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International Considerations for Notification Services

SQL Server 2005

Because Microsoft SQL Server Notification Services uses databases to store metadata and operational data, the Notification Services platform offers all of the internationalization benefits of SQL Server, such as collations and appropriate formatting of data types for supported languages and regions.

Notification Services also provides two features to support international notification applications: locale-specific formatting and time zone-sensitive scheduled subscriptions. These features allow Notification Services applications to send notifications in any language and at the appropriate local time.

Notification Services provides locale codes based on industry standards. Each locale code identifies a language/location combination, for example "en-US" for "English - United States".

When a subscriber creates a subscription, a locale code is stored with the subscription data. When Notification Services formats a notification, it obtains the locale code and looks for a content formatter specific to the language. The content formatter can format the notification using the language and formatting that is specific to the locale. If Notification Services does not find a custom content formatter for the locale, it attempts to use a more generic content formatter.

Notification Services supports scheduled subscriptions. Because a notification application can support subscribers in any time zone, it is important that Notification Services store information about the time zone for timely notification delivery.

To make multiple time zone support easier, Notification Services stores date and time information using Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) notation.

When a subscriber creates a scheduled subscription, the subscriber enters the time zone (or the time zone is obtained from other sources, such as a database or operating system setting) and the desired delivery time. When Notification Services stores the delivery time, it uses the time zone to compute the UTC time for delivery and then stores the UTC time. When the UTC time arrives, Notification Services generates notifications from any current events and then formats and distributes the notifications.

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