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FAQ: Can I load UTF-8 shapefiles into an ArcSDE geodatabase using shp2sde?

Question

Can I load UTF-8 shapefiles into an ArcSDE geodatabase using shp2sde?

Answer

Beginning with ArcSDE 9.2 Service Pack 5, the shp2sde command can use a conversion file to convert UTF-8 columns in a shapefile to NSTRING columns in a feature class in an ArcSDE geodatabase. Consult the ArcSDE Administration Command Reference provided with the ArcSDE component of ArcGIS Server for instructions on how to do this.

In releases of ArcSDE prior to 9.2 SP5, you could not load UTF-8 shapefiles to an ArcSDE geodatabase using shp2sde. The code page conversion used by the ArcSDE command shp2sde did not support UTF-8.

In these previous versions, a code page conversion error message might have displayed and the data would not be loaded, or the data might have appeared to have loaded successfully. However, even when the data appeared to have successfully loaded, the UTF-8 encoded attribute string or column name was not converted correctly.