A collation encodes the rules governing the proper use of characters for either a language, such as Greek or Polish, or an alphabet, such as Latin1_General. Each SQL Server collation specifies three properties:
- The sort order to use for Unicode data types (nchar, nvarchar, and ntext). A sort order defines the sequence in which characters are sorted, and the way characters are evaluated in comparison operations.
- The sort order to use for non-Unicode character data types (char, varchar, and text).
- The code page used to store non-Unicode character data.
So each SQL Server collation name is broken down into these parts:
Comparison style segment allows specifying a collation's case sensitivity and accent sensitivity. Case sensitivity is determined by "CI" which means "case insensitive" and "CS" which means "case sensitive". If A and a, B and b, etc. are treated in the same way then it is case-insensitive. A computer treats A and a differently because it uses different ASCII codes for them. Accent sensitivity id determined by "AS" and "AI". "AS" means "accent sensitive" that is 'á' and 'ä' are treated differently, but "AI" means "accent insensitive" which means that all "a", "á" and "ä" are treated the same way in comparisons.
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