Configuring Oracle for single or multiple byte characters

About this task

To set up Oracle for use with single or multiple byte characters:


  1. Run the Oracle create instance procedure. Use a character set appropriate for your desired language. For example:
  2. Configure the INIT<INSTANCE_NAME>.ORA file for Oracle as follows:
    open_cursors= <set to appropriate value> 

    For example, the minimum value for WebLogic equals number of threads (across all application servers) + (connection pool size X prepared statement pool size)

    cursor_sharing=FORCE compatible=<set to appropriate value, or remove to default to current release> timed_statistics=true db_block_size=8192 optimizer_mode=ALL_ROWS 

    If you are using multi-byte character set, set the following and restart Oracle:


    Alternatively you can run the following prior to running any create table scripts:

    alter session set nls_length_semantics = CHAR 

    Setting this attribute ensures that the field sizes are not impacted by the number of bytes a data type can store. For example, Varchar(40) would now be able to store 40 Japanese characters instead of 40/3 bytes in the UTF-8 character set.

    For the Japanese locale, the AL32UTF-8 character set or the UTF-16 character set must be used.

    When you change the multi-byte character set to CHAR by setting nls_length_semantics = CHAR, Oracle reserves space equivalent to 'n' chars, which is more than 'n' bytes. Therefore, when you run the dbverify.cmd command, the reduced entries in table columns are printed in the EFrame_Drops.lst file.

  3. Download the Oracle JDBC driver for the version of Oracle you are using from the Oracle Web site and copy it to a well known location for reference during installation.

    The Oracle JDBC driver can be found in the JDBC Driver Downloads section at:

    For Oracle database supported version information, go to the IBM® Support Portal at


To create the Oracle database to handle multiple byte characters, do not modify the Sterling Order Management System Software DDL.