format migrations)
  • presentation (batch, summary, and delta reports)
  • protection (field encryption, de-ID, masking)

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