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However oracle keeps making my numbers 22 bytes long This assumption is wrong. Values stored in a NUMBER column take up only as much space as needed. Quote from the manual A NUMBER value requires from 1 to 22 bytes (emphasis mine) This can be validated using the VSIZE() function: create table foo (id number(22), some_value number(22,8)); ...


See here ixora. Number has variable length, like string. each digit occupies one nibble (4bits, half byte) NUMBER implementation is platform independent you can validate size of number value in a culumn by calling dump() function PS: Oracle also supports native intergers like PLS_INTEGER, but these can only be used in PL/SQL context only.

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