EXTERNAL data types are the numeric data types (
ZONED) specified as
EXTERNAL, with optional length and delimiter specifications. The length is in bytes unless character-length semantics are used for the data file. In that case, the length is in characters. See "Character-Length Semantics".
These data types are the human-readable, character form of numeric data. The same rules that apply to
CHAR data regarding length, position, and delimiters apply to numeric
EXTERNAL data. See "CHAR" for a complete description of these rules.
The syntax for the numeric
EXTERNAL data types is shown as part of "datatype_spec".
The data is a number in character form, not binary representation. Therefore, these data types are identical to
CHAR and are treated identically, except for the use of DEFAULTIF. If you want the default to be null, then use
CHAR; if you want it to be zero, then use
EXTERNAL. See "Using the WHEN_ NULLIF_ and DEFAULTIF Clauses".