International support for your web site

If you plan to have your site and your SQL Server 2000 database set to a particular language or character set, then you should check out the following information for techniques that may prove useful to you.
  • Set the Locale Identifier (LCID) for the ASP session. See the following Microsoft articles for more information on setting the LCID:

    Setting the Locale Identifier

    Locale ID (LCID) Chart
  • If you are using a valid LCID code from the chart referenced above and get the following error:

    Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0219'
    Invalid LCID
    /pagename.asp, line X
    The specified LCID is not available.

    ...then the correct language set will need to be installed on the web server. Available on Windows Server 2003 are the following two additional options:

    * complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)
    * East Asian languages

    If you need one of these installed on the web server, then please send an e-mail to to request it to be installed. Don't forget to include your Account ID.
  • Set the code page for the ASP session. Also, set the CHARSET (with an HTML MetaTag) so the client's browser knows what character set to display. See the following article from Microsoft for more information on setting the code page and character set:

    Setting the Code Page for String Conversions

    Make certain to unload your application (using the MaximumASP customer control panel) after making changes to a page's CHARSET to make the changes go into effect.
  • Set your SQL Server database collation to your particular language's character set (Greek_CI_AS, for example). One thing to note is that acented or alternate characters need to be stored in your SQL database as Unicode. This will also require you to use the techniques above to interact with this data using ASP/HTML. See the following articles from Microsoft for more information on International support in SQL Server 2000:

    International Features in Microsoft SQL Server 2000

    Developing International Database Applications Using Microsoft SQL Server
  • Setting up an indexing catalog to use non-standard languages

    Refer to the following Microsoft article:

    How to Use Site Server Search with Non-Standard Languages

  • Working with UNICODE data in SQL Server:
    - SQL Server has support for unicode data input. Just use "nvarchar", "nchar" and "ntext" instead of "varchar", "char" and "text" field types.
    - For SQL Server to treat the data in these columns as unicode, you must use "N" before every expression. For example:
    -- "INSERT INTO [TableName]([FieldName]) VALUES(N'my_unicode_string');"
    -- "SELECT * FROM [TableName] WHERE [FieldName] LIKE N'%search_string%';"
    - For correct displaying in ASP/ASP.NET pages use responseEncoding="utf-8" or a codepage compatible with the input data. For example: For Greek you may use responseEncoding="iso-8859-7" as well.
    - Note that standard SQL ASCII Collation will probably won't work correctly with unicode strings. Instead you can use binary compare collation, or some custom Windows Collation.

Thanks to Dimitris Kavakopoulos for his contributions to this knowledgebase article. Thanks for Pantelis S. for help on the unicode data!

Article ID: 193, Created On: 8/29/2002, Modified: 5/26/2009

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