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Switch from CCSID 65535 to 37

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  • Switch from CCSID 65535 to 37

    Yesterday a guy asked me a question that I have no direct experience with. His system has a QCCSID value of 65535. He wants to know if they can safely change the value to 37.

    I've never done this, so I told him what I have been told: he can change the value without causing problems.

    Can anyone speak to this from experience? Is it as simple as changing the value, or do you have to make preparations?

  • #2
    I can only speak from my experience, I have done this change on about 6 different systems and never had any issue. But maybe someone else can chime in because there are probably some rare cases where you can have issues.


    • #3
      We made that change and had no issues.




      • #4
        My system has that same default CCSID value and I want to change it to 37. One of our software vendors said it would cause a problem for their software (although they couldn't really explain why) so we have not done it. We are living with it ok, but I would rather have it at 37. All the reading I've done on it seems to indicate that I can do it safely, and everyone here seems to have had no issues, so now I'm tempted again...


        • #5
          There's a page about this on the Support site: https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/666711. Title "What is the impact of changing QCCSID from shipped 65535 to another ccsid"

          Looks like it was written by the great Bruce Vining, who knows more about CCSIDs than anyone I know.

          (Lately, I've been having pretty good success searching on the Support site: https://www.ibm.com/support/home/ I found this page by just putting "qccsid" into the search. It was on the first page of hits.)


          • #6
            I guess it depends on how you use your system, but for most people it would be very unlikely that changing the CCSID to the proper value would cause a problem.

            Lets say, for example, you're in the USA and should be using CCSID 37, but... by some weird mistake, you set up one database field as Italian. Now the system thinks the data is using the italian character set, but the data stored in the field is actually using the US character set. It'll still work with CCSID 65535, because translation is never performed. It'll put US hex values into the field, and read them still as hex values. Its configured wrong, but causes no problems because the CCSID is essentially ignored. When you set up your QCCSID value properly to 37, however, characters start being translated because you've enabled the proper behavior.

            Unless something is set up wrong like that, it won't cause problems. Indeed, it'll fix problems, since now it'll properly identify things and translate them. Allowing the use of things like Unicode in SQL, for example. Setting the CCSID is definitely the right thing to do, and should be done. In the unlikely event that there is a problem, the problem should be identified and fixed rather than disabling CCSID support (which is, essentially, what 65535 does.)

            Unfortunately, on this platform people can never turn down the chance to do things backward.


            • #7
              Thanks, everybody. You've confirmed what I thought.

              The system is in the US and supports US English only, so I would be very surprised if there are any negative effects from changing the CCSID value.