What Data Type Is Money in SQL Server?


Scott Campbell

When working with SQL Server, it is essential to understand the different data types and how they can be utilized. One common question that often arises is, “What data type should be used to store money values in SQL Server?” In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and provide insights into handling monetary values effectively.

Data Types for Monetary Values

In SQL Server, there are dedicated data types specifically designed for storing monetary values. The two primary options are money and decimal. Let’s take a closer look at each of these data types:

The Money Data Type

The money data type is a fixed-point numeric type that can store monetary values within a range of -922,337,203,685,477.5808 to 922,337,203,685,477.5807. This type is ideal for scenarios where precision beyond four decimal places is not required.

When declaring a column as a money data type, you can utilize the following syntax:

column_name MONEY

The Decimal Data Type

The decimal (also known as numeric) data type provides more precise control over decimal places compared to the money type. It allows you to define both the total number of digits and the number of decimal places.

To specify a column as a decimal, you need to use the following syntax:

column_name DECIMAL(precision,scale)

In this syntax,

  • Precision: Represents the total number of digits that can be stored, including both the whole and decimal parts.
  • Scale: Indicates the number of decimal places that can be stored.

For example, if you want to store monetary values up to a precision of 10 digits with 2 decimal places, you would use:

column_name DECIMAL(10,2)

Choosing the Right Data Type

When deciding between the money and decimal data types for storing monetary values in SQL Server, consider the level of precision required for your application.

If your application deals with financial calculations that demand precise accuracy beyond four decimal places, it is recommended to use the decimal data type. This provides control over the number of digits and decimal places and ensures accurate calculations.

In scenarios where precision beyond four decimal places is unnecessary or not critical, using the money data type can be more efficient in terms of storage space and performance.

In Conclusion

Determining which data type to use for storing monetary values in SQL Server depends on the specific requirements of your application. While the money data type offers simplicity and efficiency for most scenarios, the decimal data type provides greater control over precision when needed.

To summarize,

  • The money data type:
  • – Suitable for most scenarios
    – Limited to a fixed range
    – Provides up to four decimal places of precision

  • The decimal data type:
  • – Offers precise control over both total digits and decimal places
    – Ideal for financial calculations that require high precision beyond four decimal places

By understanding the differences between these data types, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your monetary values are stored accurately and efficiently in SQL Server.

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