Oracle8i National Language Support Guide
Release 8.1.5






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This manual provides reference information about Oracle's National Language Support (NLS) capabilities. This information includes:

Feature Coverage and Availability

Oracle8i National Language Support Guide describes how to deal with many of the common problems in working in environments with multiple languages or character sets.

For information about the differences between Oracle8i and the Oracle8i Enterprise Edition, please refer to Getting to Know Oracle8i. Oracle8i National Language Support Guide describes those features which are common to both products.


This manual is written for database administrators, system administrators, and database application developers who need to deal with NLS-related matters.

Knowledge Assumed of the Reader

It is assumed that readers of this manual are familiar with relational database concepts, basic Oracle server concepts, and the operating system environment under which they are running Oracle.

Installation and Migration Information

This manual is not an installation or migration guide. If your primary interest is installation, refer to your operating-system-specific Oracle documentation. If your primary interest is database and application migration, refer to Oracle8i Migration.

Application Design Information

In addition to administrators, experienced users of Oracle and advanced database application designers will find information in this manual useful. However, database application developers should also refer to the Oracle8i Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals and to the documentation for the tool or language product they are using to develop Oracle database applications.

How Oracle8i National Language Support Guide Is Organized

This manual is organized as follows:

Chapter 1, "Understanding Oracle NLS"

contains an overview of NLS issues and Oracle's approach to NLS.

Chapter 2, "Setting Up an NLS Environment"

contains an explanation of Oracle's NLS capabilities.

Chapter 3, "Choosing a Character Set"

contains sample scenarios for enabling NLS capabilities.

Chapter 4, "SQL Programming"

describes NLS considerations for SQL programming.

Chapter 5, "OCI Programming"

describes NLS considerations for OCI programming.

Appendix A, "Locale Data"

describes the languages, territories, character sets, and other locale data
supported by the Oracle server.

Appendix B, "Customizing Locale Data"

shows how to customize NLS data objects.

Appendix C, "Obsolete Locale Data"

lists some obsolete names for character sets.

Appendix D, "Glossary"

defines NLS terminology.

Conventions Used in This Manual

The following sections describe the conventions used in this manual.

Text of the Manual

The text of this manual uses the following conventions.

UPPERCASE Characters

Uppercase text is used to call attention to command keywords, database object names, parameters, filenames, and so on.

For example, "After inserting the default value, Oracle checks the FOREIGN KEY integrity constraint defined on the DEPTNO column," or "If you create a private rollback segment, the name must be included in the ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS initialization parameter."

Italicized Characters

Italicized words within text are book titles or emphasized words.

Code Examples

Commands or statements of SQL, Oracle Enterprise Manager line mode (Server Manager), and SQL*Plus appear in a monospaced font.

For example:

INSERT INTO emp (empno, ename) VALUES (1000, 'SMITH'); 

Example statements may include punctuation, such as commas or quotation marks. All punctuation in example statements is required. All example statements terminate with a semicolon (;). Depending on the application, a semicolon or other terminator may or may not be required to end a statement.

UPPERCASE in Code Examples

Uppercase words in example statements indicate the keywords within Oracle SQL. When you issue statements, however, keywords are not case sensitive.

lowercase in Code Examples

Lowercase words in example statements indicate words supplied only for the context of the example. For example, lowercase words may indicate the name of a table, column, or file.

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