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SQL Server FAQ - Differences between CHAR and VARCHAR

By: FYIcenter.com

(Continued from previous topic...)

What Are the Differences between CHAR and VARCHAR?

CHAR and VARCHAR are both used to store code page based character strings. But they have the following main differences:

  • CHAR(n) stores character strings with a fixed length, n bytes, storage format.
  • VARCHAR(n) stores character strings with a variable length, less than n bytes, storage format.
  • If the input string of CHAR(n) has less than n bytes, it will be padded with space characters to become n bytes.
  • If the input string of VARCHAR(n) has less than n bytes, it will not be padded with any characters.
  • If the input string of CHAR(n) has more than n bytes, it will be truncated to n bytes.
  • If the input string of VARCHAR(n) has more than n bytes, it will also be truncated to n bytes.

(Continued on next topic...)

  1. What Is SQL Language?
  2. What Is Transact-SQL Language?
  3. What Is a Transact-SQL Statement?
  4. How To Start and End Transact-SQL Statements?
  5. How To Enter Comments in Transact-SQL Statements?
  6. What Is a Transact-SQL Statement Batch?
  7. What Happens to a Statement Batch If There Is a Compilation Error?
  8. How To Use GO Command in "sqlcmd"?
  9. How To Create User Messages with PRINT Statements?
  10. How Many Categories of Data Types Used by SQL Server?
  11. What Are Exact Numeric Data Types?
  12. What Are Approximate Numeric Data Types?
  13. What Are Date and Time Data Types?
  14. What Are Character String Data Types?
  15. What Are Unicode Character String Data Types?
  16. What Are Binary String Data Types?
  17. What Are the Differences between CHAR and NCHAR?
  18. What Are the Differences between CHAR and VARCHAR?
  19. What Are the Differences between DECIMAL and FLOAT?

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