Character Replacement Upside Down Question Mark ¿ Using SQL Loader (SQLLDR) Example: Eastern European Character(s) ł Ł
(Doc ID 2611980.1)
Last updated on JULY 25, 2022
Applies to:Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version 10.1.0.3 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.
There are many variations to the problem of loading data into a database using SQL*Loader ( SQLLDR ) or dbms_put which can result in a replacement character which does not represent the original physical character.
This problem can occur for any string / char / varchar data including addresses, names of products, description fields...basically any text field.
This problem is also generic to any data being transported into a database where a potential mismatch of characters exists between character sets.
In this case the problem was seen for a person's name, stored and then read from an application.
Last_name , First_name
In this example we will use the following as the user name
First Name: ABC..
Last Name: Z....¿ <<
- The character was displayable in the original document.
- The source character set was not known.
- The exact mapping for the character (glyph or codepoint) was also not known.
- The application data with the problem character was saved into a flat file.
- The application flat file was moved to a location where a client inserted the text into a database using SQL LOADER.
- Once the data was viewed from the database or the same application the character was replaced with an upside down question mark.
- Several client settings were tried in order to attempt a successful loading of the data into the database but there was no systematic approach to identifying the problem factors.
select first_name,last_name from <some_table>;
Loading text data from a new geographical region for the first time.
The character data from this new region included characters being loaded for the first time.
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