Introducing UTF-8 support for Azure SQL Database
Updated: 24 July, 2019
UTF-8 support is now in preview for Azure SQL Database, allowing more options to companies extending their businesses to a global scale, where the requirement of providing global multilingual database applications and services is critical to meet customer demands, and specific market regulations.
Additionally, if your dataset uses primarily ASCII characters, significant storage savings may also be achieved as compared to UTF-16 data types. For example, changing an existing column data type from NCHAR(10) to CHAR(10) using an UTF-8 enabled collation translates into nearly 50% reduction in storage requirements. This is because NCHAR(10) requires 22 bytes for storage, whereas CHAR(10) requires 12 bytes for the same Unicode string.
To read more about Unicode support in SQL Database, including details on UTF-8 support, see the documentation.