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Unicode defines encoding for characters in many languages.

For more information about the Unicode standard, see The Unicode Consortium.

Unicode defines a universal character set. A Windows ANSI code page defines a character set, typically containing characters for one language. It may be more difficult to write an application that is required to use different code pages.

Unicode does not require a code page. Every code point is mapped to a single character in some language.

Currently, the only Unicode encoding that ODBC supports is UCS-2, which uses a 16-bit integer (fixed length) to represent a character. Unicode allows applications to work in different languages.

The ODBC 3.5 (or higher) Driver Manager is Unicode-enabled. This affects two major areas: function calls and string data types. The Driver Manager maps function string arguments and string data as required by the application and driver, both of which can be either Unicode-enabled or ANSI-enabled. These two areas are discussed in detail in the sections, Unicode Function Arguments and Unicode Data.

The ODBC 3.5 (or higher) Driver Manager supports the use of a Unicode driver with both a Unicode application and an ANSI application. It also supports the use of an ANSI driver with an ANSI application. The Driver Manager provides limited Unicode-to-ANSI mapping for a Unicode application working with an ANSI driver.

This section contains the following topics.

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