About Locale

Locale specifies the user's language, country, and any special variant preferences, such as collation. Vertica uses locale to determine the behavior of certain string functions. Locale also determines the collation for various SQL commands that require ordering and comparison, such as aggregate GROUP BY and ORDER BY clauses, joins, and the analytic ORDER BY clause.

The default locale for a Vertica database is en_US@collation=binary (English US). You can define a new default locale that is used for all sessions on the database. You can also override the locale for individual sessions. However, projections are always collated using the default en_US@collation=binary collation, regardless of the session collation. Any locale-specific collation is applied at query time.

If you set the locale to null, Vertica sets the locale to en_US_POSIX. You can set the locale back to the default locale and collation by issuing the vsql meta-command \locale. For example:

=> set locale to '';
INFO 2567:  Canonical locale: 'en_US_POSIX'
Standard collation: 'LEN'
English (United States, Computer)
=> \locale en_US@collation=binary;
INFO 2567:  Canonical locale: 'en_US'
Standard collation: 'LEN_KBINARY'
English (United States)
=>  \locale

You can set locale through ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.net.

Vertica locale specifications follow a subset of the Unicode LDML standard as implemented by the ICU library.