eavFileConverter is a macro utility that allows you to archive flat, sequential, and GDG files in a fast and thorough manner. Users can quickly move thousands of files from the mainframe to a distributed environment in the Cloud or on premises without change. eavFileConverter enables on-demand, dynamic conversion from EBCDIC to ASCII for easy viewing of single records. It also allows setup to associate copybooks to files so that entire files can be converted to ASCII with a single click.

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Why modernize?


Exorbitant costs

Mainframes cost as much as 4,500 percent more to operate than equivalent Cloud counterparts. This figure is compounded by a scarcity of development resources and rising  licensing and maintenance fees for ancillary mainframe utilities, applications, and databases. 

Limited data accessibility

Legacy databases are difficult to integrate with systems on modern platforms. This is because of inherent inextensibility, incompatibility, and rigidity of the underlying hardware and software powering these legacy systems.

Limited flexibility

Companies are rapidly moving to DevOps and the Cloud while consolidating their technology stacks to maximize IT performance. Unfortunately, the inflexibility of mainframes has become a growing hindrance to modern, continuously evolving, agile business.



Data archival during application decommissioning is a cost-effective and simple solution for retaining legacy data in an accessible format for continuation of the critical business activities. A key challenge in data archiving off-mainframe lies in the ability to set and convert mainframe files. In the past, companies could spend hundreds or thousands of hours setting up and converting mainframe files from EBCDIC to ASCII for storage off the mainframe.

The migration syntax for up to 5,000 files can be generated almost instantly using our eavFileConverter software. On the mainframe, that data is formatted as EBCDIC and the data remains EBCDIC in its off-mainframe state. With the copybook association, any type of data (e.g. packed, binary, etc.) is correctly presented and converted whenever viewing of the record or file is required. Supported file types include:

Data files: Data files are binary files with sequential or VSAM data structure. If data files are associated with copybook definitions, eavFileConverter can parse binary data for viewing, validation, and conversion. Data file names can be with or without file extensions.

Copybook files: Copybooks are written in COBOL and contain definitions of one or more records. eavFileConverter parses copybook files into sets of field objects, validating and converting the data files. Copybook file names can be with or without file extensions.

Associations files: Associations files are XML files that associate data files with copybook files by linking full names. Association files can be created by eavFileConverter or written manually. Each association file can contain references to multiple data files, and each data file can be associated with multiple copybooks. Associations files also contain validation and conversion properties so that each association can be treated individually by eavFileConverter.

Loader files: Loader files are XML files that serve loading converted data files to a SQL Server database. Loader files can be created by eavFileConverter or written manually. Each loader file can contain references to multiple data files and each data file can be associated with a different server / database / table.


eavFileConverter can perform validation of specified copybooks and data files. Validation verifies that syntax of the copybook definitions is correct, while validation of data files verifies that the structure of the data matches the associated copybook.

eavFileConverter also provides conversion capabilities for selected data files. The conversion changes encoding of non-numeric field data from EBCDIC to ASCII and produces log files, converted data files, error data files, and warning files for impact analysis and auditing purposes.

eavFileConverter contains a loader option that uploads converted ASCII data files to your database. With the loader utility, the user simply specifies the destination of the converted file and the program inserts records from the file into the database.

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Over 35 years of Natural and mainframe modernization experience


More than 500 successful modernization projects completed


Over 2.5 billion lines of code refactored through automation


Additional insights to help you modernize


  • 2021 Mainframe Modernization Report

    Explore the the impact Covid-19 is having, and will continue to have, on modernization plans, and the case for application modernization among large enterprises with annual revenues over $1 billion.

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  • Know the details, reduce the risk

    This whitepaper gives an in-depth explanation on why a detailed assessment of legacy applications and databases is essential for proper strategic modernization planning and decision-making.

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  • Live Discussion: The 2021 Mainframe Modernization Business Barometer Report

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News & Opinions

BLOG // 02-12-2021

Old Data vs. Big Data: Data Management and Legacy Systems

by Rob Anderson, Vice President of Marketing and Product for Application Modernization

Old Data vs. Big Data: Data Management and Legacy Systems