# How does packed decimal work?

Hi,

Can someone explain logically how packed data is unpacked?

I have an example - i think number 2984 is packed as the following ascii values.. (i got from comparing 2 files)

2     182     19     45     140

If I made a mistake above, can you 'pack' 2984, as hex or ascii, and explain how you did it?

Cheers

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Author Commented:
Commented:
Hi
this is quite easy.

take a number
12345+
this is stored as
135
24F

and
12345-
is stored as
135
24D

The space required is always Int( positions / 2) + 1

ie to hold 11 degits is

Int(11/2) = 5 + 1 =6

so as you can se in the example to store 5 is int (5/2) = 2 + 1 = 3

Dave
Author Commented:
Hi Dave,
I'm a little confused, and novice in this area. Can you clarify:

Is plus always F and minus always D?

What do you mean by stored as:
135
24F
?

What is this as a 3 byte ascii string, or a hex string? I need to read this on a PC.
Can you do same for my example 2984.

Cheers
Commented:
Hi
The F is wlways positive and d -ve.

2984 - packed fields always use a odd number of positions hence yours would be be stored as
02984 - this is represented as

094
28F

the 0 become the upper part of the first byte
the 2 becomes the second part of the first byte
the 9 become the firstpart of the second byte
the 8 becomes the second part of the second byte
the 4 become the first part of the last byte
and F becomes the last part of the last byte as it is +ve.

Is that any clearer.

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Commented:
The conversion that you are doing is never easy for the following reasons.

1)      the as 400 has a coded page for each file
2)      this could be say 37 for USA or 285 for UK so if your download is not binary the packed number (stored as Hex) could be converted differently

3)      if you are used SQL server then you are running Microsoft – which has ODBC. The 400 is ODBC and ADODB compliant. These routines have conversion built in, they do not run as fast as ftp but are easy to code. I would look at that.

dave
Commented:
ps
the drivers come on the AS/400 client acces pc. This needs to be installed on the pc doing the download.
If that is not an option then they also contain converiosn routines that an be coded into VB, c##, etc  that will perform the conversions
Author Commented:
HI Dave, thanks for explanation.
Actually the data is from mainframe, but no topic (i think ) so i guessed an AS400 expert would be able to answer the logic easily enough - thanks!

Currently unpacking is done mainframe side, i'm just exploring other options due to human resource limitation on the mainframe side.

Cheers

Author Commented:
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