I would like to pack a max of 25 characters (containing numeric values '0' - '9'] into a database varchar(25) field. In order to do this, I use BCD encoding. However, when I print the BCD encoded string, it results in some non-printable character. I have following questions? 1. Can I use, a varchar datatype in the database, to store non-printable characters 2. Is there anyway, I could represent characters ['0' - '9'] in BCD format without using non-printable characters? The packed decimal value will be converted to a string and subsequently sent over SOAP/XML to the SOAP server. Appreciate your help thanks Chandru Ganesan The underlying database is DB2 Thanks for your help.