Physical Storage

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lows you to store numbers from approximately negative 9 quintillion all the way to 9 quintillion (A quintillion is a 1 followed by 18 zeros) Bigger numbers require more storage; bigint data requires 8 bytes

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Smallint On the other side of the int data type, we have smallint Smallint can hold numbers from 32,768 through 32,767 and requires only 2 bytes of storage Tinyint Rounding out the int family of data types is the tinyint Requiring only 1 byte of storage and capable of storing numbers from 0 through 255, tinyint is perfect for status columns Note that tinyint is the only int data type that cannot store negative numbers Bit The bit data type is the SQL Server equivalent of a flag or a Boolean The only valid values are 0, 1, or NULL, making the bit data type perfect for storing on or off, yes or no, or true or false Bit storage is a bit more complex (pardon the pun) Storing a 1 or a 0 requires only 1 bit on disk, but the minimum storage for bit data is 1 byte For any given table, the bit columns are lumped together for storage This means that when you have 1-bit to 8-bit columns they collectively take up 1 byte When you have 9- to 16-bit columns, they take up 2 bytes, and so on SQL Server implicitly converts the strings TRUE and FALSE to bit data of 1 and 0, respectively Decimal and Numeric In SQL Server 2008, the decimal and numeric data types are exactly the same Previous versions of SQL Server do not have a numeric data type; it was added in SQL Server 2005 so that the terminology would fall in line with other RDBMS software Both these data types hold numbers complete with detail to the right of the decimal When using decimal or numeric, you can specify a precision and a scale Precision sets the total number of digits that can be stored in the number Precision can be set to any value from 1 through 38, allowing decimal numbers to contain 1 through 38 digits Scale specifies how many of the total digits can be stored to the right of the decimal point Scale can be any number from 0 to the precision you have set For example, the number 23467 has a precision of 5 and a scale of 2 The storage requirements for decimal and numeric vary depending on the precision Table 32 shows the storage requirements based on precision

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3

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Physical Elements of Data Models

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Table 32

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Decimal and Numeric Storage Requirements

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Storage

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5 bytes 9 bytes 13 bytes 17 bytes

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Precision

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1 through 9 10 through 19 20 through 28 29 through 38

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Money and Smallmoney Both the money and the smallmoney data types store monetary values to four decimal places The only difference in these two types is that money can store values from about 922 trillion through 922 trillion and requires 8 bytes of storage, whereas smallmoney holds only values of 214,7483648 through 214,7483647 and requires only 4 bytes of storage Functionally, these types are similar to decimal and numeric, but money and smallmoney also store a currency symbol such as $ (dollar), (yen), or (pound) Float and Real Both float and real fall into the category of approximate numbers Each holds values in scientific notation, which inherently causes data loss because of a lack of precision If you don t remember your high school chemistry class, we briefly explain scientific notation You basically store a small subset of the value, followed by a designation of how many decimal places should precede or follow the value So instead of storing 1,234,467,890 you can store it as 123E+9 This says that the decimal in 123 should be moved 9 places to the right to determine the actual number As you can see, you lose a lot of detail when you store the number in this way The original number (1,234,467,890) becomes 1,230,000,000 when converted to scientific notation and back Now back to the data types Float and real store numbers in scientific notation; the only difference is the range of values and storage requirements for each See Table 31 for the range of values for these types Real requires 4 bytes of storage and has a fixed precision of 7 With float data, you can specify the precision or the total number of digits, from 1 through 53 The storage requirement varies from 4 bytes (when the precision is less than 25) to 8 bytes (when the precision is 25 through 53)

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