IBM Support

Can WebSphere MQ convert Unicode data on AIX

Technote (troubleshooting)


You are running WebSphere MQ on AIX and exchanging data with a system such as Windows, iSeries or zSeries which stores data in another code page.

You have noticed that WebSphere MQ on AIX is unable to convert Unicode messages exchanged with these systems.


When WebSphere MQ tries to convert Unicode messages exchanged with the remote system it writes message "AMQ6047: Conversion not supported" to its error logs.

The explanation reads, "WebSphere MQ is unable to convert string data tagged in CCSID 1208 to CCSID 437". On your system you may see different CCSID numbers like 037, 437, 500, 850, or 1200.


The AIX converter between Unicode and the other character set is not installed on your system.

Resolving the problem

WebSphere MQ relies on the AIX base operating system to perform data conversion on its behalf. In order to support Unicode conversion AIX provides several optional filesets, including:

    AIX LPPs for Unicode data conversion

    bos.iconv.ucs.baltic  Unicode Converters for Baltic Countries     Unicode Converters for AIX Code Sets/Fonts
    bos.iconv.ucs.ebcdic  Unicode Converters for EBCDIC Code Sets
    bos.iconv.ucs.pc      Unicode Converters for Additional PC Code Sets
    bos.iconv.ucs.ZH_CN   Unicode Converters for Simplified Chinese (UTF)
    bos.iconv.ucs.Zh_CN   Unicode Converters for Simplified Chinese (GBK)

Use the lslpp command to list the LPPs on your system and see whether any of these filesets are missing. In the example below, the system only has the Unicode converters for AIX code sets:

    Check installed Unicode data conversion LPPs

    sh> lslpp -L "bos.iconv.ucs.*"
      Fileset                      Level  State  Type  Description (Uninstaller)
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------    C     F    Unicode Base Converters for
                                                       AIX Code Sets/Fonts

You should install missing filesets from the AIX operating system installation media if you need to convert data to and from Unicode on your system. Once the filesets are installed you can use the AIX iconv program to test the data conversion. For example, the following commands test conversion between Unicode (UTF-8) and CCSID 437 (IBM-437) using a text file:

    AIX Unicode data conversion test

    sh> iconv -f IBM-437 -t UTF-8 ascii.txt > unicode.txt

    sh> iconv -f UTF-8 -t IBM-437 unicode.txt > ascii.txt

If the converters are installed, the iconv command should convert the file contents. If not, the iconv command will print an error like "iconv: 0791-004 cannot open converter", and WebSphere MQ will also be unable to convert data.

Related information

A Japanese translation is available

Historical Number

62726 4GV

Product Alias/Synonym


Document information

More support for: WebSphere MQ
Data Conversion

Software version: 5.3, 6.0, 7.0, 7.1, 7.5

Operating system(s): AIX

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1173813

Modified date: 2013-07-12