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SAP Upgrades: When Should my Organization Convert to Unicode?

In the SAP Upgrades (7): Customers’ Experiences and Pain Points – What about Yours? of this series, I shared some customer feedback about challenges in SAP upgrades with you and asked for your experiences (please keep them coming!). Today I want to answer one of the most frequently asked customer questions: When upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0, do we have to convert to Unicode?

Customers who want to upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 and are running SAP R/3 software with MDMP technology or blended code pages must combine their upgrade with a Unicode conversion. The previous SAP technologies have become obsolete for a variety of reasons – for example, they do not enable proper communication with Java-based applications. (See SAP Note 79991.)

A Unicode conversion is only necessary for those using MDMP or blended code pages. Some organizations may want to perform a Unicode conversion to provide future support for languages with different code pages – for example, for users in Asian or eastern European countries. Converting or not converting depends on various factors. The following graphic shows the recommended upgrade paths for Unicode conversion:

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Important note: If you are converting to Unicode with the going-live phase of an upgrade project, you need to consider additional sizing requirements such as those described in the dedicated SAP Notes you can find on the sites mentioned below.

Did you know that SAP offers a service for Unicode conversion? SAP assists you to move your complete system to Unicode to support multiple language business and helps you improve performance between Unicode systems.

You can find general information about Unicode and SAP ERP 6.0 at http://service.sap.com/globalization and at http://service.sap.com/unicode@sap. And there is a lot of useful information about Unicode here in SDN, of course!

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