Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We'd like to use the equivalent to UTF-8, but Can't seem to find the appropriate option within SQL Server 2005. Any thoughts on which we should use?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Collation is different to storing unicode data. Collation defines sort orders and comparisions, and applies to both unicode and single byte storage data types (varchar vs nvarchar)

This SQL Server BOL link may help: International Considerations for Databases and Database Engine Applications

share|improve this answer
Thanks, that link helped alot. – dubRun Jul 22 '09 at 13:50

It's no surprise that you can't find anything equivalent to UTF-8, as there isn't anything like that.

UTF-8 is a character encoding, it's not a collation. The encoding decides how the text is encoded into bytes and decoded back into text. When you communicate with the database the text is already decoded, so the database has no use for an encoding.

As UTF-8 is a Unicode encoding, it can handle any character set that SQL Server uses. So, it's not the UTF-8 encoding that is the limitation, but the collation in the database. You should select a collation that handles the characters that you want to use.

share|improve this answer

My familiarity with UTF altogether is fairly weak. So I found an article on UTF support and SQL Server on that will undoubtedly be more informative. Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.