Support for Foreign Character Sets within Acctivate

Acctivate and QuickBooks are “code page”-based applications and do not support Unicode.  You must select a single Windows code page for your Acctivate installation, and use that code page for the Acctivate server and all workstations.  You will be able to enter and store text containing any characters that are in the code page’s character set.

For example, an English version of Windows is set to the Western European (Windows 1252) code page by default. That code page contains the unaccented Roman alphabet (A, B, C, etc…) used by English and some accented letters needed for Spanish, French, German, and other Western European languages (ñ, é, ß, etc…). An Acctivate installation using the Western European code page is able to store text in any language or combination of languages that can be written using the characters in the Western European character set. For example, you could have English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German text all at the same time.

However, if you wanted to store Russian text, you would have to switch all computers running Acctivate to the Cyrillic (Windows 1251) code page, since that is the only code page that contains the Cyrillic letters needed to write Russian. In addition to the Cyrillic letters (А, Б, В, Г, etc..), that code page’s character set also contains the unaccented Roman alphabet (A, B, C, etc…). However, it does not contain any accented Roman letters, so it’s not suitable for languages that require those letters, such as Spanish and French. An Acctivate installation using the Cyrillic code page could store, for example, Russian, English, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian all at the same time, but it could not store Spanish or German text.

System Locale (Code Page)

To select a code page, change the Windows System Locale setting. Note that you can select any System Locale, and hence any code page, even if you’re using the English version of Windows. E.g., you can set an English version of Windows to the Korean locale and code page, and will be able to display and enter Korean text.

The System Locale setting must match on the server and all Acctivate workstations.  This setting allows you to store data in English and usually one other language.  Here are some examples:

System Locale Code Page Languages Supported (examples)
Chinese (Simplified) 936 English, Chinese
Latin (Western European) 1252 English, Spanish, French, Italian, German
Cyrillic 1251 English, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukranian, Serbian, Mongolian
Hebrew 1255 English, Hebrew
Arabic 1256 English, Arabic, Farsi
Vietnamese 1258 English, Vietnamese

Data Fields Allowing Foreign Text

While Acctivate can store text in foreign languages as described above, Intuit has not provided an update for the QuickBooks SDK to synchronize characters that are not in the Latin (Western European) code page to and from QuickBooks.  Therefore, for the entities that synchronize with QuickBooks, only the following data fields may contain text with non-Western European characters:

  • Sales Order / Invoice
    • Reference
    • Reference 2
    • FOB
    • Instructions tab: Comment, Special Instructions, Shipping Instructions and Route information
    • Reference on Sales Order lines
    • Notes
  • Purchase Order
    • Reference
    • Related Document
    • FOB
    • Vendor Product ID
    • Special Instructions (both PO and PO line)
    • Notes
  • Product
    • Any field EXCEPT Product ID, Description or Product Class
  • Customer
    • Reference
    • Reference 2
    • Alternate Customer ID
    • Pop-up Note
    • Notes (all tabs)
    • Customer Ship-To: Notes, Attn, Phone(s), Instructions and Email
    • Contacts: Name, Title, Phone(s) and Email
  • Vendor
    • No fields are supported, since the vendor record is fully synchronized from QuickBooks

Adjusting the System Locale and Database Collation

Acctivate has been successfully deployed to customers using multiple System Locale settings such as Korean, Cyrillic or Simplified Chinese. To adjust the SQL Server Collation settings, download the “demo project” file from the Alter Collation utility. Make sure to run a backup before changing the Collation.

You may be able to change the Locale settings for just Acctivate on the workstation computers using the AppLocale utility from Microsoft.  There is a good article with instructions to install on Windows 7.

However, you most likely will want to change the System Locale for your entire operating system.  This is usually a good idea when you are predominantly working with a single foreign language.

Posted in Installation, QuickBooks and Sync - Last modified on September 9, 2015Cassandra Creasy
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