What Is Integer Data Type in SQL Server?

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Scott Campbell

What Is Integer Data Type in SQL Server?

In SQL Server, the integer data type is used to store whole numbers. It is one of the most commonly used data types in database systems. Integers are used to represent quantities, counts, indices, and other numeric values that do not have decimal places.

Integer Data Types in SQL Server

SQL Server provides several integer data types to suit different range requirements:

  • TINYINT: This data type can store whole numbers ranging from 0 to 255. It occupies 1 byte of storage.
  • SMALLINT: With a range of -32,768 to 32,767, this data type can hold larger values than TINYINT.

    It consumes 2 bytes of storage.

  • INT: The INT data type is commonly used for most integer values and has a range of -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. It uses 4 bytes of storage.
  • BIGINT: As the largest integer data type offered by SQL Server, BIGINT can store values from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775. It requires 8 bytes of storage.

Determining the Appropriate Integer Data Type

To choose the appropriate integer data type for your needs:

  1. Consider the range of possible values: Be mindful of the minimum and maximum values that your column or variable may need to store. Select an integer data type that can accommodate that range.
  2. Think about the storage space: While it may be tempting to use BIGINT for all cases, keep in mind that it will consume more disk space than smaller integer types.

    Opt for the smallest data type that can accommodate your range requirements.

  3. Consider performance implications: Using a larger data type than necessary can impact query performance and memory usage. Choosing a smaller data type can improve efficiency.

Example Usage

Let’s consider an example where we have a table named “Employees” and we want to store the age of each employee. Assuming the maximum age is 100, we can use the TINYINT data type to store this information efficiently:

CREATE TABLE Employees
(
    EmployeeID INT,
    FirstName VARCHAR(50),
    LastName VARCHAR(50),
    Age TINYINT
)

The TINYINT data type allows us to store values ranging from 0 to 255, which is ample for representing the age of an employee.

In Conclusion

The integer data types provided by SQL Server offer flexibility in representing whole numbers with varying ranges. By selecting the appropriate integer data type based on your requirements, you can ensure efficient storage and optimal performance in your database system.

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