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Collation and Unicode Support

As databases expand to support a growing global market, users must be able to work with character data in meaningful ways. Collations let users sort and compare strings according to their own conventions. Collations are a critical part of creating a database and manipulating data.

SQL Server 2008 is fully aligned with the collations in Windows Server 2008.

What's New in SQL Server 2008 Collations

The following collation changes are new in SQL Server 2008:

SQL Server 2008 has introduced new collations that are in full alignment with collations that Windows Server 2008 provides. These 80 new collations are denoted by *_100 version references. They provide users with the most up-to-date and linguistically accurate cultural sorting conventions. Support includes the following:

  • New East Asian government standards.

  • Liguistically correct surrogates.

  • Chinese minority scripts.

  • Unicode 5.0 case table.

  • Weighting has been added to previously non-weighted characters that would have compared equally.

New versions are being added to the existing Windows collations from SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 to reflect these changes. All current collations will be maintained in SQL Server 2005 for backward compatibility. No changes have been made to the SQL_* collations.

Deprecation of the Korean_Wansung_Unicode, Hindi_CI_AS, Macedonian_CI_AS, Lithuanian_Classic_CI_AS, Cyrillic_90_CI_AS, and Azeri_Latin_90_CI_AS Windows collations, and deprecation of the SQL_ALTDiction_CP1253_CS_AS SQL collation. These collations were supported SQL Server 2005, and are supported in SQL Server 2008. However, they will not be displayed in the Setup collations list, and will not appear when you use the system function ::fn_helpcollations() to query the list of supported collations in SQL Server 2008.