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A Look at UTF-8 in SQL Server

Daniel Hutmacher takes a peek:

A client asked me about SQL Server collations, and if they should consider the new UTF8 collations (new since SQL Server 2019). I tried to hide my blank stare of ignorance, and promised them I’d look it up and get back to them.

Not gonna lie, I think UTF and Unicode can be pretty confusing at times, so I did some googling and some testing, and here’s what I found.

Read on to see what Daniel found, and check the comments for one person’s unfortunate experience. For a deep dive into UTF-8 in SQL Server, I also recommend Solomon Rutzky’s blog post on the topic, noting that it was last updated in 2020 so some of the incompatibility section may not be relevant any longer.