SQL Server 2012 Data Types Reference

This SQL Server 2012 specific sheet was extracted from the orginal (all versions) 'SQL Server Data Types Reference' article. Please see the full original article for more details on why data types knowledge is important. The original article →

The SQL Server 2012 Data Types reference sheet

Datatype Min Max Storage Type Notes
Bigint -2^63 2^63-1 8 bytes Exact
Int -2,147,483,648 2,147,483,647 4 bytes Exact
Smallint -32,768 32,767 2 bytes Exact
Tinyint 0 255 1 bytes Exact
Bit 0 1 1 to 8 bit columns in the same table requires a total of 1 byte, 9 to 16 bits = 2 bytes, etc... Exact
Decimal -10^38+1 10^38–1 Precision 1-9 = 5 bytes, precision 10-19 = 9 bytes, precision 20-28 = 13 bytes, precision 29-38 = 17 bytes Exact The Decimal and the Numeric data type is exactly the same. Precision is the total number of digits. Scale is the number of decimals. For both the minimum is 1 and the maximum is 38.
Numeric same as Decimal same as Decimal same as Decimal Exact
Money -2^63 / 10000 2^63-1 / 10000 8 bytes Exact
Smallmoney -214,748.3648 214,748.3647 4 bytes Exact
Float -1.79E + 308 1.79E + 308 4 bytes when precision is less than 25 and 8 bytes when precision is 25 through 53 Approx Precision is specified from 1 to 53.
Real -3.40E + 38 3.40E + 38 4 bytes Approx Precision is fixed to 7.
Datetime 1753-01-01 00:00:00.000 9999-12-31 23:59:59.997 8 bytes Datetime If you are running SQL Server 2008 or later and need milliseconds precision, use datetime2(3) instead to save 1 byte.
Smalldatetime 1900-01-01 00:00 2079-06-06 23:59 Datetime
Date 0001-01-01 9999-12-31 3 bytes Datetime
Time 00:00:00.0000000 23:59:59.9999999 Datetime Specifying the precision is possible. TIME(3) will have milliseconds precision. TIME(7) is the highest and the default precision. Casting values to a lower precision will round the value.
Datetime2 0001-01-01 00:00:00.0000000 9999-12-31 23:59:59.9999999 Presicion 1-2 = 6 bytes precision 3-4 = 7 bytes precision 5-7 = 8 bytes Datetime Combines the date datatype and the time datatype into one. The precision logic is the same as for the time datatype.
Datetimeoffset 0001-01-01 00:00:00.0000000 -14:00 9999-12-31 23:59:59.9999999 +14:00 Presicion 1-2 = 8 bytes precision 3-4 = 9 bytes precision 5-7 = 10 bytes Datetime Is a datetime2 datatype with the UTC offset appended.
Char 0 chars 8000 chars Defined width String Fixed width
Varchar 0 chars 8000 chars 2 bytes + number of chars String Variable width
Varchar(max) 0 chars 2^31 chars 2 bytes + number of chars String Variable width
Text 0 chars 2,147,483,647 chars 4 bytes + number of chars String Variable width
Nchar 0 chars 4000 chars Defined width x 2 Unicode Fixed width
Nvarchar 0 chars 4000 chars Unicode Variable width
Nvarchar(max) 0 chars 2^30 chars Unicode Variable width
Ntext 0 chars 1,073,741,823 chars Unicode Variable width
Binary 0 bytes 8000 bytes Binary Fixed width
Varbinary 0 bytes 8000 bytes Binary Variable width
Varbinary(max) 0 bytes 2^31 bytes Binary Variable width
Image 0 bytes 2,147,483,647 bytes Binary Variable width. Prefer to use the varbinary(max) type as the image type will be removed in future versions.
Sql_variant Other Stores values of various SQL Server-supported data types, except text, ntext, and timestamp.
Timestamp Other Stores a database-wide unique number that gets updated every time a row gets updated.
Uniqueidentifier Other Stores a globally unique identifier (GUID).
Xml Other Stores XML data. You can store xml instances in a column or a variable.
Cursor Other A reference to a cursor.
Table Other Stores a result set for later processing.

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