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RE: UTF character set application problem

From: Justin Cave <>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 02:17:03 -0600
Message-Id: <>

First off, this is decidedly not the way things should work. Oracle should be converting the data automatically.

If you run the Oracle character set scanner on the Western European database, does it complain? As Mike Vergara points out, it is possible to get improperly encoded data into a database if you set the client NLS_LANG the same as the database character set. If that has happened here, it would explain why Oracle is unable to do the conversion automatically.

Justin Cave
Distributed Database Consulting, Inc.

-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 7:16 PM To:
Subject: UTF character set application problem

We're having a problem with character sets. Recently we switched our database to UTF and now we have problems with names containing accented characters, etc. generating errors when we are trying to insert them = into the database.

The data originates from a database that uses Western European character set. We expected that UTF being a superset, there would be no problems = with switching. However, after a lot of testing, we found that UTF is not compatible with WE characters. If the data originates as WE, you must either store it in a UTF database or do an explicit translation to UTF.

This is counter-intuitive to me, but it is my first experience with = using different character sets.

The application is in Java using thin JDBC drivers and no = Oracle-specific functions. We created a very simple test program to prove out this = finding.
We've tested this on 9iR1, 9iR2, and 8i and it works the same.

Anyone else encounter this? Is it just my misconceptions on this in the first place? Or have I overlooked something?

Marc Perkowitz.


-- Received on Mon Sep 20 2004 - 03:16:21 CDT

Original text of this message