Our final solution was to set the NLS_DATABASE_CHARACTERSET to a unicode ( al32utf8 ) in order to create a Unicode database. We did not end up converting all the data types of our variable and columns as I mentioned in that posting. Although that may be a good solution if you are building a new system, our system was already in maintenance mode so that was to comprehensive of a change. Also, if you go with the a AL32UTF8, be aware of the NLS_LENGTH_SEMANTICS issue. Here is an excellent article on the topic. . http://www.oracle.com/technology/ora...ar/o23sql.html
Oh yeah, XMLType would only seem to accept a VARCHAR2 parm, so by changing the db characterset, we got it to indirectly process Unicode data. Let me know if you find anything to the contrary, but this is my best understanding of the issue.