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Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

Bill Malchisky  July 15 2010 09:30:43 AM
Today the Wall Street Journal announced that India's currency the Rupee has a new symbol.

A new currency symbol launch is always an invigorating time for a nation. In the case of India, it means the associated legal tender now has prevalence on the international scene. Important as with the Euro before it, computer software designers need to ensure that they can handle the new symbol. Will be interesting to see how long it will take for Linux, Mac, and Windows OS flavors to incorporate the symbol into their new keyboard shortcuts, and their supported fonts. Lotus Notes has a strong presence in larger financial firms and as well as a significant quantity of users in India, so this post is quite relevant to our community.

Officially, the symbol will not appear in financial instruments for another six months. Thus, this preannouncement for the official go live date will allow markets, ISVs, and financial houses to prepare.

Although the Rupee has existed for hundreds of years (in various forms), it lacked a symbol and strong presence on primary and secondary markets. Much work needs to be done to introduce this new currency into the international financial world. This new chapter in India's financial history is a huge step for them in the international community as it joins the U.S., U.K., European Union, and Japan with having a currency symbol. Note that most currencies neither have a currency symbol nor have their symbol included in some font families, so instead the default generic currency symbol or alphabetic character reference is utilized. Previously India just used the text representation "Rs". The new symbol helps highlight the positive financial impact India is having on world markets.

The established standard in banking and for financial business dealing with different currencies is the ISO 4217 standard responsible for three letter currency codes (e.g. USD, JPY, RUB {Russian Ruble}, INR {Indian Rupee}). It does help to avoid any ambiguity between currencies less familiar to the transaction's interested parties. ISO 4217 can be more lucid than the ISO 3166 standard for three digit equivalents (e.g. 804 = U.S., 356 = India) for a country, with ISO 3166-1 providing the respective nation's currency code--generally the same for simplicity and consistency.

For the Lotus community, in addition to IBM - Lotus, it will affect some Lotus Developers, and potentially any business partner that does international business either through their own offices, or clients with locations in multiple countries. Any international aware financial application will need to ensure that it handles the new symbol both visually in view columns or forms, but also design elements such as pick lists and dialog boxes where other symbols can be selected or displayed. Any RDBMS back-end store, plus ODBC or other data feed into a Notes application and corresponding parsing routine needs to ensure that this new value/symbol is properly handled. Error checking routines may need to be updated to ensure they properly function and any Notes symbol code lists will need to be updated once IBM - Lotus releases the new code. (I would also like the documentation to be updated as well.) Help desks in India and teams working with Indian transactions will need to know how to generate the symbol when typing...or you'll start to receive avoidable support ticket requests. So, beyond the application development side, other teams at companies will need to work together initially to ensure smoothness. Overall not a major project initiative, just presenting some aspects to consider beyond the obvious in the coding arena.

An exciting time, as change of this type, means growth and expansion of ideas in a larger sense, potentially some new consulting opportunities for partners, or just additional grunt work for an over-worked developer in a shop that is wondering why he/she might need to handle this in their corner of the society. No matter how you fit therein, I do say, "Congratulations to India; quite a milestone."

The new symbol is below.

Image:Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee
Comments

1Stephan H. Wissel  7/15/10 8:48:51 PM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

Does it have a Unicode assigned to it already?

2Vamsi Guduri  7/15/10 10:14:18 PM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

Till now it is not.. Indian Government send a request to the Unicode consortium to incorporate the symbol. As India is a member of the Unicode Consortium and getting an approval for the new symbol shouldn't be too difficult.

3Bill Malchisky  7/15/10 11:44:07 PM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

@2 Thanks for your insight Vamsi. Although I will keep a watch on that, if you want to contact me when India receives the Unicode value, I'll be certain to update the blog with the respective code.

4Mark Myers  7/16/10 1:49:43 AM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

thanks for the heads up, a good useful post

5Vamsi Guduri  7/17/10 10:21:05 AM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

Sure Bill....Thanks again for the useful post.

6Bill Malchisky  7/19/10 1:48:53 AM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

@4 Thanks, Mark. Glad you found it helpful. Cheers.

7iso 9000  9/28/11 10:59:24 PM  Developers, Managers Take Note: New Currency Symbol for Rupee

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.

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8ISO 9001  10/5/11 12:22:12 AM  iso 9001

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Regards:

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9ISO 9001  10/5/11 12:22:52 AM  iso 9001

It was a awe-inspiring post and it has a significant meaning and thanks for sharing the information.Would love to read your next post too......

Thanks

Regards:

<a href="{ Link } title="ISO 9001">ISO 9001</a>

10ISO 9001  10/19/11 4:07:33 AM  iso 9001

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