Normally refers to a variable length string data type.

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25
votes
3answers
27k views

What is the performance impact of using CHAR vs VARCHAR on a fixed-size field?

I have an indexed column that stores an MD5 hash. Thus, the column will always store a 32-character value. For whatever reason, this was created as a varchar rather than a char. Is it worth the ...
21
votes
5answers
13k views

Performance implications of MySQL VARCHAR sizes

Is there a performance difference in MySQL between varchar sizes? For example, varchar(25) and varchar(64000). If not, is there a reason not to declare all varchars with the max size just to ensure ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Should I add an arbitrary length limit to VARCHAR columns?

According to PostgreSQL's docs, there's no performance difference between VARCHAR, VARCHAR(n) and TEXT. Should I add an arbitrary length limit to a name or address column?
6
votes
1answer
656 views

Would index lookup be noticeably faster with char vs varchar when all values are 36 chars

I have a legacy schema (disclaimer!) that uses a hash-based generated id for the primary key for all tables (there are many). An example of such an id is: 922475bb-ad93-43ee-9487-d2671b886479 There ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the consequences of setting varchar(8000)?

Since varchar takes disk space proportional to the size of the field, is there any reason why we shouldn't always define varchar as the maximum, e.g. varchar(8000) on SQL Server? On create table, if ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

SQL Server VARCHAR Column Width

Searching around the web, I have found conflicting advice on whether there is a performance impact when specifying overly-wide VARCHAR columns, e.g. VARCHAR(255) when VARCHAR(30) will probably do. I ...
4
votes
1answer
26k views

Converting a VARCHAR to VARBINARY

I've been keeping a log of expensive running queries, along with their query plans, in a table to allow us to monitor trends in performance and identify areas that need optimising. However, it's come ...
13
votes
1answer
12k views

Possible INDEX on a VARCHAR field in MySql

I am working in a MySql database, with a table like this: +--------------+ | table_name | +--------------+ | myField | +--------------+ ...and I need to make a lot of queries like this (with ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What effect will reducing the size of a varchar column have on the database file?

We have a number of tables in our database that have VARCHAR(MAX) columns where a VARCHAR(500) (or something much smaller than max) will suffice. Naturally I want to clean these up, and get the sizes ...
5
votes
3answers
751 views

Why is Row Overflow not working on SQL Server 2005

I have a SQL Server 2005 database with a table that has around 860 columns. Aside from the ID column all other columns are varchar(N) where N is either 100 or 500. Upon inserting a new row (via an ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Which problems arise, declaring the size of all varchar parameters as max in stored proc?

Looking at this question, it seems, that other sites too have the problem of increasing column sizes in the process of time. Increasing just the size of a column in a table is a rather simple task. ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Varchar index - will hashing value make it faster?

I have a VARCHAR(1000) column in a table. It will contain strings that will not be guaranteed to be unique. I have a query that searches this column as part of a WHERE IN clause, the list of values in ...