Collation settings

I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.

Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change the 
default sort order? 


1
Jay
12/3/2009 10:15:18 PM
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Since it is a lesson, perhaps just to teach you how to do it.  (However, 
back a decade or so, when I set up a SQL Servers for installing SAP, that 
was the required sort order using code page 850.)

RLF

"Jay" <spam@nospam.org> wrote in message 
news:%23Qj%23YYGdKHA.1640@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
>
> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change 
> the default sort order?
> 

0
Russell
12/3/2009 10:35:48 PM
Well, I think it would change: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS to 
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS_BIN.

I'm looking at: 
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms144250(SQL.90).aspx

"Russell Fields" <russellfields@nomail.com> wrote in message 
news:%23JWG3jGdKHA.4724@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
> Since it is a lesson, perhaps just to teach you how to do it.  (However, 
> back a decade or so, when I set up a SQL Servers for installing SAP, that 
> was the required sort order using code page 850.)
>
> RLF
>
> "Jay" <spam@nospam.org> wrote in message 
> news:%23Qj%23YYGdKHA.1640@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
>> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
>> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
>>
>> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change 
>> the default sort order?
>>
> 


0
Jay
12/3/2009 10:42:27 PM
"Jay" <spam@nospam.org> wrote in message 
news:%23Qj%23YYGdKHA.1640@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
>
> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change 
> the default sort order?

OK, the answer I'm getting is vague, to say the least. However, the 
implication is that: if you're not using Unicode, there will be small 
system-wide performance improvement in character operations - basically for 
free.

All this for specifying: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS_BIN, rather than 
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

I assume, but do not know, that if the binary sort order is specified and 
you use Unicode, there would be some slight performance degradation, but no 
errors.

My problem is that the accent-e is a Unicode character (I think) and that 
these characters have become very common in datasets. So, this "improvement" 
could easily end up costing you (a small penalty in ) CPU cycles, if Unicode 
characters are present AND you're doing character operations.

Last, what specific kind of operations would be affected by the _BIN? String 
manipulations?



0
Jay
12/3/2009 11:28:40 PM
Jay wrote:
> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
> 
> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change the 
> default sort order? 
> 
Because they don't care about their end users. :-)

The binary collations relieve SQL Server from thinking about things like 
accent- and case-sensitivity: they compare characters on their code points, 
not strings on their language sorting order. Under a binary collation, 
'TEST' < 'Test' because 'E' < 'e', and that's because 69 < 101. This speeds 
up string comparisons.

The problem is that if you set this as the default it affects *everything*, 
including the system catalogs. In particular, table names and column names 
then use binary collation as well, so everything becomes case- and 
accent-sensitive (everything-sensitive, really). Your statements must have 
been written to take this into account. Worse, it allows for awful mistakes 
like creating a table "Foo" and a table "FOO" and a table "foo", or a table 
"cr�pes" with the "�" a single LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH CIRCUMFLEX and a 
table "cr�pes" with the "�" a LATIN SMALL LETTER E followed by a COMBINING 
CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT. Under a binary collation, these are all different strings 
and so they are admissible as unique names. Good luck sorting that out (no 
pun intended).

This is also not friendly on the user data. Any ORDER BY will sort by code 
point values[*], and that order matches the sorting rules of no natural 
language on Earth (that includes English). There's little point to being 
faster if users can't find what they're looking for or if they can introduce 
logical inconsistencies by inserting values that differ in code points but 
not in characters. You can avert this by including an explicit COLLATE 
clause in your queries, but if you don't have an index on a computed field 
using this collation then I hope you like index scans and explicit sort 
operations, because that's what you're going to get.

It is generally much more practicable to use a sensible non-binary collation 
as the default (like Latin1_General_CI_AS) and use the binary collations 
(like Latin1_General_BIN) only for specialized fields where the performance 
gain makes sense and you can afford true binary lookup. In those cases it 
still nearly always makes sense to have a separate computed field that uses 
a non-binary collation, for purposes of human interaction.

-- 
J.
[*]This is not strictly true because SQL Server 2005's binary collations are 
sort-of broken: the first character is compared according to code point, but 
the remainder is compared by comparing the bytes. This has quite unintuitive 
results, and SQL Server 2008 fixes this with the new _BIN2 collations that 
do compare by code point for all characters.
0
Jeroen
12/4/2009 12:27:46 AM
Jay wrote:
> "Jay" <spam@nospam.org> wrote in message 
> news:%23Qj%23YYGdKHA.1640@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
>> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
>> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
>>
>> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change 
>> the default sort order?
> 
> OK, the answer I'm getting is vague, to say the least. However, the 
> implication is that: if you're not using Unicode, there will be small 
> system-wide performance improvement in character operations - basically for 
> free.
> 
....well, no. See my other post for more on this. You'll get performance 
improvements, but by no measure can this be called "free".

> All this for specifying: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS_BIN, rather than 
> SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.
> 
There is no collation SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS_BIN. Accent- and 
case-sensitivity is meaningless for binary collations.

Nor, for that matter, is there a collation SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_BIN, for 
some reason (there are _BIN collations for the other legacy code pages, like 
SQL_Latin1_General_CP437_BIN). The collation in question is 
Latin1_General_BIN, which is one of the newer collations based on the 
implementation in Windows, rather than SQL Server's own.

> I assume, but do not know, that if the binary sort order is specified and 
> you use Unicode, there would be some slight performance degradation, but no 
> errors.
> 
Both Unicode and non-Unicode comparisons will go faster, as both comparison 
types will start using code point order rather than language-specific order.

> My problem is that the accent-e is a Unicode character (I think)

It's also a Latin-1 character, a Latin-15 character, a Windows-1252 
character, etcetera... It's a common misconception, but there is no division 
between "ordinary" characters and "Unicode" characters.

As far as SQL Server goes, a field is either (VAR)CHAR or N(VAR)CHAR. A 
(VAR)CHAR field can only contain characters present in the code page 
specified by the collation (in the case of Latin1_General, that's 
Windows-1252 if I'm not mistaken). An N(VAR)CHAR field can contain all 
characters in Unicode, regardless of collation. Collation does affect sort 
order for Unicode fields, and it also specifies the code page used when 
converting the field to a (VAR)CHAR field.

-- 
J.
0
Jeroen
12/4/2009 12:51:04 AM
Wow, that's a lot. You seem to be a bit passionate on the subject, but I 
can't see anything wrong with your reasoning.

Thanks,
Jay

"Jeroen Mostert" <jmostert@xs4all.nl> wrote in message 
news:4b185783$0$22934$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl...
> Jay wrote:
>> I'm going through a 2005 Install lesson and it is saying to change the 
>> default collation to: Latin1_General with a Binary sort order.
>>
>> Well Latin1_General is normal enough, but why would they want to change 
>> the default sort order?
> Because they don't care about their end users. :-)
>
> The binary collations relieve SQL Server from thinking about things like 
> accent- and case-sensitivity: they compare characters on their code 
> points, not strings on their language sorting order. Under a binary 
> collation, 'TEST' < 'Test' because 'E' < 'e', and that's because 69 < 101. 
> This speeds up string comparisons.
>
> The problem is that if you set this as the default it affects 
> *everything*, including the system catalogs. In particular, table names 
> and column names then use binary collation as well, so everything becomes 
> case- and accent-sensitive (everything-sensitive, really). Your statements 
> must have been written to take this into account. Worse, it allows for 
> awful mistakes like creating a table "Foo" and a table "FOO" and a table 
> "foo", or a table "cr�pes" with the "�" a single LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH 
> CIRCUMFLEX and a table "cr�pes" with the "�" a LATIN SMALL LETTER E 
> followed by a COMBINING CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT. Under a binary collation, these 
> are all different strings and so they are admissible as unique names. Good 
> luck sorting that out (no pun intended).
>
> This is also not friendly on the user data. Any ORDER BY will sort by code 
> point values[*], and that order matches the sorting rules of no natural 
> language on Earth (that includes English). There's little point to being 
> faster if users can't find what they're looking for or if they can 
> introduce logical inconsistencies by inserting values that differ in code 
> points but not in characters. You can avert this by including an explicit 
> COLLATE clause in your queries, but if you don't have an index on a 
> computed field using this collation then I hope you like index scans and 
> explicit sort operations, because that's what you're going to get.
>
> It is generally much more practicable to use a sensible non-binary 
> collation as the default (like Latin1_General_CI_AS) and use the binary 
> collations (like Latin1_General_BIN) only for specialized fields where the 
> performance gain makes sense and you can afford true binary lookup. In 
> those cases it still nearly always makes sense to have a separate computed 
> field that uses a non-binary collation, for purposes of human interaction.
>
> -- 
> J.
> [*]This is not strictly true because SQL Server 2005's binary collations 
> are sort-of broken: the first character is compared according to code 
> point, but the remainder is compared by comparing the bytes. This has 
> quite unintuitive results, and SQL Server 2008 fixes this with the new 
> _BIN2 collations that do compare by code point for all characters. 


0
Jay
12/4/2009 2:36:32 AM
Jay wrote:
> Wow, that's a lot. You seem to be a bit passionate on the subject

There's no malice in it, I assure you. I haven't been terrorized by hundreds 
of configurations that used binary collations. :-) I have only tried such a 
configuration once, and that was enough to convince me to learn more about 
how collations work and when it is and isn't a good idea to use a binary 
collation.

-- 
J.
0
Jeroen
12/4/2009 7:44:54 PM
OK, I'll bite. When is it good to use a binary collation?

"Jeroen Mostert" <jmostert@xs4all.nl> wrote in message 
news:4b1966b8$0$22913$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl...
> Jay wrote:
>> Wow, that's a lot. You seem to be a bit passionate on the subject
>
> There's no malice in it, I assure you. I haven't been terrorized by 
> hundreds of configurations that used binary collations. :-) I have only 
> tried such a configuration once, and that was enough to convince me to 
> learn more about how collations work and when it is and isn't a good idea 
> to use a binary collation.
>
> -- 
> J. 


0
Jay
12/5/2009 3:20:45 AM
Jay wrote:
> OK, I'll bite. When is it good to use a binary collation?
> 
I hoped my post covered that, but OK...

A binary collation gives you two things a non-binary collation doesn't: the 
ability to have values that are unique by code points (not characters) and a 
performance gain in comparisons (which speeds up sorting and indexing in 
particular). The first is typically a drawback, but it can be a benefit. For 
example, if you *want* to be able to store "Test", "TEST" and "Test" (the 
latter is "Test" with a ZERO-WIDTH NON-BREAKING SPACE appended to it, but 
you can't see that and I didn't bother to actually type it :-)) and have 
them all compare differently, a binary collation will do that.

If your system stores only data generated by other systems, this can be 
useful -- you may need to be able to store data *exactly* as you received 
it, but still have a unique key. For example, I maintain a data warehouse 
that's filled by Integration Services. Internally, Integration Services uses 
  what is effectively a binary collation to determine if two strings are 
unique, so my database field better be as well, or they won't agree on 
what's unique. Similarly, other external systems may not (be able to) use 
SQL Server's collation system. The least common denominator in that case is 
a binary collation.

Even so, the uses for binary collations are pretty specialist. They're not 
the simple performance boosters they're often presented as. Using them 
indiscriminately can lead to data integrity and usability problems.

-- 
J.
0
Jeroen
12/5/2009 10:11:26 AM
Jay (spam@nospam.org) writes:
> OK, I'll bite. When is it good to use a binary collation?

When you care more about performance than case-sensitivity.

As Jeroen indicates, it may not be the best choice for the server
default or database default, but say that you have this query:

   select * from persons where email like '%abd%'

and there are a lot of persons. It does not help if there is an index on
email, due to the initial wildcard. But not only does SQL Server have to
scan the index, it has to scan the full string for all rows as well. The
comparison rules for Unicode are quite complex, so this is costly. If
you force a binary collation:

  select * from persons where email COLLATE Latin1_General_BIN2 LIKE '%abd%'

You can gain speed with a factor of 10. Email addresses are case-
insensitive, but it is perfectly acceptable to force them to lowercase
when you save them.

Notes: 
1) If you have an SQL collation and email varchar, this is almost as good.
   For varchar, an SQL collation only have 255 characters to deal with,
   and comparisons are a lot simpler.
2) For even faster solutions to the problem get this book:
   http://www.sqlservermvpdeepdives.com/ and read chapter 17. If you
   buy this book you also help War Child International to help children
   affected by war, because that's where our royalies go.


-- 
Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, esquel@sommarskog.se

Links for SQL Server Books Online:
SQL 2008: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/cc514207.aspx
SQL 2005: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/bb895970.aspx
SQL 2000: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/previousversions/books.mspx

0
Erland
12/5/2009 10:19:05 AM
OK, I got it. Thanks.

It also clears something up that has bugged me for a while: Unix clearly 
uses a binary collation.

Thanks,
Jay 


0
Jay
12/5/2009 3:28:01 PM
Jay wrote:
> It also clears something up that has bugged me for a while: Unix clearly 
> uses a binary collation.
> 
Oh dear, I feel another enormous post coming up. But I'll keep it short this 
time.

"Unix" is a very broad moniker that could apply to just about anything, but 
if (as I'm thinking) you mean that file systems mostly used by Unix 
operating systems tend to be case- and accent-sensitive, then yes.

However, NTFS has the same property. The only reason the file system appears 
case-insensitive to you is because the Win32 subsystem usually layered over 
interactions with the OS compensates for htis. It is possible to have file 
names differing only in case on an NTFS system, and the regular Win32 
functions will not be able to properly distinguish between them.

It is certainly not true that "Unix" uses binary collations for everything. 
For example, on most recent systems, the "ls" command will sort according to 
the collation implied by your locale (or by LC_COLLATE, if you've set it), 
not by a simple binary order.

-- 
J.
0
Jeroen
12/5/2009 4:36:17 PM
Jay (spam@nospam.org) writes:
> It also clears something up that has bugged me for a while: Unix clearly 
> uses a binary collation.
 
As Jeroen say, not all do. Here is an authentic output:

+� ls
�lder        �ldre           arvode           autoreply.pl*  autoreserv.txt
auto-se.pl*  bin/            brev/            crontab.save   disapproved
emacs/       flimsy.pl       forward.test     lib/           Maildir/
mbox         mbox.save       mbox.tmp.4473    nail-11.25/    News/
�vre         perllib/        Pnews.1          procmaillog    procmailrc.bcl
progs/       public_html/    quiz/            Rnmail.1       slask
socket.pl    spamfilter.log  spamfilter.pl    sql-grupper    SQLMPUMS
testsh*      trn.1           trn-4.0-test76/

That is clearly not binary. In that case you would have see "�ldre", 
"�lder" and "�vre" last in the listin that order.

In SQL Server, there are 18 collations for each collation designator.
Taking Finnish_Swedish as an example, there are:

Finnish_Swedish_BIN
Finnish_Swedish_BIN2
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AI
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AI_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AI_KS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AI_KS_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS_KS
Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS_KS_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AI
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AI_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AI_KS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AI_KS_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AS_WS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AS_KS
Finnish_Swedish_CS_AS_KS_WS

That is two binary collations, and then 16 which are all combinations
of case- accent, kana- and width-sensitivity. There are no KI and WI
collations in the list, but that is implied by their absence.

-- 
Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, esquel@sommarskog.se

Links for SQL Server Books Online:
SQL 2008: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/cc514207.aspx
SQL 2005: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/bb895970.aspx
SQL 2000: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/previousversions/books.mspx

0
Erland
12/5/2009 7:33:43 PM
Reply:

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Hi, In Outlook 2007, is there a setting to have all the email saved to an Exchange Server rather than to a PST file? Thanks Steve Set the default delivery location to the exchange acct in tools, account settings. -- Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook] Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/ Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center: http://www.slipstick.com Outlook Tips by email: dailytips-subscribe-request@lists.outlooktips.net EMO - a weekly newsletter about Outlook and Exchange: EMO-NEWSLETTER-SUBSCRIBE-REQUEST@PEACH.EASE.LSOFT.COM You can access this newsgroup by visiting http://w...

X Error Bars appearring when it is not set
Hi, I am using the ErrorBars in my chart. I only want the Y Error Bars to show on my chart and I set it correctly in my program using .ErrorBar Direction:=xlY but it appears as a bug in Microsoft Excel Macro. I tried the method in Article 157110 of the Microsoft Knowledge Base to remove the erronously set X Error Bars as follows and it doesn't seem to work: Application.ExecuteExcel4Macro ("SELECT(""Series 1 X Error Bars"")") Selection.Delete What else should I check or what other method can I use? Is this problem corrected in the the latest Microsoft...

Email desktop alert is TOO SHORT set my own timespan
I do not really like this 2003 version. Who makes up these changes, anyway? I want my email desktop alert to stay on my desktop until I close it, not only for up to a very short 30 seconds. ---------------- This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then click "I Agree" in the message pane. http://www.microsoft.com/off...

Global Column (Field) Settings
Is there any way of setting the fields (From, Subject, Received and Size) for all folders at one time, instead of doing this for each individual folder? ...

How do I set up a grocery coupon database
I want to catergorize the coupons with a drop down selection bar so it will be easy to catergorize them by type....also by date and manufactureer Try Data-->Filter-->Autofilter. For more information: http://www.officearticles.com/excel/using_autofilter_in_microsoft_excel.htm **************************** Hope it helps! Anne Troy www.OfficeArticles.com **************************** "Dom" <Dom@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:EDF09701-AA3B-4AE8-BCD2-774F464CAF5A@microsoft.com... >I want to catergorize the coupons with a drop down selection bar so it wil...

turning lines on/off on a set of charts
I have a set of columns and each contains a list of parameters that describe a scenario. (Not any Excel-specific meaning of "scenario" (I think there is such a thing), but just the ordinary meaning of "it could be like this, or like this, or this...." parameter lists). I may input the descriptions of ten different scenarios, and then I have a set of charts for viewing the various implications of the scenarios. Having ten lines on a single chart is way too confusing. I'm usually interested in contrasting just two or three of them at a time. If this were an ordinary app,...

help setting up outlook
I am trying to set up outlook to send and receive mail. I seem to be doing something wrong. Can anyone help with getting it set up? thanks What version of Outlook are you using? Note: this group does not support Outlook Express. --� Milly Staples [MVP - Outlook] Post all replies to the group to keep the discussion intact. After searching google.groups.com and finding no answer tm <mteresa632@aol.com> asked: | I am trying to set up outlook to send and receive mail. I | seem to be doing something wrong. Can anyone help with | getting it set up? thanks i am using outlook 200...