Handling Special characters in python

Chris Rebert clp2 at rebertia.com
Wed Jan 2 07:32:34 CET 2013

On Jan 1, 2013 8:48 PM, <anilkumar.dannina at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:00:06 AM UTC+5:30, Chris Rebert wrote:
> > On Jan 1, 2013 3:41 AM, <anilkuma... at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am facing one issue in my module. I am gathering data from sql
server database. In the data that I got from db contains special characters
like "endash". Python was taking it as "\x96". I require the same
character(endash). How can I perform that. Can you please help me in
resolving this issue.
> >
> > 1. What library are you using to access the database?
> > 2. To confirm, it's a Microsoft SQL Server database?
> > 3. What OS are you on?
> 1. I am using "pymssql" module to access the database.
> 2. Yes, It is a SQL server database.
> 3. I am on Ubuntu 11.10

Did you set "client charset" (to "UTF-8", unless you have good reason to
choose otherwise) in freetds.conf? That should at least ensure that the
driver itself is exchanging bytestrings via a well-defined encoding.
If you want to work in Unicode natively (Recommended), you'll probably need
to ensure that the columns are of type NVARCHAR as opposed to VARCHAR.
Unless you're using SQLAlchemy or similar (which I personally would
recommend using), you may need to do the .encode() and .decode()-ing
manually, using the charset you specified in freetds.conf.

Sorry my advice is a tad general. I went the alternative route of
SQLAlchemy + PyODBC + Microsoft's SQL Server ODBC driver for Linux (
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28160 ) for my
current project, which likewise needs to fetch data from MS SQL to an
Ubuntu box. The driver is intended for Red Hat and isn't packaged nicely
(it installs via a shell script), but after that was dealt with, things
have gone smoothly. Unicode, in particular, seems to work properly.
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