What are the downsides of using varchar(max) vs. varchar(n)?
Posted on 2009-04-28
I'm creating an application in which the vast majority of values for a text column will be under 1000 characters. However, a small number of values may have rather large values (~15,000). The simplest thing to do would be to define my column using varchar(max).
Now my question. Is their a downside to using varchar(max) vs. varchar(1000)? If not, why not always use varchar(max) when there is any doubt about the size needed for a column? Again, are their downsides either on the storage required or time needed to process queries, build indexes, etc.
My application is a .NET 2 ASP app using SQL Server 2005.