What Is Text Data Type in SQL Server?


Heather Bennett

The text data type in SQL Server is used to store large amounts of alphanumeric data. It can store up to 2^31-1 (2,147,483,647) characters. This data type is commonly used to store long paragraphs or textual content such as articles, blog posts, or user comments.

Creating a Text Column

To create a text column in SQL Server, you can use the TEXT data type in the CREATE TABLE statement:

    TextColumn TEXT

In the example above, we create a table called “MyTable” with a single column named “TextColumn” of type TEXT.

Inserting Data into a Text Column

To insert data into a text column, you can use the INSERT INTO statement:

INSERT INTO MyTable (TextColumn)
VALUES ('Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.');

In this example, we insert a long string of text into the “TextColumn” of the “MyTable” table.

Selecting Data from a Text Column

To select data from a text column, you can use the SELECT statement:

SELECT TextColumn
FROM MyTable;

This will retrieve all the values stored in the “TextColumn” of the “MyTable” table.

Differences Between Text and Varchar(Max)

In SQL Server, there is another data type called VARCHAR(MAX), which can also be used to store large amounts of character data. However, there are a few differences between the TEXT and VARCHAR(MAX) data types:

  • The TEXT data type is deprecated in SQL Server 2019 and later versions. It is recommended to use VARCHAR(MAX) instead.
  • The maximum storage size for a VARCHAR(MAX) column is the same as the TEXT data type (2^31-1 characters).
  • VARCHAR(MAX) allows you to apply most string functions and operations, while some are not supported for the TEXT data type.
  • VARCHAR(MAX) supports row-level security, while the TEXT data type does not.

In Conclusion

The text data type in SQL Server is useful when you need to store large amounts of alphanumeric data. Although it has been deprecated in recent versions of SQL Server, it can still be used for backward compatibility purposes. However, it is recommended to use the VARCHAR(MAX) data type instead for better functionality and compatibility with newer versions of SQL Server.

I hope this article has given you a clear understanding of what the text data type is and how it can be used in SQL Server!

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