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Convert Oracle codepage to UTF-8

Posted on 2005-02-28
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Last Modified: 2010-05-19
Hello there.

I need to convert the codepage of an Oracle 8.1.6 DB from EL8MSWIN1253 (The Greek codepage) to UTF-8. Any ideas?

Many Thanks.
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Question by:chrispkotsiopoulos
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5 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Jankovsky
ID: 13420525
The codepage of an Oracle instance could be changed just if the target codepage is superset of the source one.
The UTF-8 is a superset of US7ASCII, WE8ISO8859P1, but not of the EL8MSWIN1253.

There are two major ways to manage it:

1. to create parallel Oracle instance with UTF-8, export previous data and import them into the new instance.
2. to set National_character_set to UTF-8 and retype international character strings to NVARCHAR2, NCLOB...

The first one is better, if you wants to change the charset completelly, I'm used to manage internationality by NCHAR types.

Bob
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:schwertner
schwertner earned 500 total points
ID: 13420838
The export/import way is the best.
Before exporting set NLS_LANG environment variable (Registry!) to
NLS_LANG=.UTF8
to get the export file in UTF8 format.
If you do not do this you will experience conversion risks.
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Author Comment

by:chrispkotsiopoulos
ID: 13423376
Well...
The only RDBMS I played with until now is Microsoft SQL Server. I don't have any experience with Oracle. All the articles and tutorials I found about exporting and importing an Oracle database are at least confusing. Is it possible to give me a detailed description of how to export and import or point me to a good tutorial?

Many thanks for the replies.
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
Jankovsky earned 500 total points
ID: 13427148
I'm used to do it in  command line

1. set the environment variable NLS_LANG as schwertner said
2. exp system/<pwd>@<db> full=y rows=y file=<file path specification>
3. create the new instance with UTF-8 codepage
4. imp system/<pwd>@<new db> file=<file path specification> ignore=y

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Author Comment

by:chrispkotsiopoulos
ID: 13437158
It worked!
Thanks both.
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