The Collate Alternate BRConfig.sys file's COLLATE ALTERNATE specification allows for string comparisons to be done in ascii while treating numbers as though they followed alphabet characters in the collating sequence. This revised collating sequence will be used whenever OPTION COLLATE ALTERNATE is specified in programs or when A (for alternate collating sequence) is specified with the sort control file's FILE specification.
An optional filename has been removed from CONFIG COLLATE ALTERNATE with version 4.16 Instead the default ALTERNATE table is used which simply moves the digits 0 - 9 above the alphabet ( starting in position 176 or x'B0' ). This rather crude translation is sufficient for most program logic that depended upon the EBCDIC character set. The data in the BR programs is processed in ascii with the exception of the relocated digits.