[<< wikibooks] Structured Query Language/Data Types
The SQL standard knows three kinds of data types

predefined data types
constructed types
user-defined types.This page presents only the predefined data types. Constructed types are one of ARRAY, MULTISET, REF(erence) or
ROW. User-defined types are comparable to classes in object-oriented language with their own constructors, observers, mutators, methods, inheritance, overloading, overwriting, interfaces, and so on.


== Overview ==
The standard groups predefined data types into types with similar characteristics.

Character TypesCharacter (CHAR)
Character Varying (VARCHAR)
Character Large Object (CLOB)Binary TypesBinary (BINARY)
Binary Varying (VARBINARY)
Binary Large Object (BLOB)Numeric TypesExact Numeric Types (NUMERIC, DECIMAL, SMALLINT, INTEGER, BIGINT)
Approximate Numeric Types (FLOAT, REAL, DOUBLE PRECISION)Datetime Types (DATE, TIME, TIMESTAMP)
Interval Type (INTERVAL)
Boolean
XML
JSON (since SQL:2016)Character types hold printable characters, binary types any binary data. Both may have a fixed or variable size with an upper limit. If the upper limit exceeds a certain value, the type is a 'large object' with special methods and functions. 
Exact numeric types hold numeric values without digits after the decimal or with a firm number of digits after the decimal. Please note that the standard does not define a separate data type 'auto-increment' for generating primary keys. Instead he defines the phrase 'GENERATED ALWAYS AS IDENTITY' as part of the CREATE TABLE statement, see CREATE TABLE statement or auto-increment-columns.
Approximate numeric types hold numeric values with an implementation-defined precision (after the decimal).
Temporal types hold values for INTERVAL (a certain range on the time bar), DATE (year, month, day), TIME with and without TIMEZONE (name of timezone, hour, minute, second including fraction) and TIMESTAMP with and without TIMEZONE (name of timezone, year to second including fraction).
The boolean data type holds the two values true and false.
Part 14 of the SQL standard extends the list of predefined data types by introducing the data type XML (Oracle calls it XMLType) together with a bunch of particular functions. Columns of this type hold XML instances.
In the outdated SQL-2 standard, there was a data type 'BIT'. This data type is no longer part of the standard.
Most DBMS implement the majority of predefined data types, but there are some exceptions. Also, the naming differs slightly. An overview of the major implementations is available in the Wikibook SQL_Dialects_Reference.
Data types are used within the CREATE TABLE statement as part of column definitions - or during CAST operations.


== Character ==
A series of printable characters - which is a string - can be stored within character string types. If all rows of a table use the same fixed size for the strings, the data type is CHAR() where  is the size of the strings. If the size varies from row to row, the data type VARCHAR() defines that up to  characters can be stored in the column. So  defines the upper limit for this column. The maximum value for  depends on the used DBMS implementation. If applications need to store longer strings than it is allowed by this upper system limit, the data type CLOB must be used. Also CLOB has its own upper limit, but this is significantly greater than the upper limit of VARCHAR.

Hint: Unlike other programming languages, SQL does not distinguish between a character data type and a string data type. It knows only the character string data types CHAR, VARCHAR and CLOB.


== Binary ==
Binary data types are similar to character data types. They differ in that they accept a different range of bytes. Binary data types accept all values.

A hint to Oracle users: The data type BINARY is not supported, the data type VARBINARY is denoted as RAW and is deprecated. Oracle recommends the use of BLOB.


== Exact Numeric ==
Exact numeric types hold numeric values without digits after the decimal or with a firm number of digits after the decimal. All exact numeric types are signed.
NUMERIC(

,) and DECIMAL(

,) denotes two types which are nearly the same.

(precision) defines a fixed number of all digits within the type and (scale) defines how many of those digits follow the decimal place. Numeric values with more than (p - s) digits before the decimal place cannot be stored and numeric values with more than s digits after the decimal place are truncated to s digits after the decimal place. p and s are optional. It must always be: p ≥ s ≥ 0 and p > 0. SMALLINT, INTEGER and BIGINT denote data types without a decimal place. The SQL standard did not define their size, but the size of SMALLINT shall be smaller than the size of INTEGER and the size of INTEGER shall be smaller than the size of BIGINT. == Approximate Numeric == Approximate numeric types hold numeric values with an implementation-defined precision (after the decimal). All approximate numeric types are signed. Their primary use cases are scientific computations. There are three types: FLOAT (

), REAL and DOUBLE PRECISION, where p denotes the guaranteed precision of the FLOAT data type. The precision of REAL and DOUBLE PRECISION is implementation defined. == Temporal == Data types with respect to temporal aspects are: DATE, TIME, TIMESTAMP and INTERVAL. DATE stores year, month and day. TIME stores hour, minute and second. TIMESTAMP stores year, month, day, hour, minute and second. Seconds can contain digits after the decimal. TIME and TIMESTAMP can contain the name of a TIME ZONE. The SQL standard defines two kinds of INTERVALs. The first one is an interval with year and month, the second one is an interval with day, hour, minute, and second. A hint to Oracle users: The data type TIME is not supported. Use DATE instead. A hint to MySQL users: The use of TIME ZONE as part of data types is not supported. MySQL implements a different concept to handle time zones. Fractions of seconds are not supported. The data type INTERVAL is not supported, but there is a data value INTERVAL. == Boolean == SQL has a 3-value-logic. It knows the boolean values true, false and unknown. Columns of the boolean data type can store one of the two values true or false. unknown is represented by storing no value, which is the NULL indicator. == XML == Part 14 of the SQL standard extends the list of predefined data types by introducing the data type XML. The standard also defines a wide range of particular functions for this data type. A hint to Oracle users: The data type XML is denoted as XMLType. A hint to MySQL users: The data type XML is not supported. == Domains == In the context of data types, the standard knows domains. The purpose of domains is to constrain the set of valid values that can be stored in a column. The domain-concept is a very early predecessor of user-defined types and may be outdated. == Clean Up == == Exercises ==


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