For programs which have been compiled with the NLS directive set, the run-time system invokes the CBL_NLS_COMPARE routine when it needs to carry out string comparisons. This routine is also called for alphanumeric comparisons if the program uses the intrinsic functions Max, Min, Ord-max or Ord-min on alphanumeric operands.
During a MOVE operation of one alphanumeric item to another which is longer, padding with spaces occurs. Similar padding is also implied before the comparison of two such items. In both cases, an ASCII space is assumed.