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Character Set Consolidation for the Oracle Database ( 11gR1 and up) - what character sets are available in the DBCA (Database Creation Assistant) (Doc ID 306411.1)

Last updated on FEBRUARY 19, 2019

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version and later
Oracle Database - Standard Edition - Version and later
Oracle Database Cloud Schema Service - Version N/A and later
Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine - Version N/A and later
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Database Service - Version N/A and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.


Oracle believes that for a large portion of our customer base using Unicode in the database makes the most sense, at least in the long run. We therefore recommend that customers use the AL32UTF8 character set in the database, unless there is a good reason not to do that in a specific situation.

For customers that can't use Unicode, there are currently around 250 character sets to choose from. To minimize confusion and make sure it is easy to select the right character Oracle has come out with a consolidated list of recommended character sets that should meet all language and business requirements.


We would like to give an easier choice by minimizing the confusion about these settings and reducing the number of options to choose from.
In the release 11gR1 and later of the Oracle database, we reduce the number of character sets on offer trough the DBCA (Database Creation Assistant) to customers to a list of recommended charactersets.
If a non-recommended character set is required in the DBCA then unselect in the "Character Sets" tab the "show recommended character sets only" box in step 9 of 11 of the DBCA. 

Currently a considerable group of systems is still using legacy character sets. While these are still supported  newer or more mainstream choices which are now offered, so it's advisable to consider a character set migration.
Note that we don't force a character set migration or change of client and or database settings.
To mitigate these concerns we aim to have a shortlist of "recommended character sets", but customers will still be able to specify character sets that are not in the shortlist.
Oracle has currently no plans to make the non-recommended character sets obsolete..
This could happen in future versions but for the time being the legacy character sets will remain supported and there are currently no plans to enforce this.


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