COBOL and character encoding

XML Extensions uses UTF-8 character encoding for exporting XML documents. (UTF-8 is a byte-oriented encoding form of Unicode that has been designed for ease-of-use with existing ASCII-based systems.) Imported documents are interpreted according to the character encoding specified in the XML header, resulting in an internal Unicode representation of the characters. Because XML is Unicode-based and COBOL is not, a transcoding is generally required when moving character data between COBOL and XML. XML Extensions supports various means of specifying the transcoding that should occur in these cases. The following sections have related information regarding character encoding considerations.