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Multiple character sets within Oracle

We have a new vendor application that requires a specific character set (Western European), which we do not have installed in our existing Oracle instances (US7ASCII). Since the new application will interact with other internal applications, we want to install them on the same instance.

Is it possible within an Oracle instance to have multiple NLS character sets defined by tablespace or table? Is this a case for converting an instance to UNICODE? Also, are there any conversion issues if we try to join tables across these character sets, be it either in the same instance or through a call across instances?

Oracle can do some conversion between character sets. However it might be better to use UNICODE so that the expected character sets can be handled with little or no conversion. US7ASCII is a subset of the Western European set of characters so there may not be many problems. However, I would consider a rebuild to the Western European characterset and using a National set of US7ASCII.

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