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PCSpan - Advanced

This page contains advanced options for the Flat File Client.

Configuration file parameters are included below with the following_font.


Parameter: treat_real_as

This option indicates how the define and redefine commands treat all items that are not customized and have a DMSII data type of REAL. When enabled, no customizations are needed, unless you have exceptions that need to be treated differently. For an explantion of the 3 button options see the following:

  • Real: indicates that a REAL will be treated as a floating point number

  • TIME(6): indicates that a REAL will be treated as a TIME(6) value, which is a timestamp.

  • Binary: indicates that a REAL will be written out to the flat files as 12-hex digits, just like an RSN.

If you have REAL items in DMSII that are timestamps, you need to treat them as BINARY (if they are TIME(6) data, treat them as such). If you just treat them as REAL, the most significant bit of the item will be lost when the number is converted to scientific or decimal formats, as this bit is unused for floating point values on the A-Series machines. On the other hand, timestamps use this bit, which is part of the date.


The options in this group define how dates are represented in flat files.

Flat File date formats

Parameter: span_date_format

This format uses the same date format codes as the standard Client. Currently, only the formats with 4-digit years are supported. Select the desired format from the provided list-box.

Flat file date/time precision (0 - 9)

Parameter: span_date_scale

This option specifies how many digits after seconds will be added to represent fractions of seconds. When the scale is greater than zero, a decimal character (dot or comma) is added after seconds.

Flat file date delimiter

Parameter: span_date_delim

This option allows the year, month and day to either be separated by slashes, dashes, or dots (or not separated at all). You can select one of these choices from the list-box provided. When you use a date delimiter, the hours, minutes and seconds will be separated by colons and the time part will be preceded by a blank. If the delimiter is the empty string, then they are all run together to form a 14-digit number.

Prefix column mask

Parameter: prefix_columns

This option specifies a mask that is ANDed with the default_user_columns mask to determine which external columns are to be added to the start of the record (the remaining columns are added at the end of the record, like the standard Clients).

The bits defined for the parameter default_user_columns were expanded to include the items that DBSupport allows. Some of the columns used by the standard Clients are not useful or supported for the Flat File Client. Attempting to set them in the default_user_columns specification has no effect.

File name mask (0 minimum to 7 maximum)

Parameter: filename_mask

This option allows you to include any combination of the starting AFN, ABSN and TIMESTAMP to the fixups and updates flat file names. Once the filename suffix has been established it remains in effect for the duration of the run. The value is treated as a binary quantity where each bit mask represents an added component to the file names. A value of 1 indicates AFN, a value of 2 indicates ABSN and a value of 4 indicates TIMESTAMP.

A value of zero disables this option and the remaining values represent combinations of these three items. A value greater than 7 will be rejected as an error.

Post processing of flat files

When enabled, the next two entries become visible. Post processing is used in a special application of the Flat File Client that is used in conjunction with data redaction systems. The Client extracts the DMSII data sets to flat files, which are then passed on to the redaction system to anonymize sensitive information. The script workers are involved in interfacing the Client with the commercially available redaction software. When the redaction is complete, the new file gets passed back to the Client that runs a specialized Client application named dbrebuild converting the data in the flat file to its DMSII equivalent format with all ASCII data translated to EBCDIC.

The client will then launch Enterprise Server to transfer the file back to the MCP Server where a special utility loads the records into the test database that is being created by redacting the production data base, which allows for more realistic testing without compromising sensitive information.

Script workers (1 minimum to 32 maximum)

Parameter: n_pcspan_workers

This option defines the number of script workers to be used in the post processing activity described above. This mechanism could be used for other applications.

Enable redaction

Parameter: redacted_database

When using the above mentioned redaction process this parameter must be enabled.