SQL Server Case Sensitive: Everything You Need to Know : cybexhosting.net

Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide on SQL Server Case Sensitivity. As technology continues to evolve and become more advanced, we have to keep up with the changes in order to remain competitive and effective. Case sensitivity is a crucial aspect of managing databases and ensuring that your systems function optimally. In this article, we will explore all the key aspects of SQL Server Case Sensitivity, from basic definitions to advanced techniques, FAQs, and best practices. So, let’s get started!

What is SQL Server Case Sensitivity?

Before we delve into the details of SQL Server Case Sensitivity, let’s take a moment to understand what it means. In simple terms, case sensitivity refers to how a system treats upper and lower case characters in text values. For example, if a system is case insensitive, it will treat “apple” and “Apple” as the same word. However, if it is case sensitive, it will treat them as two different words. Now, let’s see how this applies to SQL Server.

Case Sensitivity in SQL Server

In SQL Server, case sensitivity applies to the way the system handles text values in the following scenarios:

Scenario Case Sensitivity
Table and Column Names Depends on server-level collation setting
Literal Values Case insensitive unless specified
Variable Names Case insensitive

What is Collation?

Collation is a set of rules that determines how data is sorted and compared in a database. It includes rules for character set, case sensitivity, accent sensitivity, and more. In SQL Server, collation is set at the server, database, and column level.

Case Sensitive vs. Case Insensitive Collations

There are two main types of collations in SQL Server: case sensitive and case insensitive. Case sensitive collations distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters, while case insensitive collations treat them as the same. Here are some examples of collation names:

Name Comparison Method
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS Case sensitive and accent sensitive
SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS Case insensitive and accent sensitive

Benefits of Case Sensitivity in SQL Server

Now that we understand what SQL Server Case Sensitivity is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using it:

Better Data Quality

Case sensitivity helps to ensure that data is correctly entered and stored in a database. For example, if you have two customer records, one with the name “Smith” and the other with the name “smith,” a case sensitive system will treat them as two different customers, preventing data duplication and errors.

Improved Query Performance

In some scenarios, using case sensitivity can improve query performance. This is because SQL Server can use more efficient index algorithms when processing case sensitive queries. Additionally, using case sensitive collations can prevent unwanted implicit conversions, which can also improve query performance.

Case Sensitivity in SQL Server: Best Practices

Now that we’ve seen the benefits of using SQL Server Case Sensitivity, let’s take a look at some best practices to follow:

Choose the Right Collation

Choosing the right collation is crucial for ensuring that your system works optimally. Consider the specific needs of your business and application when selecting a collation. For example, if you need to support multiple languages, you may want to choose a collation that is accent sensitive.

Use Case Sensitivity Consistently

Consistency is key when it comes to case sensitivity in SQL Server. Ensure that you use the same case sensitivity settings across your databases and applications to prevent confusion and errors.


What is the Default Case Sensitivity in SQL Server?

The default case sensitivity in SQL Server depends on the collation set at the server level. If the collation is case insensitive, the system will treat uppercase and lowercase letters as the same. If it is case sensitive, the system will treat them as different.

Can I Change the Case Sensitivity of an Existing Database?

Yes, you can change the case sensitivity of an existing database by altering its collation. However, this can be a time-consuming process and may require significant testing and validation before implementation.

Does Case Sensitivity Affect Performance in SQL Server?

In some scenarios, using case sensitivity can improve query performance in SQL Server. However, the impact on performance varies depending on the specific application and query workload.

What is the Relationship Between Case Sensitivity and Unicode in SQL Server?

Unicode is a character encoding standard that supports a wide range of languages and symbols. In SQL Server, Unicode data types can be used with both case sensitive and case insensitive collations. However, the behavior of Unicode data may differ depending on the collation used.


SQL Server Case Sensitivity is a complex topic, but it is essential for managing databases effectively. By understanding the different types of collations, benefits, and best practices, you can ensure that your systems work optimally and provide the best possible performance and data quality. We hope that this guide has been helpful in shedding light on this important topic. Thank you for reading!

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