I have two questions. First, can standard COBOL handle the sort of a 8.5 G file, or should I use ILE COBOL? Will I encounter any other unexpected problems or restrictions? Second, a feature of COBOL allows me to release EBCDIC data to the sort and return EBCDIC data from the sort, but in ASCII order (e.g. numeric before alphabetic). How would I handle this using OPNQRYF or embedded SQL?
You probably could use standard COBOL and ILE would work a little faster, but I wouldn't use either one. I would change the physical to use the key or create a logical over the physical and use the DDS keyword ALTSEQ -- alternative sorting sequence. You can use the keyword ALTSEQ (*LIBL/QASCII) to sort the file in ASCII order. Once the file has been changed using the CHGPF or a logical created over the physical using the same keyword, you can access it directly rather than having to attempt to sort the file.
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