SQL Server Configuration - Collation

On the Server Configuration - Collation page of the SQL Server Installation Wizard, you can modify collation settings that the Database Engine and Analysis Services use for sorting purposes. Select the option to match collation settings of different installations of SQL Server, or of another computer.


  • Customize for SQL Server and Analysis Services
    SQL Server provides two groups of collations: Windows collations and SQL Server collations. You can specify separate collation settings for the Database Engine and Analysis Services, or you can specify the same collation for both.

    By default, a SQL Server collation is selected for US-English system locales. The default collation for localized versions of SQL Server is determined by the Windows system locale setting for your computer. For more information, see Using SQL Server Collations.

    The default settings should be changed only if the collation setting for this installation of SQL Server must match the collation settings used by another instance of SQL Server, or if it must match the Windows system locale of another computer.

    Note   Analysis Services uses Windows collations only. If you plan to install Analysis Services, select a Windows collation during SQL Server Setup to ensure consistent results between the SQL Server Database Engine and Analysis Services.

    For more information, see Collation Settings in Setup.

Best Practices

For a table of Windows System locales and the corresponding default collations used by SQL Server Setup, see Collation Settings in Setup.

If it is possible, use a single collation for your organization. This way, you do not have to explicitly specify the collation for every database, column, expression, or identifier. If you must work with multiple collations and code page settings, code your queries to consider the rules of collation precedence. For more information see the Books Online topic for Collation Precedence (Transact-SQL).

When you select a collation for SQL Server, consider the following recommendations:

  • Select a BINARY2 collation if binary code point based ordering is acceptable.

  • Select a Windows collation for consistent comparison across data types.

  • Use new 100 level collation for better linguistic sorting support. For more information, see Collation and Unicode Support.

  • If you plan to migrate a database to the upgraded instance of SQL Server, select the collation that matches your existing collation of the database.