This week I deployed a new feature and tried it on different SQL databases and was a bit suprised that on one database this error message came up:
Cannot resolve the collation conflict between "Latin1_General_CI_AS" and "SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS" in the equal to operation.
This was strange, because - at least in theory - all databases have the same schema and I was sure that each database had the same collation setting.
Collations on columns
Well… my theory was wrong and this SQL statement told me that “some” columns had a different collation.
select sc.name, sc.collation_name from sys.columns sc inner join sys.tables t on sc.object_id=t.object_id where t.name='TABLENAME'
As it turns out, some columns had the collation
Latin1_General_CI_AS and some had
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS. I’m still not sure why, but I needed to do something.
How to change the collation
To change the collation you can execute something like this:
ALTER TABLE MyTable ALTER COLUMN [MyColumn] NVARCHAR(200) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS
Unfortunately there are restrictions and you can’t change the collation if the column is referenced by any one of the following:
- A computed column
- An index
- Distribution statistics, either generated automatically or by the CREATE STATISTICS statement
- A CHECK constraint
- A FOREIGN KEY constraint
Be aware: If you are not in control of the collation or if the collation is “fine” and you want to do this operation anyway, there might be a way to specify the collation in the SQL query.
For more information you might want to check out this Microsoft Docs “Set or Change the Column Collation”
Hope this helps!