Classes of Data

Depending on how a data item is defined, it belongs to one of the five following categories:

  1. Alphabetic
  2. Alphanumeric
  3. Alphanumeric Edited
  4. Numeric
  5. Numeric Edited

These categories are further grouped into the following classes:

  1. Alphabetic class: alphabetic
  2. Numeric class: numeric
  3. Alphanumeric class: alphanumeric, alphanumeric edited, numeric edited

Every elementary item is classified into one of these classes and categories by its PICTURE clause. Elementary items that do not have a PICTURE clause are in the numeric category.

Group items always belong to the alphanumeric category regardless of the categories of any elementary items they contain. A group item may be used in any place an alphanumeric item is allowed.