Chapter 24. Globalization and Localization in PL/SQL

Businesses do not typically begin their operations on a global scale. They usually start as local or regional businesses with plans to expand. As they grow into new regions, or locales, critical applications need to adjust to new language and formatting requirements. If the applications are not designed to support multiple locales, this transition becomes very time-consuming and costly.

In a perfect development world, globalization would be an integral part of application design, and all design considerations would be accompanied by the question “Where in the world would this design fail?” In the real world, however, many companies do not include a globalization strategy in the initial design. Cost concerns, lack of globalization experience, or simply an inability to anticipate the global reach of the business are all common reasons for failing to analyze localization risks.

So, what’s the big deal? It is just a matter of translating data, right? Not exactly. There are, in fact, many common PL/SQL programming tasks with localization implications that can disrupt your application’s ability to function globally:

Variable precision

CHAR(1) handles “F” very nicely, but will it do the same for "?”

String sort order of result set

ORDER BY is determined easily for English characters. Will Korean, Chinese, or Japanese be as straightforward? How ...

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