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About Character Conversion Errors

This topic is part of About Integration Considerations.

When the Siebel application sends data to an external application using a non-Unicode (traditional) character set encoding, the external application may not be able to accept all of the data if the data does not belong to the character set encoding of the application. In this situation, unrepresentable characters will be converted to a substitution character.

The substitution character may be a question mark or an upside-down question mark (indicating character loss in the database), depending on the database. A conversion result like this is referred to as unrepresentable character conversion.

The topic About the Transcode Service Business Service describes how to avoid this situation, using techniques for character conversion error handling.

The transport and adapter business services have two character conversion error handling modes:

  • Generate an error without sending the message
  • Ignore the error, substitute replacement characters wherever possible, and send the message

These error handling modes are specified in an argument to the business service call.

A second case occurs when you are using a Unicode communication stream, such as XML, to communicate between Siebel Business Applications and an external, non-Unicode application. In this situation, the character conversion can be handled by the external application after it receives the message. This situation presents the risk that conversion errors may occur and that the external application might not provide the desired error handling functionality.

To avoid problems associated with relying on third-party applications to convert data, you can use the Validate method of the Transcode Service business service, before sending any data to the external application. This method detects whether character conversion performed by the external application will fail. If it will fail, you can choose not to send the data. For details, see About the Transcode Service Business Service.

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