How Do I Get Column Data Type?


Heather Bennett

How Do I Get Column Data Type?

When working with databases, it is important to understand the data types of the columns in your tables. The column data type determines the kind of data that can be stored in a particular column. In this tutorial, we will explore different ways to get the column data type using SQL queries.

Using SQL

To get the column data type using SQL, you can use the DESCRIBE statement or query the system catalog tables.

The DESCRIBE Statement

The DESCRIBE statement is a useful command that provides information about the structure of a table and its columns. To get the data type of a specific column, you can use the following syntax:

DESCRIBE table_name;

This will display a result set containing information about all columns in the specified table, including their names, data types, and other attributes. You can find the data type under the “Type” column.

Querying System Catalog Tables

In addition to using the DESCRIBE statement, you can also query the system catalog tables directly to retrieve information about column data types. The system catalog tables store metadata about database objects such as tables, columns, indexes, and more.

To retrieve the data type of a specific column from the system catalog tables, you can use queries like:

WHERE TABLE_NAME = 'your_table'
AND COLUMN_NAME = 'your_column';

This query selects only the desired column’s name and its corresponding data type from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS table. Make sure to replace ‘your_table’ and ‘your_column’ with the appropriate table and column names.

Using Database Management Tools

Many database management tools provide graphical interfaces that allow you to view the structure of your tables, including column data types. These tools often have dedicated features for exploring and managing database schemas.

Using a database management tool, you can easily navigate to the desired table and view its columns along with their data types. This approach is particularly useful if you prefer a visual representation instead of writing SQL queries.


In this tutorial, we explored different methods to get the column data type in a database. We saw how to use SQL queries such as DESCRIBE and querying system catalog tables like INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS. Additionally, we mentioned using database management tools for an intuitive visual representation of column data types.

Understanding the data types of columns in your tables is essential for proper database design, data manipulation, and application development. With the knowledge gained from this tutorial, you can now confidently retrieve column data types using various approaches.

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