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RM/COBOL DAT file data extraction

RM/COBOL DAT file data extraction

RM/COBOL DAT file data extraction

I've been looking for information on the RM/COBOL internal file format to create a utility to extract data. Information on this file format is old, and I've searched through archive.org to look for old mentions on many websites from the 2000s.

I finally found a working solution with Delphi source code:
Matthews Software:

Direct download:

Delphi 4.0 Professional (from 1998):

If you download the rm-decode.zip, and unzip it you'll see these files:

The attached 7-Zip file has everything except the exe file.

Running rmcobol.exe gives a UI which lets you open a file. It defaults to *.fq files by default. If you type in *.dat you can access those files. When selected, it creates a copy of the source filename with the ".out" extension, so file.dat becomes file.dat.out.

It only processes one file at a time, and you have to use the UI to select it. But since it comes with the original Pascal source code, it can be tweaked. The logic for decoding RM/COBOL files is also contained within.

It produces a flat file which is its best guess at what the original file format was based on observed field lengths. It does a pretty good job, but some columns are off by one space. Visually you can see this and repair it quickly. I've tested it processing up to 178 MB DAT files. It works.

The only other alternatives I've found for converting RM/COBOL files are $4900, or to use the utilities that come with a Micro Focus suite.

I hope someone finds this information useful. And if you have anything to add, please do so. I would really like to have a text-based explanation of how the RM/COBOL file structures work.

Rick C. Hodgin

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