Collation in System Center 2012 Service Manager

Collation in System Center 2012 Service Manager

If you decide to install System Center 2012 Service Manager (SCSM 2012) for your private cloud environment, primary requirement is a supported SQL Server. To be able to work with Service Manager, the following SQL components must be installed;

  • SQL Server full-text search
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • SQL Server Analysis Services

But SCSM 2012 does not like SQL Server default instance collation configurations. As you know, during a default SQL Server 2008 setup progress, your SQL collation will be configured with SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS. If you don’t change default collation, during SCSM 2012 installation you will get a warning message;

1

If you use default collation on your SQL Server, it is not possible to support multiple languages in Service Manager. I mean if you later decide to support for multiple languages you have to use different collation and that means you have to reinstall SQL Server.

On SCSM 2012 technet page, you can find supported OS locales and collations.

locale

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Comments
  • But.. Most people that want to use SCSM want to use it with SCOM, etc, and to do that they have to have the same collation.. and the only collation that SCOM supports is the default one?! Catch 22?

    Do I read the documentation incorrectly or is this a major design flaw?

  • TechNet docs:

    technet.microsoft.com/.../hh524312.aspx

    Database Collations

    If you intend to import data from Operations Manager into Service Manager, then the same collations must be used on the Operations Manager and Service Manager databases.

    technet.microsoft.com/.../hh205990.aspx

    Minimum Software Requirements

    ...

    Note the following database considerations for Operations Manager:

    ...

    SQL Server collation settings for all databases must be SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS; no other collation settings are supported.

  • I have also seen this page.  However, you look carefully, it suggests "Latin1_General_100_CI_AS".  However, this collation is not shipped as part of SQL Server 2008 R2.  There is no documentation listing how to get this collation.  Very frustrating.

  • The articles that Jon has posted threw me for a loop as well.  To complicate things, in the SQL Server documentation you get this nugget (msdn.microsoft.com/.../cc281995(v=sql.105).aspx):

    "Note   Analysis Services uses Windows collations only. If you plan to install Analysis Services, select a Windows collation during SQL Server Setup to ensure consistent results between the SQL Server Database Engine and Analysis Services."

    So, the DW and SCSM SQL servers have the to be the same collation.  The DW requires SSAS.  Latin1_General_100_CI_AS would seem to be the choice for SSAS support and SCSM.   Yet, SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS is the only collation supported for SCOM 2007 data import.

    It's confusing.  Collation is the one thing you absolutely can't get wrong.

  • What's the correct answer collation to use then? It warns me about SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS yet I want to integrate with OpsMgr and ConfigMgr?

  • It is very hard to use these supported collations outside of the US because, as you mention, if you don't change your locale to the US, the collation is impossible to select. Therefore, myself and I'm sure many others end up running with an "unsupported" collation.

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