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Write to VARCHAR(MAX)

Posted on 2011-03-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Ok, this is probably really simple but.... how the hell do I write more than 8000 characters to a VARCHAR(MAX) in Managament Studio on SQL 2008?

If I use REPLICATE to write an arbitary string of 10000 characters and it's fine. If i try and write any actual data it trims it to 8000 characters.
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Question by:Carl Tawn
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15 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:jimyX
ID: 35200935
Varchar is limited. Use Text instead of the Varchar.
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35200969
How do you know it trims them?
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35200981
this works fine for me

declare @x varchar(max)
set @x = replicate('x', 8000)
set @x = @x + replicate('y', 8000)
print right(@x, 50)
print len(@x)
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35200990
Because using SELECT DATALENGTH([MyColumn]) returns 8000, and only the first 8000 characters are being pulled back to my app.
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35201002
do you get all y's for the first line and 16000 for the 2nd above?
datalength works fine for me too.
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35201077
Yes. As I said in my original question, writing to the column using REPLICATE works fine, it's just writing any actual real data that is being truncated.
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35201159
Can you show me some of the code you're using where the data gets trimmed?

and, do not use text...it will go away some day.
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35201191
Basically:
UPDATE [SomeTable] SET [SomeColumn] = 'some string with more than 8000 characters' WHERE [somecolumn] = 'some value'

Open in new window

The column is defined as VARCHAR(MAX)
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LVL 60

Accepted Solution

by:
chapmandew earned 2000 total points
ID: 35201242
this works fine for me.  Maybe your string is getting cutoff somehow before it hits the update statement?

create table #t(fld1 varchar(max))
declare @x varchar(max)
set @x = replicate('x', 8000)
set @x = @x + replicate('y', 8000)
print right(@x, 50)
print datalength(@x)
insert into #t
select @x


select right(fld1, 50) from #t

select datalength(fld1) from #t

update #t
set fld1 = fld1 + replicate('z', 8000)


select right(fld1, 50) from #t

select datalength(fld1) from #t
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:wdosanjos
ID: 35201366
Please verify that all variables / parameters used to hold your varchar(max) value are defined as varchar(max).
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35201563
OK, after some experimenting, it appears to be an issue with the fact that I am embedding CHAR(13) and CHAR(9) into the data i am trying to write. So, how do I write to a VARCHAR(MAX) including those two characters?
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35201587
hmmm...that is interesting.  can you test to see if it works with a nvarchar(max) field?
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LVL 52

Author Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35201590
Actually scratch that. Instead of:
'some text' + CHAR(13) + CHAR(9) + 'blah blah'

Open in new window

I had to use:
'some text' + CAST(CHAR(13) + CHAR(9) AS VARCHAR(MAX)) + 'blah blah'

Open in new window

Odd that it can't manage to convert them itself though.
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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 35201622
yeah, Im not surprised though.  Some of the ways it handles character values are strange.
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LVL 52

Author Closing Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 35201719
Not exactly a solution, but a very useful sanity check :)
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