How Do You Define an Integer Data Type in SQL?


Scott Campbell

When working with databases, one of the most basic and fundamental data types is the integer. In SQL, an integer data type is used to store whole numbers without any decimal places.

It is commonly used for representing quantities, counts, and identifiers. In this article, we will explore how to define and use integer data types in SQL.

Defining an Integer Data Type

In SQL, there are different ways to define an integer data type depending on the database system you are using. The two most common integer data types are INT and INTEGER.

To define a column with an integer data type, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name INT

The above code creates a table with a column named column_name of type INT. This column can now store whole numbers within the range supported by the integer data type.

The INT Data Type

The INT data type is commonly used in SQL databases to store integers. It typically occupies 4 bytes of storage and can represent values within a specific range. The exact range of values that can be stored as an INT depends on the database system being used.

To specify additional constraints on the INT data type, such as defining a minimum or maximum value or making it auto-incrementing, you can use various modifiers provided by your database system.

The INTEGER Data Type

The INTEGER data type is similar to the INT data type and is often used interchangeably with it. Both have similar storage requirements and represent whole numbers without decimal places.

The INTEGER data type is also subject to the range constraints of your database system, just like the INT data type. It can be used in the same way as INT and offers the same flexibility in terms of modifiers and constraints.

Using Integer Data Types

Once you have defined a column with an integer data type, you can use it to store and manipulate whole numbers within your database.

For example, let’s say we have a table named employees, and we want to store their ages. We can define an age column with an integer data type as follows:

CREATE TABLE employees (
    name VARCHAR(50),
    age INT

Now, we can insert records into the employees table by specifying the name and age values:

INSERT INTO employees (name, age)
VALUES ('John Doe', 30);

We can also perform various operations on columns with integer data types, such as filtering records based on specific age ranges or performing mathematical calculations using arithmetic operators.

In Conclusion

The integer data type in SQL is essential for storing whole numbers without decimal places. By properly defining an integer column in your database tables, you can ensure that your data is accurately represented and efficiently manipulated. Whether you choose to use INT or INTEGER, both provide similar functionality and flexibility in working with integers within SQL databases.

Remember to consult your specific database system’s documentation for more details on the exact range of values supported by each integer data type and any additional modifiers or constraints available.

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