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in MSSQL what data type should I use for long strings

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am storing some large strings in my MS SQL server. I want to use TEXT as the data type but am told that this will become obsolete in later versions of MSSQL server so I shouldn't use it. They say I should use NVarchar , but the max characters is 4,000, I need more than 4,000 characters in my strings. Is there a data type I can use for very large strings?

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Question by:elliottbenzle
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6 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33693643
You want varchar(MAX) or nvarchar(MAX); they store up to 2G data, which should hold whatever you need to put in the fields.

hth

valkyrie_nc
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Author Comment

by:elliottbenzle
ID: 33693769
I tried to enter varchar(max) but get the error:

"Setting for Length must be from 1 to 8000."

leading me to believe that the maximum number of characters is 8000, which is less than I need.
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Expert Comment

by:aryef
ID: 33693782
according to me experience, varchar(max) stores 4000 characters, while nvarchar(max) stores 2000 unicode characters.
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Expert Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33693869
what version of SQL server are you using?  Varchar(MAX) is new to 2005, but the error you're showing seems to be 2000.
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Expert Comment

by:aryef
ID: 33693929
when we nneded to store more that the max value, whatever it is, we split the string into a number of nvarchar(max)  fields. In practice, 4 to 6 such fields was enough  to store whatever we needed.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott Pletcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 33697047
In SQL 2000, you will be forced to use TEXT if it exceeds 8000 chars.

In SQL 2005, you can use varchar(MAX).

That error message doesn't look exactly like a SQL 2000 msg when you specify MAX.  What software is that msg coming from?
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