Changing the default character set

SAP ASE can have only one default character set, in which data is stored in its databases. When you install SAP ASE, you specify a default character set.

Warning!   Read the following carefully, and exercise caution when changing the default character set in SAP ASE. SAP strongly recommends that you perform backups before you change a default character set.
When you change the default character set in SAP ASE, you must convert any existing data to the new default character set. Conversion is unnecessary only if:
  • There is no user data in the server.

  • It is acceptable to destroy user data in the server.

  • You are absolutely certain that data in the server uses only ASCll-7. In this case, you can change the default without first copying your data out of the server.

To change the default character set:

  1. Copy the data out using bcp.
  2. Change the default character set.
  3. Use bcp with the appropriate flags for data conversion to copy the data back into the server.

See the Utility Guide for more information about using bcp to copy data.

Warning!   After converting data to a different character set (particularly to UTF-8), the data may be too large for the allocated column size. Re-create the columns affected with a larger size.

Code conversion between the character set of the existing data and the new default character set must be supported. If it is not, conversion errors will occur and the data is not converted correctly.

Even if conversions are supported between the character sets, some errors may occur due to minor differences between the character sets, or because some characters do not have equivalents in other character sets. Rows containing problematic data may not get copied back into the database, or data may contain partial or invalid characters.