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What is the difference between varchar and text?

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In MySQL, the VARCHAR and TEXT data types are used to store variable-length strings of characters. The main difference between these data types is the maximum length of the strings that they can store.

The VARCHAR data type can store strings with a maximum length of 65,535 characters. It is a good choice for storing strings of variable length that are not too long, such as names, addresses, or short descriptions.

The TEXT data type, on the other hand, can store strings with a maximum length of 4,294,967,295 characters. It is a good choice for storing very long strings of text, such as articles or documents.

In addition to the difference in maximum length, there are a few other differences between the VARCHAR and TEXT data types:

  • The VARCHAR data type requires less storage space than the TEXT data type for shorter strings, because the VARCHAR data type stores the length of the string in addition to the string itself, while the TEXT data type does not. This means that the VARCHAR data type is more efficient in terms of storage space for shorter strings, but less efficient for longer strings.
  • The VARCHAR data type includes character set and collation information, which determines how the strings are sorted and compared. The TEXT data type does not include this information.

Overall, it is usually best to use the VARCHAR data type for storing strings of variable length that are not too long, and the TEXT data type for storing very long strings of text.

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