SQL Large Value Data Types

by Ahlyzik M

A crucial part of physical data modeling relies on good design of both the logical architecture as well as the physical construct. Data types are used to act as constraints for the data being used in the database. The business rules will determine the data type as per the requirements. To adjust for the various types of data, Microsoft SQL 2005 contains several data types to choose from. Of these data types, there are a few that are used to handle large data sets. While these data types are useful for certain business rules, Microsoft has release a few new data types called VARCHAR(MAX), NVARCHAR(MAX) and VARBINARY(MAX).

The advantage to having these data types is that a large amount of data can be retrieved through a single input. This in turn allows for faster performance as a single instantiation of data is retrieved as opposed to multiple pieces of data with small a small size. These new data types allow for a developer to handle long lines of string data as these data types are designed to make large data sets easier to manage.


Its good to see that a top company such as Microsoft is constantly thinking ahead and creating technologies that make development easier. These new data types are great in the sense that they provide the developer with more flexibility and agility when developing a database. When looking at the various data types, there was not much that was able to handle large sets of data. Before, the data was retrieved individually, but with these new data types it is retrieved in bulk and I think that is a great thing to see when considering an implementation of a database.


Larsen, Gregory A. (2006, September 20). SQL Server 2005 Large Value Data Types. Retrieved October 30, 2011, from http://www.databasejournal.com/features/mssql/article.php/3632906/SQL-Server-2005-Large-Value-Data-Types.htm