Hello, unicode!

image你好,世界!გამარჯობა, მსოფლიო! હેલો, વિશ્વ! مرحبا، العالم! שלום, עולם! नमस्ते, दुनिया! こんにちは世界 ಹಲೋ, ವಿಶ್ವದ! 안녕하세요, 세계! Γεια σου, κόσμε! Привет, мир! வணக்கம், உலக! హలో, ప్రపంచం! สวัสดีโลก!

No, no, I didn’t go fully crazy yet, but I’m surely closing in. Maybe it’s not at all such a big deal as I see it, but the new Unicode support in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is just blowing my socks off. After a quarter century of being tied to a single code page of choice, NAV has finally been freed of it’s single byte per character legacy.

So, the scribble above is not just me showing off with my ability to use Google translate, it’s a playground for you to copy select pieces of it and paste it all over NAV text fields in your NAV 2013 installation. You have one, don’t you? If not, go grab your copy!

This Unicode thingy, it was obvious this was coming. It was not exactly officially confirmed earlier, but with the good riddance of the Classic stack, and having the whole new stack built entirely upon .NET Framework and SQL Server (which had Unicode since ages), retaining ASCII would actually required far more work than simply adding the so much desired n in front of all those varchars in the database. In memory, everything was Unicode already anyway and if you have been in Antwerp at NAV TechDays last year, you may remember this presentation with the demo.

With NAV 2013 beta out, the sheer number of news is frightening, and I hope I just get enough time to blog as much as I’d love to. But I’m sure my colleagues would kick-off as well, and there will be oceans of useful information about NAV 2013 pouring in. That I can promise.

7 thoughts on “Hello, unicode!”

  1. Hi Waldo.
    I am eagerly anticipating further 2013 blogs.
    Do you have anything on Queries as web services? I can’t seem to see my query websrvice from visual studio.


  2. if i am not mistaken, the development environment -which can still be used to enter ML captions or to export and import language and translation files- still requires a non-unicode system locale to be set to work.

    so if we still need to have a windows system locale, this means we still can’t translate NAV for countries which are supported by MS unicode but never got a windows code page. and there are a few of such countries.

    if you want to verify this statement, just try to import the 2009 language or translation file of a language that uses an “exotic” script (let’s take thai for example), without setting a non-unicode system locale.

    somebody tell me i am wrong please or at least that there is a workaround. else smaller countries -for which microsoft didn’t bother to provide a windows code page / non-unicode system locale- still can’t make full use of the unicode capabilities available in NAV.

    1. Chittra: you are right. The ML captions are still not Unicode, and the only reason for that is that the Development Environment is essentially the same Classic client – which is written on the old technology stack, and therefore is a non-Unicode application. It uses the database collation to control which characters are available to you. I am not aware of any workaround here, sorry. I can only assume – or hope – they fix this in the next version.

  3. Dear All,

    It is really good news that Microsoft Dynamics Navision 2013 supports Unicode! However, it is only Unicode Data Input. The Development Environment is still the same as Classic Client. We cannot input Unicode Characters, Text Constants in C/AL Editor or Table CaptionML property … to localize the system, especially systems of multinational companies.

    4BzSoftware has 2 solutions to cover it. We would like to introduce you the “Table Fields Unicode Caption Core” solution (Service S#001) which is more flexible and easier to use. You don’t need to download and install any Navision Localization Package to work with desired Table Field Caption Language. Without re-login system or re-open company, you simply select Field Language ID in User Setup, the new language affects immediately.

    You can try it our skydrive link https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=1322D544FED91559!107&authkey=!AI6BCiD–abnN8A

    Hope this information can help you!
    Best regards,

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