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Thread: How to change the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET from WE8ISO8859P1 to AL16UTF16 ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Unhappy How to change the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET from WE8ISO8859P1 to AL16UTF16 ?


    My customer have an Oracle9i. (in Brazil).

    I already loaded all the data that I need, and I have problem with the Brazilian character accentuation.

    The data with accentuation in the database are stored correctly, (I can see it fine using a SELECT manually in SQLPLUS or TOAD)

    But I built a xHarbour program to access it and the accentuation appears bad in the screen (dos windows) (crazy characters appears).

    I already was created another Oracle9i database in my notebook and I can see the characters with accentuation fine, therefore I have only accentuation problems when run my xHarbour program against the database of mu customer.

    I noticed that the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET in the database of my customer is set to WE8ISO8859P1.

    I my local Oracle9i Database, the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET is set to AL16UTF16

    I believe this is the problem.!!

    My question is:

    How to change the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET f
    rom WE8ISO8859P1 to AL16UTF16 ?

    This change could cause problems in other programs?

    Please, see the attached picture.


    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    If doing a select on the base tables you see the data correctly then the database is Okay and you should not touch it.

    I do not know what xHarbour is but this appears to be a front-end issue - data is Okay on the backend a.k.a. database but shows ugly on the front-end then, look at the front end.
    Pablo (Paul) Berzukov

    Author of Understanding Database Administration available at amazon and other bookstores.

    Disclaimer: Advice is provided to the best of my knowledge but no implicit or explicit warranties are provided. Since the advisor explicitly encourages testing any and all suggestions on a test non-production environment advisor should not held liable or responsible for any actions taken based on the given advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Thanks for your response.

    Your response is logic, but pay attention that my customer have 3 others Oracle9i Servers (Windows Server 2003) configured with NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET=AL16UTF16, and working against this servers I can see the Brasilian characters "fine" from the xHarbour client program. (xHabour is similiar to the Clipper lenguage with functions to connect to Oracle)

    I have problems with Brazilian characters when working "only" against the server configured with NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET = WE8ISO8859P1 (My customer have just one Oracle9i Server configured with NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET = WE8ISO8859P1.

    All the other Oracle9i servers are configured with NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET = AL16UTF16 (since the database creation), and I have not problems with this servers.

    So, my question is:

    How to change the NLS_NCHAR_CHARACTERSET from WE8ISO8859P1 to AL16UTF16 in Oracle9i ?

    I believe is something like ALTER SESSION, ALTER DATABASE, etc, but I am not sure. I want to make this change permanently.

    Could you help me with this, please?

    Thanks in advance,


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