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This may be a really stupid question, but...

The TDS protocol used by sql server appears to use unicode or UTF-16 character encoding. A query like select foo from bar appears like s.e.l.e.c.t. .f.o.o. .f.r.o.m. .b.a.r in the tcp stream in wireshark.

If you have an application connecting to SQL server over a network, that absolutely does not and probably never will use unicode text fields, is there a way to tell the sql client to encode the queries in ascii to cut network traffic?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The tabular data stream (TDS) protocol documentation specifically states that SQL statements in the protocol will be encoded in Unicode (section 2.2). Unless you're running over a heavily bandwidth-constrained network you're probably just gold-plating to worry about this. (If you are bandwidth-constrained to the point that this is a problem you might want to consider tunneling the traffic over something with compression.)

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Thanks, that link is really handy. – simon Aug 1 '11 at 13:06

I have just found this which seems to do some sort of compression on sql server tds traffic:

My initial test have shown that it works very well but it is quite expensive.

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