Special Characters (äöüß), switching to UTF8, collation-problems
Posted by: C.A. Pelle
Date: January 28, 2013 09:22AM

Hi all,

we have a larger DBMS (not an oracle-product) that is able to export data into a mySQL system. Or more precisely we are currently at a stage where the mySQL export is about to turn productive.
With more test-data available, we are encountering more problems. One of the larger problems we've run into recently was the handling of special characters, namely german "umlauts", which are äöü and ß. Others might be of importance and not yet discovered.
It turned out that somewhere between out application and mySQL server, the statement was converted into UTF8 (supposedly dbx-driver-component), and we haven't been able to change this despite trying a myriad of different settings as well programmatically (e.g. Connection.SetParameter("CharSet", "..."); )
as in mySQL table-wise or DB-wise (alter table/db, set charset= collate=).

So we finally resorted to converting all db-tables to UTF8. The transfer of special-characters now works. However all collations for UTF8 are not case-sensitive except for the bin-collation. The bin-collation however is not usable, since we need to sort data using "ORDER BY" in our selects instead of internal sorting algorithms local to our applications.
However, our source-DBMS is case-sensitive and we do have unique indices on many of our varchar-columns, which do not translate into this mySQL-configuration.

Finally, the question is: how can we handle case-sensitive mySQL with special characters as äöüß ?

Thanks a lot for any input!
Regards,
P.

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