Mimer SQL has an extensive support for Unicode and SQL Collations, i.e. multilingual sorting, which makes Mimer SQL an excellent choice when developing applications that should handle texts according to local language rules or simultaneously handle texts in different languages.

Mimer SQL has built-in support for sorting in 120 different languages including Chinese, Japanese, Afrikaans, Arabic, Filipino, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese, and over 60 different European languages. From our Collation Charts Page we also provide downloadable collation definitions for many other languages, for example Swahili and Somali. These collation definitions can easily be added to your running Mimer SQL system whenever needed with a simple CREATE COLLATION statement in SQL.

Using Predefined Collations

A collation can have four different comparison levels. Usually, two levels are available for each language that is represented as a predefined collation in Mimer SQL – the primary level and the tertiary level. These levels are denoted by the “_1” and “_3” extensions along with the language name, for example “french_1” and “french_3”. When using a predefined collation, the language name with one of these extensions should be given as the collation name in the COLLATE clause of the SQL statement.

Typically, the primary level is used to denote differences between base characters, for example, “a < b”. This is the strongest difference, typically used in a WHERE clause. As an example, dictionaries are divided into different sections by the base character.

Upper- and lower-case differences in characters are distinguished at the tertiary level, for example, “ab < Ab < áb”. This level (_3) is typically used in the ORDER BY clause. A tertiary difference is ignored when there is a primary or secondary difference anywhere in the strings.

For examples on use of various comparison levels, see the Collation FAQ.

Customized Collations?

The Unicode character set has a code map covering more than one million different characters. The Unicode default sorting order – collation – defines a unified sorting order for all these characters. Many languages in the world have deviations from the Unicode default sorting order.

If your specific language is missing among the predefined ones, there are downloadable definitions, which can be used to easily create new collations.

Besides, you can also modify an existing collation to fit your specific sorting preferences or demands.

Additional information and feedback

For a more thorough description on how to use collations in Mimer SQL, please see the Mimer SQL Documentation Set. Or take a look at the feature article Character data, Unicode and Collations that presents the Mimer SQL perspective on multilingual support.

A comprehensive collection of sort ordering information for various languages and the support for this in Mimer SQL can be found at the SQL Unicode Collation Charts page.

You will find some quick tips on how to use collations in Mimer SQL among our Collation FAQ.

If you have any questions or comments on our collations charts, or if you would like to share your collation definition with the Mimer SQL community, please contact us.