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Sorting and searching non-English text can cause a number of problems, a frequent one being how to handle accented letters, for example , and .

The rules for sorting vary because the various natural languages sort words differently. There are occasions where the accented form of a letter is treated as a distinct letter for the purpose of comparison. For example, in Swedish, is a separate letter that is sorted after Z. In some languages, it is common to sort uppercase before lowercase, in other languages this is reversed; sometimes it is just a matter of personal preference.

A collation, also known as a collating sequence, is a database object containing a set of rules that determines how character strings are compared, searched and alphabetically sorted. The rules in the collation determine whether one character string is less than, equal to or greater than another. A collation also determines how case-sensitivity and accents are handled.

In Mimer SQL, a collation belongs to a SCHEMA. In this release, the pre-defined collations included belong to INFORMATION_SCHEMA.

When a collation is used, Mimer SQL first checks to see if it belongs to the ident's schema. If Mimer SQL does not find it there, it checks for it in INFORMATION_SCHEMA.

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