(Warning: SSIS expert, SalesForce Noob)

Hi all

I'm working an SSIS package where the source is Salesforce.com and every character field is being interpreted by SSIS as a Unicode nvarchar, which is designed for a lot of foreign languages and takes two bytes per character. Non-Unicode varchar's take only one byte per character and works fine with US-English.

Since the data is all for clients in US-Ohio I'll assume for the moment that varchar would work fine.

Question: Is there a SOQL data type for non-Unicode characters that I can use in my SOQL statements to pull data, so that SSIS will interpret the columns as non-Unicode and not Unicode?

Thanks in advance. Jim

1 Answer 1


Edit to actually answer the question: No, there isn't a way to get Salesforce to talk to you in anything but UTF-8.

I thought salesforce only ever speaks UTF-8 but it turns out one instance uses 8859-1, at least I think ssl.salesforce.com is the NA0 instance. The documentation says:

Internationalization and Character Sets

The API supports either full Unicode characters or ISO-8859-1 characters. The character set for your organization depends on the Salesforce instance your organization uses. If your organization logs into ssl.salesforce.com, then your encoding is ISO-8859-1. All other instances use UTF-8. You can determine the character set for your organization by calling describeGlobal() and inspecting the encoding value returned in the DescribeGlobalResult.

If your organization uses ISO-8859-1 encoding, then all data sent to the API must be encoded in ISO-8859-1. Characters outside the valid ISO-8859-1 range might be truncated or cause an error.

My own experience with SSIS isn't huge, but in the projects I've done I always used nvarchar for everything. I took my lead on this from a product called DBAmp which automatically creates MSSQL databases from Salesforce, and it used nvarchar for text fields.

  • In other words, if you're a customer less than 10 years old (approximately), you'll need UTF-8-sized characters to avoid errors.
    – sfdcfox
    Dec 15, 2014 at 16:38

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