Ready for Fusion Apps? Thoughts on AL32UTF8 characterset.


So we all get excited about Oracle’s Fusion Apps. Even though this post is not to talk much about Fusion Apps, yet help you prepare for Fusion Apps in one specific way. That’s from character set perspective. AL32UTF8 is the ONLY supported character set in Fusion Apps. In fact any of the Oracle products that got ‘Fusion’ in it such as Fusion Analytics, Fusion WebCenter, requires AL32UTF8 character set.  That being said, many organizations are running database character sets ranging from US7ASCII to UTF8. Well, all these are not going to be supported when you get to Fusion apps. Wait; there is more of disappointing news. If you are in UTF8 today, it is deprecated too.

With all the above not so good news, it’s highly recommended that we start planning for AL32UTF8 character set migration.  In past, many of us used CSSCAN and CSALTER tools for character set migration. Now those tools are desupported. The official desupport announcement is included in the My Oracle Support note with the document ID 1418321.1.

I certainly don’t want this post to be a downer by not bringing in good news. So here you go.

Oracle introduced Database Migration Assistant for Unicode (DMU), which is a Java based GUI tool that is more intuitive than prior character set migration tools. DMU is the recommended character set migration of any database in version 11.2.0.3 or newer. In fact, 11.2.0.3 comes with DMU. It provides a robust scan capability that produces in a grid format with various states of your data such as Need No Change, Need Conversion, Invalid Binary Representation, Over Column Limit, and Over Type Limit. Moreover, DMU provides several compelling characteristics such as allowing inline conversion of data set instead of exporting and importing the entire database, which is quite an undertaking in huge database environments. Imagine how this tool becomes handy when your Terabyte+ database has less that 5% of data actually requires migration. It also provides you approximate space requirements for the conversion too. Standby, for more in depth analysis of DMU.

Reference Documents:

MOS: The Database Migration Assistant for Unicode (DMU) Tool [ID 1272374.1]

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/globalization/dmu/overview/index.html

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About Sunthar Tharmalingam
Bio: Sunthar is an Oracle Certified Professional with over 14 years of experience in multifaceted architectural design and implementation of mission-critical global Oracle Applications. He provides technical leadership to the enterprise project teams and manages the comprehensive implementation life-cycle. Sunthar has exhaustive hands-on competencies in vital Oracle technologies such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Databases, OBI Applications, Oracle Identity Management and Webcenter suites. This Blog has been categorized according to the Oracle products that integrates with Oracle E-Business Suite. Should you wish to participate as an author for a related module or category please register as a member and mail me to let me know which category you would like to write under.

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