The Unicode® Standard, supported by the Oracle software through the character set AL32UTF8, is the prerequisite to support any business conducted globally. As the consequence, AL32UTF8 is the recommended character set for any Oracle database, as in the Internet era, any database is most probably either already storing multilingual data or it will have to do it soon. An early migration to the Unicode Standard avoids more costly migration later when the amount of data has already grown and it proactively prevents the IT infrastructure from slowing down expansion to new markets.
With the introduction of the Oracle Database Migration Assistant for Unicode (DMU) in April 2011, customers received a complete end-to-end solution for migration of Oracle databases to AL32UTF8. The DMU is the recommended tool for such migration of any database in version 188.8.131.52 or newer (with selected older releases supported on selected platforms). Therefore, starting with the upcoming major release of the Oracle Database, we will no longer ship or support the legacy CSSCAN and CSALTER tools. The DMU provides all functionality of the legacy tools with respect to migration to AL32UTF8 (and deprecated UTF8) plus much, much more.
For cases in which CSSCAN and CSALTER are used to repair incorrect database character set declarations, for example allowing a WE8ISO8859P1 database to be re-declared as WE8MSWIN1252 in case it already contains Windows-specific characters, we will provide a new script that will perform this function together with the DMU.
While we discourage this, migrations to character sets other than AL32UTF8 (and UTF8) that require actual conversion of data should be performed before migration to the next major release, so that CSSCAN can be used to discover potential conversion problems. Migration to non-Unicode character set will still be possible in the future releases, for example using the Data Pump method, but no Oracle tool will be available to check for issues prior to actual data conversion.
The official desupport announcement is included in the My Oracle Support note with the document ID 1418321.1.
DB Development, Server Globalization Technology