N prefix before string in Transact-SQL query

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Would you tell me, please, when should I use N prefix before string in Transact-SQL query? I have started to work with a database where I don’t get any results using query like this

SELECT * FROM a_table WHERE a_field LIKE '%а_pattern%'

until I change pattern to N'%а_pattern%'. I never had to add this prefix in the past, so I am curious. a_field is defined as nvarchar(255), but I think the reason is something else.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

The following articles have some good information on the question. The short answer is just that there’s a type mismatch between the unicode column and non-unicode string literal you’re using. From the KB article, it looks like omitting the N prefix might still work in some cases, but it would depend on the code page and collation settings of the database. That might explain the change in behavior, if you were previously having success with the no-prefix method.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/239530

Method 2

This denotes that the subsequent string is in Unicode (the N actually stands for National language character set). Which means that you are passing an NCHAR, NVARCHAR or NTEXT value, as opposed to CHAR, VARCHAR or TEXT. See Article #2354 for a comparison of these data types.

Unicode is typically used in database applications which are designed to facilitate code pages which extend beyond the English and Western Europe code pages for example Chinese. Unicode is designed so that extended character sets can still “fit” into database columns.

Method 3

I think the N-prefix tells sql server to treat the string as a unicode value. nvarchar columns are unicode so you should use this syntax when accessing these columns.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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