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unicode vs non-unicode

Hi All,

Can anyone please tell me what is the differenece between unicode and non-unicode SAP systems. I heard that all the new versions are unicode. What is the difference, purpose and significance of these?



Former Member

Hi Cyrus,

You are correct that all new SAP Applications and SAP NetWeaver technology will only be available based on unicode (example: SAP NetWeaver MDM, SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer). Unicode code pages enable a system to store and process almost every character symbol in the world.

This means that the applications run on and can process characters from a unicode code page as opposed to a single character set code page like Latin 1 (restricted to only western European Language characters). The Database and it's schemas are able to store all the unicode characters.

The Non-Unicode Single code page systems are supported by SAP for older applications for historical reasons - unicode was not available when they were released. These systems are restricted to only processing characters from their specific code page. This means their can be restrictions if they need to support language combinations that span multiple code pages - basically it is not possible. In addition some languages are not fully available at all for single code page systems like Thai. In addition the Euro symbol is not available.

Unicode is the future for all applications - SAP or otherwise. The significance at the moment is where customers who needs to convert to unicode to support additional business requirements like additional languages. Converting a system, although a simple process is not a trivial process in terms of time and resources.

For additional info check out the following sites:

I hope this helps,


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