Can We Use Long Data Type in SQL?


Angela Bailey

Can We Use Long Data Type in SQL?

In SQL, the long data type is not commonly used. It is actually considered deprecated and not recommended for use in modern database systems. However, it’s still worth understanding what it is and its limitations.

The Long Data Type

The long data type was used in older versions of SQL to store variable-length character strings. It was capable of storing a large amount of text, typically up to 2GB.

Note: The specific implementation and maximum storage capacity of the long data type can vary depending on the database system being used.

Lack of Support and Limitations

While the long data type provided a large storage capacity, it had several limitations that eventually led to its deprecation:

  • No indexing: Columns with the long data type cannot be indexed, making it inefficient for searching or sorting large datasets.
  • No support for string functions: Many useful string manipulation functions such as substring extraction or concatenation are not available for columns with the long data type.
  • No support for comparison operators: Columns with the long data type cannot be directly compared using comparison operators like ‘=’, ‘>’, or ‘<'.
  • Inefficient memory usage: The storage size allocated for a column with the long data type is fixed, regardless of the actual length of the stored text. This can result in inefficient memory usage when storing shorter texts.

Due to these limitations, the long data type has been replaced by more efficient and feature-rich alternatives in modern SQL databases.

Alternatives to the Long Data Type

To store large amounts of text in SQL, it is recommended to use other data types depending on the database system:

  • VARCHAR: The VARCHAR data type is commonly used to store variable-length character strings. It allows for efficient storage and provides various string manipulation functions.
  • TEXT: The TEXT data type is designed specifically for large text values. It offers efficient storage and supports indexing, making it suitable for searching and sorting operations.

In addition to these alternatives, some database systems also provide specific data types optimized for storing large text or binary data, such as CLOB (Character Large Object) or BLOB (Binary Large Object).


The long data type in SQL is deprecated and not recommended for use in modern database systems. Its limitations, such as lack of indexing and support for string functions, make it inefficient compared to alternative data types like VARCHAR or TEXT. When working with large text values, it’s important to choose the appropriate data type based on the specific requirements of your database system.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy