Globalized applications and Unicode

Executive Overview

On Demand businesses have clients and collaborators all over the world. Its users read and write in multiple scripts. To cater to the client’s linguistic and cultural preferences, businesses must globalize their applications.

The scripts that users know have been represented (or ‘encoded’) in various ways. These encoding differences have their roots in pre-Internet days when inter-operability was less of a consideration. Back then, businesses and applications were available in specific geographies and did not often reach beyond limited areas, so it was simpler to use any workable encoding for the script.

The Internet has compelled businesses to reach out and collaborate with users who have different linguistic and cultural preferences. Applications must now extend themselves for these users but limit the complexity of managing diverse user expectations.

Using a single encoding to represent data for all the world’s scripts and migrating existing textual data to that encoding is a key decision in managing a globalized application.

This article establishes why Unicode is the preferred encoding in globalized applications. It shows how any non-Unicode data can be migrated to Unicode using converters. It then gives an example of how data that is used primarily for publishing can be migrated to Unicode. This migrated data can be integrated into a functional and globalized application infrastructure giving it a higher value for a business and its customers.

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