Perl unicode support

Perl supports Unicode data with some caveats.

Perl supports Unicode data with some caveats. See the perlunicode and the perlunitut (Perl Unicode tutorial) manual pages for details. (Be sure to see the copies of these manual pages included with the version of Perl installed on your client system, as the support for Unicode has changed in recent versions of Perl.) Perl DBI and DBD::ODBC also support Unicode, however DBD::ODBC must be compiled with Unicode support. See the DBD::ODBC documentation for details. You can check the DBD::ODBC-specific connection attribute named odbc_has_unicode to see if Unicode support is enabled in the driver.

The following example Perl script demonstrates directly inserting UTF-8 strings into Vertica and then reading them back. The example writes a text file with the output, since there are may problems displaying Unicode characters in terminal windows or consoles.

use strict;
use DBI;
# Open a connection using a DSN.
my $dbh = DBI->connect("dbi:ODBC:VerticaDSN","ExampleUser","password123");
unless (defined $dbh) {
    # Conection failed.
    die "Failed to connect: $DBI::errstr";
# Output to a file. Displaying Unicode characters to a console or terminal
# window has many problems. This outputs a UTF-8 text file that can
# be handled by many Unicode-aware text editors:
open OUTFILE, '>:utf8', "unicodeout.txt";
# See if the DBD::ODBC driver was compiled with Unicode support. If this returns
# 1, your Perl script will get get strings from the driver with the UTF-8
# flag set on them, ensuring that Perl handles them correctly.
print OUTFILE "Was DBD::ODBC compiled with Unicode support? " .
    $dbh->{odbc_has_unicode} . "\n";

# Create a table to hold VARCHARs

# Create a table to hold data. Remember that the width of the VARCHAR column
# is the number of bytes set aside to store strings, which often does not equal
# the number of characters it can hold when it comes to Unicode!
$dbh->do("CREATE TABLE test( C_VARCHAR VARCHAR(100) )");
print OUTFILE "Inserting data...\n";
# Use Do to perform simple inserts
$dbh->do("INSERT INTO test VALUES('Hello')");
# This string contains several non-latin accented characters and symbols, encoded
# with Unicode escape notation. They are converted by Perl into UTF-8 characters
$dbh->do("INSERT INTO test VALUES('My favorite band is " .
    "\N{U+00DC}ml\N{U+00E4}\N{U+00FC}t \N{U+00D6}v\N{U+00EB}rk\N{U+00EF}ll" .
    " \N{U+263A}')");
# Some Chinese (Simplified) characters. This again uses escape sequence
# that Perl translates into UTF-8 characters.
$dbh->do("INSERT INTO test VALUES('\x{4F60}\x{597D}')");
print OUTFILE "Getting data...\n";
# Prepare a query to get the content of the table
my $sth = $dbh->prepare_cached("SELECT * FROM test");
# Execute the query by calling execute on the statement handle
# Loop through result rows while we have them
while (my @row = $sth->fetchrow_array()) {
    # Loop through the column values
    foreach my $column (@row) {
        print OUTFILE "$column\t";
    print OUTFILE "\n";
close OUTFILE;

Viewing the unicodeout.txt file in a UTF-8-capable text editor or viewer displays:

Was DBD::ODBC compiled with Unicode support? 1
Inserting data...
Getting data...
My favorite band is Ümläüt Övërkïll ☺

See also