Monday, January 17, 2011

What is Database Character Set and National Character Set (NCHAR)

What is Database Character Set?

Character sets are how we store data,A Character set is specified when creating a database, and your choice of character set determines what languages can be represented in the database. This choice also influences how you create the database schema and develop applications that process character data. It also influences interoperability with operating system resources and database performance.

 
When processing characters, computer systems handle character data as numeric codes rather than as their graphical representation. For instance, when the database stores the letter "A", it actually stores a numeric code that is interpreted by software as that letter.

A group of characters (for example, alphabetic characters, ideographs, symbols, punctuation marks, control characters) can be encoded as a coded character set. A coded character set assigns unique numeric codes to each character in the character repertoire.



What is National Character Set (NCHAR)

A national character set is an alternate character set that enables you to store Unicode character data in a database that does not have a Unicode database character set. Other reasons for choosing a national character set are:

  • The properties of a different character encoding scheme may be more desirable for extensive character processing operations
  • Programming in the national character set is easier

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