Data Conversion is 100% of our business, and we do it expertly!
If your financial institution is required to file with the Federal or State Government on tape, and you don't have that type of tape drive, DISC can solve your problem.
Most Government agencies these days want either 3480/3490, or 3590 cartridge tapes, and a few still accept 9-track tape. If you have a different kind of tape drive and can produce the proper data on tape, DISC can transfer the data from your tape to the type of tape the Government requires. If you can't create the proper tape format, you can give us the file on floppy, CD, or electronically, and we will create the proper kind of tape.
DISC is knowledgeable in
several file formats that are required of financial institutions.
These jobs vary, so it's best to call our sales department at 978 692-0050.
Disc Interchange has converted tens of thousands of call detail and billing tapes for resellers. We have experience with several fixed-block and variable-block formats from AT&T, Verizon, Bell South, SBC, Qwest, etc. How can we help you?
We'd be happy to convert
just a few tapes for you, but our real expertise is in automating your
conversion to get the cost down. Our prices for a hightly automated
job are very much lower than our standard one-time conversions, because
they don't require the constant attention of a programmer. And we
also offer discounts based on the quantity of tapes in each shipment, and
an overall account discount based on annual volume. For large volume
customers we can get the price per tape to under $5.
The process is quick and efficient, and allows the collection agency to service mainframe customers with a variety of tape drives, without incurring huge expenses in IBM Mainframe hardware. DISC has helped many agencies expand their client base, and we can help you too.
This service is normally
a monthly or weekly conversion, and information about our repeat conversion
services can be found in Automated
Weekly / Monthly Transaction Processing.
If you're responsible for a data warehousing project that obtains data from third parties, you are probably seeing every conceivable type of tape and format. We know how difficult it is to own every tape drive and support every tape format, and we can help.
Disc Interchange has been involved in a couple large data warehousing projects. We converted several billion records for one customer, from many different kinds of media, converting all manner of data. We routinely convert EBCDIC to ASCII, unpack Packed fields, convert binary fields, etc. We also handle relational files, multiple record types, redefined fields, variable length records, repeating tables, indexed data, transaction-based files, and much more.
If you are in the data-warehousing business, you probably have good programmers in-house, who can do much of this work. DISC is flexible; we can offer the services you need, without selling you services you can do better yourself. Our goal is to find the most efficient combination of our services and your expertise.
If you want us to do everything, we can. -- We can convert EBCDIC to ASCII, convert all the binary fields, parse fields, clean up bad data, etc. But we are also perfectly happy just copying files from the more expensive formats, like 3590, to something you have, like DLT, and letting you take it from there. Just let us know what's best for you.
Many of our customers feel
the best fit is for them to purchase the lower cost and most common tape
drives, and let us convert the most expensive formats.
If the files are delivered on tape, DISC can convert the tape and email you the data. If you download the files via the Internet but are having trouble with the format, DISC can write a custom program to re-format the files the way you want. Or we can download them and process them here and email or ftp them to you. Whatever your need is, we can customize the output for you.
We also convert Real Estate
tax files, for both Governments and businesses. See "Real
Estate Tax Files" for information.
DISC converts a large number of financial data files each year. Many of these files are quite complex, with multiple record types, redefined fields, and repeating tables.
Financial data is commonly stored in binary fields, such as comp or packed fields, or as IBM Signed fields, neither of which a PC understands. We have the tools and knowledge to convert the data to a PC compatible format. We do most of this work in COBOL, and can re-format the data to your specifications.
The types of files and the
conversions vary greatly, but some of the more common file are:
We have written programs to convert these tapes into various formats. Our conversion removes the padding at the end of the file, and summarizes the total number of records in the file, and the number of data records. We offer options to leave the header and trailer records in the file, or remove them.
The converted file can be returned on floppy disk, CD, or via email or ftp, and can be encrypted for security when sent via the Internet. Our service is fast and accurate, because we appreciate that the IRS penalty for delays is large.
File formats offered
The records are all fixed-length 208 byte records, in ASCII, with no field or record delimiters. The format is identical to the IRS tape format, except the data is in ASCII. Subsets include:
FIX-ABC includes all record types (A, B, C).
FIX-B removes the A & C records leaving only the B records.
This format is required by some custom applications that expect unaltered IRS records. (Please note that most PC applications need record delimiters; see "Fixed length PC" below).
Fixed length PC
The records are all fixed-length 208 byte records, in ASCII, with no field delimiters, and with a CR-LF record delimiter. The format is identical to the IRS tape format, except the data is in ASCII and a record delimiter has been added. This is the best format for many PC database applications.
PC-ABC includes all record types (A, B, C).
PC-B removes the A & C records leaving only the B records.
Fixed length UNIX
The records are all fixed-length 208 byte records, in ASCII, with no field delimiters, and with a Newline record delimiter. The format is identical to the IRS tape format, except the data is in ASCII and a record delimiter has been added. This is the best format for many UNIX database applications.
UNIX-ABC includes all record types (A, B, C).
UNIX-B removes the A & C records leaving only the B records.
We offer three comma delimited file formats. All of them have the fields separated by commas, with text fields enclosed in double quotes. Records are terminated with CR-LF.
CSV-ABC includes all three record types (A, B, C).
CSV-B removes the A & C records leaving only the B records.
CSV-BH includes only B records, and has a field name list (column titles) in the first record.
These formats are best for import into a spreadsheet, and many databases.
We offer three tab delimited file formats, the same as the comma delimited choices. All of them have the fields separated by tabs, with text fields enclosed in double quotes. Records are terminated with CR-LF.
TAB-ABC includes all three record types (A, B, C).
TAB-B removes the A & C records leaving only the B records.
TAB-BH includes only B records, and has a field name list (column titles) in the first record.
These formats are good choices for many databases and special applications.
Our human-readable report format produces a text file with the IRS fields presented in columns, with column titles at the top of the page. The first page of the report contains the header record information, and the remainder of the report is B records. We offer three different page formats:
REPORT-1 Has column titles in the first line, then all the B records, with no page breaks and no additional column titles.
REPORT-2 Prints a column header on each page, with 60 B records, followed by a Form-Feed.
REPORT-3 Prints a column header on each page, with 60 B records, followed by 5 blank lines, for 66 lines per page total.
If you were to purchase only the most common mainframe tape drives -- 9-track, 3480, 3490, 3490E, and 3590, the drives alone would cost well over $100,000, and gaining the conversion experience and the knowledge of all the formats would surely cost more than the equipment. Our conversion services permit you to offer your mailing services from magnetic tape without the cost of investing in the equipment and knowledge to do tape conversions yourself. If you already have some drives, such as 9-track and 3480, we can extend your reach to the more expensive drives like the 3590 series.
We can read almost all kinds of mainframe tapes, including all the 34xx, all 3570, StorageTek 9840 & 9940, and all the new IBM 3590 models -- 3590B, 3590E, and 3590H. Our services include cleaning up bad characters, blocking out binary fields that are not necessary for the mailing, etc. There's no point in paying to convert a field you don't need, so we have inexpensive methods of dealing with problem -- but unneeded -- fields. We also know how to deal with many of the more difficult tape formats.
Our quality-control methods are excellent. All files are 100% scanned for problems before they leave our facility. We catch and fix problems before they get to you. We find and remove offensive binary garbage in about one-third of the mailing lists we convert. If you had to deal with those, it could cost you hours of work, or mean lost or corrupted records.
Most of the mailing lists we convert are on 9-track, 3480, 3490, 3490E, or 3590. But we also support 3570, 4mm, 8mm, AIT, DLT, LTO, QIC, SLR, StorageTek 9840 & 9940, and others. Please see our Media List for the drives we have installed.
We offer one-time conversions
when that's what you need, but our real expertise is in automating a job
for weekly or monthly processing. We offer discounts based on frequency
of a job, and we also offer discounts based on overall account volume.
The Medicaid files contain
seven record types, with IBM Signed fields. DISC can convert the
data to ASCII with leading sign and deliver it as 7 record types in one
file, or extract only the records you need. We can reformat the file
to meet the import requirements of your program.
These files come in both Fixed-Block and Variable-Block format, with multiple record types in each file. We can convert both FB and VB files, and can correctly handle the multiple record types and large data sets. Some of these data sets contain significant numbers of control codes; our conversion service cleans these files up and delivers them to you in a form that will import into your database or statistical application without error.
Many of these files are in
excess of 30 GB. We can deliver the file as one large file, or split
it into smaller files if your application requires it. The files
can be delivered in uncompressed format on a USB or 1394 Firewire drive
with an NTFS partition, or if you prefer, we can compress the files and
write them to DVDs. Smaller files can be written to CD or to single
layer 4.7 GB or dual layer 8.5 GB DVDs, and larger files can be compressed
and written to DVD. We also support spanning ZIP files across multiple
DVDs or CDs.
We have efficient tape utilities for the simple jobs, and we program the more complex jobs in COBOL. Typically, EBCDIC character data is converted to ASCII, and IBM Signed, Packed, and Comp fields are converted to leading-sign ASCII numeric fields. Redefined fields can be dealt with in a number of ways, and files with multiple record types can remain that way or be split into separate files. DISC can perform field and record selection during the conversion, and data processing tasks either as part of the conversion, or as separate steps.
DISC has installed two new servers for large files, each with over 1 TB of disk space, and we have spent years writing programs to handle large files. We can accept one large file from an IBM Mainframe and split the converted file into smaller files that your application can deal with.
Our customers range from the insurance companies and hospitals themselves to financial and data analysis firms, to law firms using the data to support a law suit, to the FBI investigating fraud. Sometimes the need is to convert every bit of data in excruciating detail and handle every exception with care, and sometimes it's to extract a small portion of the data and summarize it for an overview. Whatever your needs, DISC can handle a wide variety of files in a wide range of tape formats and media.
You can find detailed information
on the IBM tapes and file types we support in the section IBM
Mainframe & AS-400 Tape Conversions. The article Converting
IBM Mainframe Tapes to PCs discusses some of the issues in converting
files. There are also numerous technical articles on conversion in
Tech Talk section, including
one on PC Large File
DISC has converted many kinds of municipal files, for many and varied reasons. Real Estate Tax files are the most common, and are discussed separately in Real Estate Records and Tax Files.
But we also convert many other types of files for cities and towns, including payroll records, subcontractor files, water, sewer, Highway Department records, voter and resident files, Excise tax files, and others.
DISC offers many services
for converting municipal files. Please call our sales department
for a consultation, at 978 692-0050.
Disc Interchange has worked closely with publishers of independent phone books and directories. We have extensive typesetting knowledge (we used to do database typesetting in-house on a Compugraphic MCS) and can convert files into a format you can typeset from.
A sample of some of the directories we have produced include: directories of physicians and medical services, resident and street listings, product catalogs, inventory listings, automotive parts, part number cross-references, in-house phone directories, military part lists, catalogs of library holdings, etc., etc.
We have converted the Verizon Independent Publisher tapes for many years. (These are telephone directory listings on 9-track tape, which can be purchased by independent phone book publishers.) As of late 2003, the Verizon data is now available over the Internet. We have adapted some of our programs to the new Internet file format, and can now convert those files into a standard-format file for publishing. Please call for details.
DISC has also produced the
typesetting files to typeset ballots for three statewide elections in Massachusetts.
These were large projects which involved creating master databases from
paper records, then merging the Elections files with our databases to create
candidate lists for each precinct, then producing files containing the
candidates, offices, and the typesetting codes. This demanding project
gave us a lot of insight into difficult database typesetting work, with critical deadlines.
DISC has converted files
for a wide range of campaigns, from small-town voter lists for local offices
to national campaigns. We've converted more than three dozen files
for John Kerry. We understand the needs of a campaign and handle
the files accordingly. We also understand the deadlines, and offer
super fast service when needed.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, DISC converted an enormous amount of data for publishers. Everything from novels to technical manuals to price lists to product catalogs. Most of that data can be transferred via the Internet today, but there is still the occasional database or document stuck on a mainframe with no connection to the Internet.
We understand the printing industry. DISC used to do database typesetting -- typesetting catalogs from mainframe databases -- using an in-house Compugraphic MCS. We have also produced the typesetting files to typeset ballots for three statewide elections in Massachusetts. These were large projects which involved creating master databases from paper records, then merging the Elections files with our databases to create candidate lists for each precinct, then producing files containing the candidates, offices, and the typesetting codes. This demanding project gave us a lot of insight into difficult database typesetting work.
Although we no longer offer
in-house typesetting, we still have the knowledge and experience.
If you would like to publish a database that's locked-up on a mainframe,
please give us a call.
Whatever your need is, we can customize the output for you. From simple flat-file data conversions to complex relational databases, we've processed all types of real estate data.
We also convert Excise tax
files for towns. See "Excise Tax Files" for information.
There are many different RMV formats, from simple flat files to transaction-based files. Every state is different, and DISC has experience with many of them. We have written several programs to convert them. We can convert most RMV databases to flat ASCII files for import into SQL, Access, or your preferred database.
If you wish, we can perform
field and record selection for you, and can split a multi-GB file into
small sections so you can more easily deal with it. DISC also offers
sorting and data processing operations on RMV files.
These lists originate in
all kinds of formats, some of which could truly be called bizarre.
DISC has written dozens of programs to standardize the data to a common
format, parsing names and addresses, and placing everything in the right
fields. Our experience cleaning up these lists can save you enormous
amounts of time.
We can read most of the tape
formats, and we offer data manipulation of some types of files. DISC
has processed several demographic databases of 100 GB in size.
DISC has converted hundreds of millions of records for publication on web sites.
The needs of our customers vary greatly, and we adapt our service to accommodate your needs. Some customers have us convert the mainframe tape to a simple flat file for import into their database, from which they publish on the Web. Others have us perform data processing to produce reports, which are then published. Still others ask us to put the data directly into an html table for them.
We are flexible, and will work with your web designer or database manager to try to find the most efficient and cost effective method for publishing your data on the World Wide Web.
If you publish time-sensitive
data on your web site on a regular basis, we can convert your tape and
have the data back to you via ftp the same day we receive the tape.
More information about
our IBM Mainframe Data Conversion Services can be found via the links below.
More information about our VAX VMS, UNIX, PC, Mac,
and other conversion services can be found on our other web site: www.discinterchange.com
To request a conversion quote, please visit our Quote page.
IBM Mainframe Data Conversion Services.
Technical Article Index
More information about our VAX VMS, UNIX, PC, Mac, and other conversion services can be found on our other web site: www.discinterchange.com
To request a conversion quote, please visit our Quote page.
Disc Interchange Service
Media Conversion Specialists
15 Stony Brook Road
Westford, MA 01886