MySQL includes character set support that enables you to store
data using a variety of character sets and perform comparisons
according to a variety of collations. You can specify character
sets at the server, database, table, and column level. MySQL
supports the use of character sets for the
InnoDB storage engines.
This chapter discusses the following topics:
What are character sets and collations?
The multiple-level default system for character set assignment
Syntax for specifying character sets and collations
Affected functions and operations
The character sets and collations that are available, with notes
Character set issues affect not only data storage, but also
communication between client programs and the MySQL server. If you
want the client program to communicate with the server using a
character set different from the default, you'll need to indicate
which one. For example, to use the
character set, issue this statement after connecting to the
SET NAMES 'utf8';
For more information about configuring character sets for application use and character set-related issues in client/server communication, see Section 10.1.5, “Configuring the Character Set and Collation for Applications”, and Section 10.1.4, “Connection Character Sets and Collations”.