The packed fields don't have to be replaced with blanks, just handled in
a way that the UNIX system can handle them. The values aren't required
by the data warehouse group so preserving the data isn't a concern. At
least not yet.
What is the particular problem with the 'packed' fields? That is,
why is it necessary to do anything with them at all if they're not
I'd think in terms of hex patterns that were interpreted as
delimiters as a potential problem category. But, so far, I don't
recall seeing what the "problem" actually is, particularly if these
fields aren't used.
One other possibly minor question -- are we talking about 'packed'
fields as we normally think of them where a sign-nibble is at the
right? Or are these more of a BCD representation where there is no
sign? E.g., a numeric value of 123 is x'123F' in our normal world,
but might be x'0123' in a basic BCD representation.
And one off-the-wall possibility -- Could the lines be fed to a REXX
procedure for conversion? I've used REXX to handle hex-to-character
conversions in some useful ways in the past. Nowadays, ILE HLLs have
easy access to lots of system and C procs; so, REXX isn't as useful.
But it still fits in some places.