# Is Decimal a Data Type in Database?

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Scott Campbell

Is Decimal a Data Type in Database?

In database management systems, data types play a crucial role in defining the kind of data that can be stored in a particular field or column. One such commonly used data type is decimal.

## What is the Decimal Data Type?

The decimal data type is used to store numeric values with a fixed precision and scale. It is often used for financial and monetary calculations where accuracy and precision are paramount.

The precision of a decimal data type represents the total number of digits that can be stored, both to the left and right of the decimal point. The scale, on the other hand, represents the maximum number of digits that can be stored to the right of the decimal point.

## Examples of Decimal Data Types

Let’s consider a few examples to better understand how decimal data types work.

• A column defined as `DECIMAL(5, 2)` can store values like `123.45`, `-12.34`, or `0.00`. Here, the total length is 5 (including both sides of the decimal point), and there can be up to 2 digits after the decimal point.
• A column defined as `DECIMAL(8, 0)` can store values like `12345678`, `-98765432`, or `0`. In this case, there are no decimal places allowed as the scale is set to zero.

## Differences Between Decimal and Other Numeric Data Types

The decimal data type differs from other numeric data types, such as integer or float, in terms of precision and scale. While integer data types store whole numbers without decimal places, float data types are used for approximate numeric values with variable precision.

The decimal data type offers a fixed precision and scale, making it ideal for scenarios where exact numerical accuracy is required. For financial calculations or storing precise measurements, the decimal data type is often preferred over other alternatives.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, the decimal data type is an essential component of database management systems. It provides a way to store numeric values with fixed precision and scale, making it suitable for accurate financial calculations and precise measurements.

By understanding how the decimal data type works and its differences from other numeric data types, you can make informed decisions when designing database schemas and selecting appropriate data types for your specific requirements.