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

Characters have been represented (or ‘encoded’) in various ways. These encoding differences have their roots in pre-internet days when inter-operability was rarely a consideration. It was a time when businesses and applications were more confined to a specific geography and did not often reach beyond limited areas, so it was easy to use an encoding which only supported characters required for a specific geography.

The internet has enabled businesses to reach out and collaborate with users across the world who may have different linguistic and cultural preferences. Applications must now extend themselves for these users while trying to 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.

Unicode is the preferred encoding for globalized applications. Following is information on how non-Unicode data can be migrated to Unicode using converters. An example of how data that is used primarily for publishing can be migrated to Unicode is also provided. This migrated data can be integrated into a functional and globalized application infrastructure giving it a higher value for a business and its customers.