Unicode Support in Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise

Ian MacLeod - Sybase, Inc.

Intended Audience: Software Engineer, Systems Analyst
Session Level: Intermediate

As global e-Commerce and Enterprise Portal systems are making the transition from pioneering efforts to widespread, industrial-strength applications, the need to store and retrieve multi-lingual data in a highly efficient manner is becoming a crucial issue.

And whereas UTF-8 has been instrumental in allowing software vendors to retrofit their existing systems with Unicode support, storage and bandwidth requirements, especially for Asian scripts, is a growing concern.

Native UTF-16 support, while not a simple retrofit, is an apt solution. Implementation of an end-to-end wide character channel throughout a system promises increased efficiency by removing the impedance of character set conversions.

The next major release of Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise will include native support for UTF-16 data types. Database clients will be able to store and retrieve UTF-16 data through a conversion-free, wide character channel, and all internal processing, including interaction with Java classes in the database, and indexing on non-trivial collation sequences, will be highly efficient.

This paper describes the functionality of the new UTF-16 datatypes available in Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, version 12.5. Design choices, such as optional Unicode normalization and surrogate processing, will be discussed, as well as the interaction between this feature and other new features, such as wide column support. A brief demonstration of the software will be given.

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19 Jun 2000, Webmaster