Is it possible to alter the character set of my production DB without re-creating the DB (making some changes in the NLS_LANG in the registry, will there be of any effect)? Can you guide me?
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These specific notes can guide you through some often used conversions, they show how to use the the above mentioned "combined method" in practice:
[NOTE:263119.1] Changing EE8ISO8859P2 to EE8MSWIN1250 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTER SET
[NOTE:246008.1] Changing WE8ISO8859P15 to WE8MSWIN1252 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:260022.1] Changing AR8ISO8859P6 to AR8MSWIN1256 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:261871.1] Changing EL8ISO8859P7 to EL8MSWIN1253 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:257722.1] Changing WE8ISO8859P1 to WE8ISO8859P15 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:265859.1] Changing WE8DEC to WE8ISO8859P1/WE8MSWIN1252 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:261639.1] Changing WE8MSWIN1252 to WE8ISO8859P15 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:260192.1] Changing WE8ISO8859P1/WE8ISO8859P15 or WE8MSWIN1252 to UTF8 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
[NOTE:234381.1] Changing AL24UTFFSS to UTF8 - AL32UTF8 with ALTER DATABASE CHARACTERSET
Do *NOT* do this for other character set combinations without logging a tar.
A much more in-depth overview of these procudures can be found in:
[NOTE:257736.1] Changing the Database Character Set - an extended overview
There are some additional considerations when you change the character set of an Oracle Applications database, please see the following note for a complete overview of those:
[NOTE:124721.1] Migrating an Applications Installation to a New Character Set
Note that display problems are most likly *NOT* resolved by start changing the database characterset. Instead start here:
[NOTE:179133.1] The correct NLS_LANG in a Windows Environment
For further NLS/Globalization information you may start here:
[NOTE:150091.1] Globalization Technology (NLS) Library index
[NOTE:60134.1] Globalization (NLS) - Frequently Asked Questions