This technical presentation will describe the migration of an existing multi-platform, international, n-tier, relational DBMS and its 4GL programming language to support Unicode. As the migration strategy is based on existing support for double-byte character sets, this approach should be especially interesting for Asian developers.

Technical decisions and tradeoffs made during the design process and some of the implementation tactics used, will be presented. Considerations for migration of the many currently supported character sets, compatibility with previous versions, new extensions to the 4GL for Unicode, and other product modifications will be discussed. As the implementation is staged, some of the intermediate configurations that are deployed will be discussed. Conflicts with maintaining compatibility with existing report and display formats will be presented, as will the chosen solutions. The 4GL supports display in GUI, character, and Web-based environments without code changes. The impact of Unicode on these display systems will be described.

If available by the time of the presentation, some performance characteristics will be presented.

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24 January 1999, Webmaster