SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

1921078 - Incorrect unicode characters displays on the report when using a Sybase Native connection in Crystal Reports


  • Strange characters displays on the report.
  • When reporting off native connection to Sybase, the report shows incorrect characters.
  • Report shows question marks, squares, or incorrect characters when expecting to see Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Arabic characters.
  • When refreshing a report in Crystal Reports based on a Sybase open Client, the Unicode Characters are displayed incorrectly.

          For Example : Arabic, or Chinese characters are displayed as: ???


  • SAP Crystal Reports 2008
  • SAP Crystal Reports 2011
  • SAP Crystal Reports 2013
  • SAP Crystal Reports 2016
  • Sybase ASE 15
  • Sybase Open Client 15.0

Reproducing the Issue

  1. In Crystal Reports, create a new report.
  2. In Database Expert window, under new connection, double click on "Sybase Server"
  3. Connect to the Sybase database, and select a table.
  4. Insert a Database Field on the report Details section that contains unicode data, like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic characters.
  5. When refreshing the report, notice the Unicode Characters are displayed incorrectly.
    For example : Arabic characters are displayed as ???


  • In Crystal Reports, the Sybase Open Client ( Sybase Native Connection ) does not support Unicode Characters, and this is why it is displaying incorrect characters on the report.
  • For reference, see the Crystal Reports PAM corresponding the version of Crystal Reports used.


  • To display Unicode Characters in Crystal Reports that are store in Sybase data source, use an ODBC connection to Sybase.
    1. In Microsoft ODBC Administrator, create an ODBC DSN to a Sybase data source.
    2. In Crystal Reports, open the report based on a Sybase Native connection.
    3. Under the menu "Database", select "Set Datasource Location..."
    4. Under the section 'Current Data Source', select the current connection.
    5. Under the section 'Replace with', expand "New Connection", and double click on "ODBC (RDO)"
    6. Select the ODBC DSN to the Sybase data source.
    7. Connect to the Sybase data source.
    8. To update the connection from the Native Sybase connection the ODBC connection, click on the button: 'Update'
    9. Close the 'Set Datasource Location' window.
    10. Save the report. 
  • Note: If after connecting via ODBC to Sybase, it still displays incorrect characters, then ensure the database fields are using a unicode font that contains the characters for the language the data is stored in Sybase.


Arabic characters, ???, Sybase open client, Sybase ASE, Sybase Native client. , KBA , BI-RA-CR , Crystal Reports designer or Business View Manager , Problem


Crystal Reports 2008 V1 ; SAP Crystal Reports 2011 ; SAP Crystal Reports 2013 ; SAP Crystal Reports 2016