Setting Oracle Language Parameters for DG4ODBC

In response to customer queries, this document describes how to set the HS_LANGUAGE and HS_NLS_NCHAR parameters when using DG4ODBC.

If you are using a Unicode* ODBC driver such as the SQL Server ODBC driver, ensure these parameters and values are present in your DG4ODBC init file:

HS_LANGUAGE = language_territory.code_page

Replace language, territory and code_page with the Oracle® language, territory and code page that correspond with your databases's language, locale and code page.

For example, if your database is SQL Server, and its language and code page are English (United States) and 1252, your HS_LANGUAGE parameter would look like this:


The HS_NLS_NCHAR parameter value tells DG4ODBC to pass UCS-2 encoded data to the Unicode ODBC APIs, which is the character encoding the ODBC standard states should be used and is therefore the one that the unixODBC Driver Manager expects.

Ensure also that you have set NLS_LANG before starting your Oracle® application. NLS_LANG lets Oracle® know what character set your client machine is using. For example:

$ echo $LANG

If you are using an ANSI ODBC driver (which does not support wide ODBC API calls), you need to specify a non UTF-8 character set in the HS_LANGUAGE value. For example, HS_LANGUAGE = AMERICAN_AMERICA.WE8ISO8859P1. If you do not do this and your Oracle® database's NLS_CHARACTERSET value is set to a UTF-8 encoding, for example AL32UTF8, DG4ODBC:

Unicode ODBC Drivers*

Unicode ODBC drivers support the wide ODBC APIs, which are of the form SQLxxxW. To check whether your ODBC driver supports wide ODBC APIs, either check with your driver vendor, or, enable ODBC driver logging, connect with DG4ODBC and examine the resultant log file. For example:

$ more /etc/odbc.ini

$ ./sqlplus / as sysdba
$ select * from mytable@mssqllink;
$ exit
$ more /tmp/mssql.log
ENTRY:   SQLGetInfoW: connection_handle...