There is no official way to change the character set of a XE database.
Note, AL32UTF8 is a good character set to store German and it has the advantage of being able to store much much more.
As far as language and territory database settings are concerned, you usually should not care about them. They are used only to provide the NLS environment for evaluation of CHECK constraints. But you should write your CHECK constraints so that they do not depend on external settings anyway.
I'm having the same issue. I would like to change to UTF8 and the current character set is WE8MSWIN1252.
I've found some Oracle documentation here:http://www.stanford.edu/dept/itss/docs/oracle/10g/server.101/b10749/ch11charsetmig.htm#CEGHDCJF
Is there any reason I can't run the csalter script on my XE database just to change the character set? XE, while lacking much of the web functionality of regular 10g, seems to have a lot of the back-end equipment.
The reason is probably more of the legal than technical nature. OracleXE has been designed to provide a pre-created database in either WE8MSWIN1252 or AL32UTF8 character set. The csalter.plb script is not provided with OracleXE.
The Enterprise Edition or Standard Edition has this script but I doubt the license allows you to use the script for anything else than the database to which it belongs. This restriction includes the use in XE. For any official statement regarding this possible restriction, contact Oracle Customer Relations or try to post the question on the XE forum.
The proper way to migrate your database is to install a second AL32UTF8 database from the XE Universal version and move the data using export and import.
There are more requirements then just "an empty database" for this to work successfully. There is no such thing as an empty database, because each database contains at least the data dictionary. If you do not know all the implications of using an unsupported, undocumented, internal-only command, do not use it. Unless, of course, the database is for playing, testing and experimenting only.