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SQL Anywhere 11.0.0 » SQL Anywhere Server - Database Administration » Configuring Your Database » International languages and character sets » Character set and collation reference information


Supported character sets

SQL Anywhere supports a growing list of hundreds of character sets and labels. Character set encodings are known by a wide variety of names or labels. To view the list of character sets supported by SQL Anywhere, run the following command:

dbinit -le

Each line of output lists the most common labels for a given character set encoding, in comma separated form. The first label in each line of output is the preferred SQL Anywhere name for the character set encoding. The others are the labels used by different authorities, organizations, or standards. These are IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions), ICU (International Components for Unicode), Java, and ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise).

If you do not find the character set you are looking for, you can also execute the following command to see a longer list that includes labels that are less common:

dbinit -le+

When a character set encoding label is specified, SQL Anywhere searches for the label in the set of labels known to it. Different authorities sometimes use the same label for different character sets. SQL Anywhere does its best to resolve ambiguities by context. For example, a JDBC application that references a character set by an ambiguous label resolves to a Java standard label. It is recommended that the SQL Anywhere label always be used to avoid any ambiguities. An excellent resource for understanding character set encoding labels is [external link] International Components for Unicode.

In addition to the character set encoding labels returned by the dbinit -le option, you can also use the following character set aliases:

  • os_charset   Alias for the character set used by the operating system hosting the database server.

  • char_charset   Alias for the CHAR character set used by the database.

  • nchar_charset   Alias for the NCHAR character set used by the database.

An easy way to determine if a certain character set or label is supported is to test it using the CSCONVERT function. See CSCONVERT function [String].