Accessing 'ntext' fields from SQL Server over ODBC (Windows)

G. Wolfgang Gaich gwolfgang at
Wed Jan 12 18:31:33 EST 2011

Hi Ben,

try to convert nstring to varchar in your sql query:

select convert(varchar, yourNStringColumn) from table ...



Am 12.01.2011 13:51, schrieb Ben Rubinstein:
> We've got a problem with reading data from an 'ntext' column in a MS 
> SQL Server database.
> This has arisen in a client environment where they recently upgraded a 
> third-party package.  They use an app we wrote in Rev/LC which 
> retrieves data from the backend database of this package; one of the 
> fields we retrieve has changed from 'text' to 'ntext', and we're now 
> only retrieving the first character in each case.  (We of course have 
> no control over the design of this database.)
> We've reproduced this locally, setting up a simple test database with 
> one table, one ntext column: the table has three rows as follows:
>     Row 1 here
>     Row 2 here
>     ümlaut
> Using our app or Rev/LC in the IDE on Mac, this is retrieved as 
> expected. Using either the app, Rev 4.0, or LC 4.5 on Windows, we get 
> just
>     R
>     R
>     ü
> (and the length of the data returned by revdb_columnbynumber is 1).
> On Mac we're using the ActualTech ODBC driver; on Windows the default 
> supplied ODBC driver.  In the DSN setup on windows we have unticked 
> all options on the final config screen, so there is no character 
> translation or any other options on. We have also tried various 
> combinations of these options.
> What surprises me is that this works on Mac (using ODBC over the 
> network to SQL Server running on Windows), but fails when LC is 
> running on Windows (even on the machine that's hosting SQL Server).
> (Our test machine was Windows Server 2003, with SQL Server 2008; I'm 
> not currently sure the details of the client's network.)
> Has anyone else worked successfully (or otherwise) with ntext fields 
> over ODBC on Windows?
> TIA,
> Ben
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