Common files created on CONVEX, IBM RS/6000, IRIS, VAX, VAX ALPHA, HP, and PARAGON systems can be freely interchanged among each other as the common file library routines automatically recognize the type of machine on which the file was created and, if necessary, perform the appropriate conversions without user intervention. For version 3 files the VAX mainframes are not supported. Obviously, this conversion has some cost. If a file is moved to a machine that is of a different type than the creating machine and is going to be repeatedly processed on that machine, it may be beneficial to "import" the common file using cfcnvt.
If a common file is going to be moved between a Cray and any of the other supported systems, then the file must be converted with the CFCRAY utility. This conversion is necessary due to the differing word size of the Cray machine. Version 3 files may be interchanged freely between all supported platforms including the Cray.
In all cases, remember that common files are binary files. When using file transfer programs like ftp, remember to use the binary or image mode when transferring common files.
Last updated 16 Mar 1999