SQL Server installation with British English

  • What little hair I have left is being torn out in chunks trying to get to the right part of Microsoft to get a reasonable response, so I'm hoping you helpful lot here can answer my problem.

    When I try to install SQL Server 2019 and look at the instance properties, I see it has been installed with a language of "English (United States)". However, there does not appear to be any option to choose British English in the installation routine, and the OS of the Windows server it's being installed on is set to British English throughout (or, should I say, English (United Kingdom)). The only choice of language I have seen so far is when choosing a download, and there is only one English option which turns out to be US English. I know I can change the default language and default date format of the instance, but that's not exactly the same.

    Help? How can I install a SQL instance with British English as the language? I'd really appreciate if anyone give me a way through all this.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • is this causing an issue ? the installation language is pretty much just used for error messages and date formats (as for as I can remember)

    your collation will control sort ordering, so that won't hurt you

    if I remember correctly connection string beats everything, default language for user is in second place and server default is in 3rd place in terms of the language

    MVDBA

  • Verify the language your browser is using when downloading - it may be set to US English which is why you are only getting that version.

    Jeffrey Williams
    Problems are opportunities brilliantly disguised as insurmountable obstacles.

    How to post questions to get better answers faster
    Managing Transaction Logs

  • You can change the default language: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/database-engine/configure-windows/configure-the-default-language-server-configuration-option?view=sql-server-ver15

    There is no choice in install. I thought that some languages had localized binaries, but the MS docs seem to indicate that you have to set your OS and things will follow. I know that in my VS subscription, I see these binaries:

    2020-03-02 12_33_05-Downloads - My Visual Studio

    I assume this means to get British English,I just change the language.

  • Thanks, all

    OK, I've done a bit of checking and the browsers I've tried using for downloads (Edge, Firefox, Chrome) are all set to en-GB, although changing to de-DE doesn't change the install media I get. Sorry, Jeff, but that sadly didn't work.

    As for the link you provided, Steve, I know I can set the default language and I recognise that may be the best compromise I have to live with. However, this firstly requires that I do this as soon as possible after initial install and secondly only applies automatically to any logins created after the default is changed. As a result, I'll also have to at very least change the default language of the sa account and whichever windows-linked login I specify as a sysadmin. What it does not do, though, is change the language specified in the General page of the server properties, and I don't know what else that may affect. What I do know, though, is that the binaries installed when I choose English from the list you screenshotted is 1033 (i.e. US English).

    Which leads me on to the question Mike raised - is this causing an issue? The short answer is that I don't know. This will be our first 2019 installation and, given the way language and date format defaults have been handled has changed subtly between certain versions, I'm not comfortable blithely creating a US English instance and hoping I won't see any localisation issues later on when it's difficult to correct. This might be a complete non-issue, it might be a time bomb for the business at some point in the future or it might be any of the shades of grey in between.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • I don't think it's an issue, but I get your concern. I'll send a query to MS.

  • You're a steely-eyed missile man, sir. Much appreciated.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • No word. I'll bump the message if I don't see something later today

  • Not from MS, but another MVP. A South African, and they said this:

    "Set the default regional settings to GB for the box, and then set the collation for SQL Server during installation. That should be all you need. It’s a headache but it’s not that big a deal for two languages that are both Latin-based."

  • A good call, but sadly I already found a post elsewhere on t'interweb about that. I can confirm the box is set to UK and British English throughout, and that the collation was set appropriately during install but the instance's language still shows as "English (United States)". Many thanks to the MVP for his or her tip but sadly not the answer in this case.

    I must admit I'm getting pretty disillusioned at this point. I know there are workarounds and mitigations, but how difficult should it be to install SQL Server with such a well-known regionalisation? Everyone here has been, as always, really helpful but I have yet to find ANYONE in Microsoft who will either tell me how to achieve this or admit it can't be done. That's not in keeping with the quality of SQL Server and related support that I've experienced in the past. What gives, I wonder?

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • What happens if you try the install from a config file or command prompt switches, specifying Latin1_General_CI_AS as your collation?

    Joie Andrew
    "Since 1982"

  • Joie Andrew wrote:

    What happens if you try the install from a config file or command prompt switches, specifying Latin1_General_CI_AS as your collation?

    that wont fix the OP's issue - all that will do it set the collation... I can install it in French , but still use latin1_ci_as

    to be fair though the OP doesn't know if this is an issue (I highly doubt it is) - they just have to test their app and make sure the logins are set to UK english

    MVDBA

  • With respect, Mike, that's steering away from what I originally asked.

    In my original post, I recognised that there are workarounds potentially available. However, I asked for help in how to install SQL Server with British English, since I don't want to put in workarounds until all alternatives have been exhausted.

    Apart from the niggling doubts about little time bombs being introduced by installing with American English and using workarounds (unlikely but possible), there are practical considerations too. If I do install with American English, that means changing the default language and date format both for the instance and every login created as part of the installation process. That's an extra manual task that has to be remembered for every dev/test/sandpit instance related to the live instance in question for consistency, as well as the normal configuration checklist that has to be maintained - not inconsiderable in itself. My argument is that this ought to be inherently part of the choices one is presented with during the installation process - I'm sure MS wouldn't expect a DBA to have to install a German instance and then "just" change the default language.

    I know this sounds like I'm trying to make something big out of what appears to be trivial, but the importance of having instances set up correctly and consistently with British date formats is real, especially when we're exchanging data with companies both in the UK and the US. Troubleshooting date-related import issues is niggly enough without having to remember to check the login has the correct defaults.

    I guess if I can see MS has gone to the trouble of distinguishing between US and UK English as the instance language, I struggle to accept that MS are only providing one English alternative for installation. The answer could be as simple as me not getting the installation files from the correct download source, but I can't get MS to give an answer.

    As a result, I'm afraid it's not "just" that I have to test our applications and make sure the logins are set to UK English, but sadly I'm running out of options.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • majorbloodnock wrote:

    With respect, Mike, that's steering away from what I originally asked.

    In my original post, I recognised that there are workarounds potentially available. However, I asked for help in how to install SQL Server with British English, since I don't want to put in workarounds until all alternatives have been exhausted.

    Apart from the niggling doubts about little time bombs being introduced by installing with American English and using workarounds (unlikely but possible), there are practical considerations too. If I do install with American English, that means changing the default language and date format both for the instance and every login created as part of the installation process. That's an extra manual task that has to be remembered for every dev/test/sandpit instance related to the live instance in question for consistency, as well as the normal configuration checklist that has to be maintained - not inconsiderable in itself. My argument is that this ought to be inherently part of the choices one is presented with during the installation process - I'm sure MS wouldn't expect a DBA to have to install a German instance and then "just" change the default language.

    I know this sounds like I'm trying to make something big out of what appears to be trivial, but the importance of having instances set up correctly and consistently with British date formats is real, especially when we're exchanging data with companies both in the UK and the US. Troubleshooting date-related import issues is niggly enough without having to remember to check the login has the correct defaults.

    I guess if I can see MS has gone to the trouble of distinguishing between US and UK English as the instance language, I struggle to accept that MS are only providing one English alternative for installation. The answer could be as simple as me not getting the installation files from the correct download source, but I can't get MS to give an answer.

    As a result, I'm afraid it's not "just" that I have to test our applications and make sure the logins are set to UK English, but sadly I'm running out of options.

    Sorry dude, I can't help you - we script all of our logins through our app,  which set them as British and the connection strings specify British… we always use SET DATEFORMAT …  I don't think MS will ever help you out on this one..... looks like it's testing time for you

    MVDBA

  • Can't disagree, Mike. Not the first time, of course, but a bit of a pity nonetheless.

    Thanks for your help, btw. Irrespective of getting a satisfactory conclusion one of the good things about this whole question is the community rallying round here on SSC. Makes you feel like you're not out on your own.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply