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Re: French characters

From: Jim Kennedy <jim>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 15:02:52 -0700
Message-ID: <>

"Sybrand Bakker" <> wrote in message
> On Sat, 13 May 2006 17:57:25 +0200, Frank van Bortel
> <> wrote:
> >The fact you have a front end that inserts and retrieves them
> >correctly means 2 characters are used in the database, some
> >other codeing mechanism, or you simply are lucky
> if the client NLS_LANG is on 7-bit AND the server there is no
> conversion, so 8 bit characters will be stored.
> Sometimes stupidity pays.
> --
> Sybrand Bakker, Senior Oracle DBA

Sybrand is correct. If the client and the server character sets are the same then Oracle doesn't check what you are putting in. That sounds like a good idea, but it causes a lot of other problems. (Unfortunately, it is the advice a particular 3 letter large European Application Vendor tells their customers to use.) The "solution" "works" but if you want to interface with another system it will wreck havoc. Also if you have another client that doesn't display the character set it will look like goboldy gook.

For example, lets assume you put certain European characters into your RDBMS using this ASCII 7 to ASCII 7 kludge. Later your ETL tool comes around and wants to extract the data to your UTF8 compliant Oracle database which is your data warehouse. Now some of those European characters will not translate. They will be ? or other things. Why? Some of these European characters will be over ASCII 128 and so Oracle will convert the character from ASCII 7 to utf 8. Since in an ASCII 7 bit database you can't have characters over ASCII 128 Oracle will subtract or wrap around so the ASCII code is <129. Thus in UTF8 you will end up with garbage.

Magnify this by clients putting all sorts of ASCII codes mapping to all sorts of client codes. Now you will have a heck of a time translating these characters to the correct representation. (eg Some clients forcing in European characters - western and eastern, and Asian - shift JIS)

A mess, a real mess.
Jim Received on Sat May 13 2006 - 17:02:52 CDT

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