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TSQL Datatypes


Exact Numbers

  • bigint Range: -2^63 (-9,223,372,036,854,775,808) to 2^63-1 (9,223,372,036,854,775,807)
    Space: 8 Bytes
  • int Range: -2^31 (-2,147,483,648) to 2^31-1 (2,147,483,647)
    Space: 4 Bytes
  • smallint Range: -2^15 (-32,768) to 2^15-1 (32,767)
    Space: 2 Bytes
  • tinyint Range: 0 to 255
    Space: 1 Byte
  • bit Range: 0 (FALSE) or 1 (TRUE)
    Space: 8 bit columns in a table, will be collectively stored as: 1 Byte
    9 - 16 bit columns in a table, will be collectively stored as: 2 Bytes, etc.
  • decimal Declaration: decimal(p[,s]).
    p = Precision - total number of digits stored to both the left and right of the decimal point.
    s = Scale the maximum number of digits stored to the right of the decimal point (optional).

    Precision 1 - 9: Storage is 5 bytes
    Precision 10 - 19: Storage is 9 bytes
    Precision 20 - 28: Storage is 13 bytes
    Precision 29 - 38: Storage is 17 bytes

    Minimum Precision is 1 and Maximum Precision is 38. The Default Precision is 18.
    Note: Decimal is equivalent to Numeric.
  • numeric Declaration: numeric(p[,s]).
    p = Precision - total number of digits stored to both the left and right of the decimal point.
    s = Scale the maximum number of digits stored to the right of the decimal point (optional).

    Precision 1 - 9: Storage is 5 bytes
    Precision 10 - 19: Storage is 9 bytes
    Precision 20 - 28: Storage is 13 bytes
    Precision 29 - 38: Storage is 17 bytes

    Minimum Precision is 1 and Maximum Precision is 38. The Default Precision is 18.
    Note: Numeric is equivalent to Decimal.
  • money Range: -922,337,203,685,477.5808 to 922,337,203,685,477.5807
    Space: 8 bytes
  • smallmoney Range: -214,748.3648 to 214,748.3647
    Space: 4 bytes



Approximate Numbers

  • float Declaration: float(n).
    n = the number of bits used to store the floating point number.

    Range: -1.79E+308 to -2.23E-308, 0 and 2.23E-308 to 1.79E+308

    n Value 1 - 24: Precision - 7 digits: Space - 4 bytes
    n Value 25 - 53: Precision - 15 digits: Space - 8 bytes
  • real Range: -3.40E + 38 to -1.18E - 38, 0 and 1.18E - 38 to 3.40E + 38
    Space: 4 bytes

    Note: Real is equivalent to float(24).

Date and Time

  • datetime Range: January 1, 1753, through December 31, 9999
    Accuracy: 3.33 ms Space: 8 bytes (two 4 byte integers). First 4 bytes represent the number of days before or after Jan. 1, 1900. The Second 4 bytes store the time of day as a number 1/3000-second units after 12:00 AM (00:00:00).
  • smalldatetime Range: January 1, 1900, through June 6, 2079
    Accuracy: 1 min Space: 4 bytes (two 2 byte integers). First 2 bytes represent the number of days after Jan. 1, 1900. The Second 2 bytes store the number of minutes after 12:00 AM (00:00:00).

Character Strings

  • char Definition: Fixed-Length character string.
    Declaration: char(n).
    n = the number of characters.

    Space: n number of bytes

    Valid lengths for a char datatype are 1 through 8,000.
  • varchar Definition: Variable-Length character string.
    Declaration: varchar(n | max).
    n = the number of characters.

    Space: characters actually used in datatype (1 byte per character) + 2 additional bytes

    Valid lengths for a varchar datatype are 1 through 8,000. Alternatively, MAX allows for a much larger maximum storage size (2^31-1 bytes - 2,147,483,647 characters).
  • text Definition: Variable-Length character string in the code page of the server.

    Maximum length is 2,147,483,647 characters.
    Note: will be removed in future versions. Use varchar(max) instead.

Unicode Character Strings

  • nchar Definition: Fixed-Length Unicode character string.
    Declaration: nchar(n).
    n = the number of characters.

    Space: n * 2 number of bytes

    Valid lengths for a char datatype are 1 through 4,000.
  • nvarchar Definition: Variable-Length Unicode character string.
    Declaration: nvarchar(n | max).
    n = the number of characters.

    Space: characters actually used in datatype (2 bytes per character) + 2 additional bytes

    Valid lengths for a varchar datatype are 1 through 4,000. Alternatively MAX indicates that the maximum storage size is much larger (2^31-1 bytes - 2,147,483,647 characters).
  • ntext Definition: Variable-Length character string in the code page of the server.

    Maximum length is 1,073,741,823 characters.
    Note: will be removed in future versions. Use nvarchar(max) instead.

Binary Strings

  • binary Definition: Fixed-Length binary data.
    Declaration: binary(n).

    Space: n number of bytes.
    Maximum length is 8000 bytes.
  • varbinary Definition: Variable-Length binary data.
    Declaration: varbinary(n | max).
    n = the number of characters.

    Space: actual number of bytes stored in datatype + 2 additional bytes

    Valid lengths for a varbinary datatype are 1 through 8,000. Alternatively, MAX allows for a much larger maximum storage size (2^31-1 bytes - 2,147,483,647 bytes).
  • image Definition: Variable-Length binary data.

    Maximum length is 2,147,483,647 bytes.

    Note: will be removed in future versions. Use varbinary(max) instead.

Other Data Types

  • cursor
  • sql_variant
  • table
  • timestamp
  • uniqueidentifier
  • xml

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