Python pyodbc Unicode issue


Solution 1

This is something I think is best handled with Python, instead of fiddling with pyodbc.connect arguments and driver-specific connection string attributes.

'\xe4' is a Latin-1 encoded string representing the unicode ä character.

To explicitly decode the pyodbc result in Python 2.7:

>>> res = '\xe4'
>>> res.decode('latin1'), type(res.decode('latin1'))
(u'\xe4', <type 'unicode'>)
>>> print res.decode('latin1')

Python 3.x does this for you (the str type includes unicode characters):

>>> res = '\xe4'
>>> res, type(res)
('ä', <class 'str'>)
>>> print(res)

Solution 2

For Python 3, try this:

After conn = pyodbc.connect(DSN='datbase',ansi=True,autocommit=True)

Place this:

conn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_CHAR, encoding='utf8') conn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_WCHAR, encoding='utf8') conn.setencoding(encoding='utf8')


conn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_CHAR, encoding='iso-8859-1') conn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_WCHAR, encoding='iso-8859-1') conn.setencoding(encoding='iso-8859-1')


Python 2:

cnxn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_CHAR, encoding='utf-8') cnxn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_WCHAR, encoding='utf-8') cnxn.setencoding(str, encoding='utf-8') cnxn.setencoding(unicode, encoding='utf-8')


cnxn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_CHAR, encoding='encode-foo-bar') cnxn.setdecoding(pyodbc.SQL_WCHAR, encoding='encode-foo-bar') cnxn.setencoding(str, encoding='encode-foo-bar') cnxn.setencoding(unicode, encoding='encode-foo-bar')


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Updated on September 14, 2022


  • rogue-one
    rogue-one 3 months

    I have a string variable res which I have derived from a pyodbc cursor as shown in the bottom. The table test has a single row with data ä whose unicode codepoint is u'\xe4'.

    The Result I get is

    >>> res,type(res)
    ('\xe4', <type 'str'>)

    Whereas the result I should have got is.

    >>> res,type(res)
    (u'\xe4', <type 'unicode'>)

    I tried adding charset as utf-8 to my pyodbc connect string as shown below. The result was now correctly set as a unicode but the codepoint was for someother string which could be due to a possible bug in the pyodbc driver.

    conn = pyodbc.connect(DSN='datbase;charset=utf8',ansi=True,autocommit=True)
    >>> res,type(res)
    (u'\ua4c3', <type 'unicode'>)

    Actual code

    import pyodbc
    conn = pyodbc.connect(DSN='datbase',ansi=True,autocommit=True)
    cursor = conn.cursor()
    cur = cursor.execute('SELECT col1 from test')
    res = cur.fetchall()[0][0]

    Additional details Database: Teradata pyodbc version: 2.7

    So How do I now either

    1) cast ('\xe4', <type 'str'>) to (u'\xe4', <type 'unicode'>) (is it possible to do this without unintentional side-effects?)

    2) resolve the pyodbc/unixodbc issue

  • rogue-one
    rogue-one over 7 years
    Thanks @Bryan I will try this out today.
  • rogue-one
    rogue-one over 7 years
    Thanks it works as expected. however our requirement is to support Asian characters too, so I am going with JayDeBeApi which uses JDBC via jpype.
  • Gord Thompson
    Gord Thompson almost 5 years
    Thanks for posting an update relevant to current versions of pyodbc (4.x and up). More details are available at the pyodbc Wiki.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow
    Captain Jack Sparrow over 2 years
    Thank you! This was helpful for me using Python3 and MySQL ODBC 8.0 ANSI Driver on MacOS.