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I can't find option(s) directly to set UTF-8 rellated Collations/Charsets in SQL Server 2005/2008, same as is possible to set in another SQL engines, but in SQL Server 2005/2008 are there only Latin and SQL collations.

Is there some option to force/install these collations / charsets in SQL Server engine (for both ver.) 2005/2008 on Win2008 OS

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

No, there isn't. SQL Server doesn't support UTF-8.

You need to define your columns as nvarchar/nchar if you want unicode data. Note, internally SQL Server stores this as UCS-2.

Note that this has ben requested from MS on Connect and there is an older KB article. And some info on this blog too

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additionally, if you're going to be doing any text matching on an nvarchar with foreign characters, you need to match on a string formatted with an N before the string (e.g. N'οἰκονόμον'). – swasheck Mar 9 '12 at 17:31
Has this behaviour changed in any recent release of SQL server? – Seiyria Jan 28 '15 at 19:54
@Seiyria: no, same behaviour – gbn Jan 29 '15 at 7:34

You can't install UTF-8 as a character set because it's not a character set, it is an encoding.

If you want to store Unicode text you use the nvarchar data type.

If you want to store text encoded using UTF-8, you store it as binary data (varbinary).

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I my case, I had to display Arabic characters and my development database was in 2014, here things worked well. Here, in query I could see Arabic chars and my collation was SQL_Latin1_General_CP1256_CI_AS

But my production was in SQL server 2008 and eventually it din't supported UTF-8 charset. Here, I could see all ??????????? as UTF-8 is not supported in SQL 2008.

What all I did is changed all varchar to nvarchar and I could see Arabic char properly. Also I change my 2008 database collation to SQL_Latin1_General_CP1256_CI_AS

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