Schema - Do you only use Unicode datatypes (nchar, nvarchar and ntext) in special circumstances?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

Columns defined using the nchar and nvarchar datatypes can store any character defined by the Unicode Standard, which includes all of the characters defined in the various English and Non-English character sets. These datatypes take twice as much storage space per characters as non-Unicode data types.

It is not the disk space costs that are the concern. It is the 8060 limit, please refer to Maximum Capacity Specifications for SQL Server for details.

If your database stores only English characters, this is a waste of space. Don't use Unicode double-byte datatypes such as nchar and nvarchar unless you are doing multilingual applications.

If you need to store more that 255 Characters, use Varchar(max) or nvarchar(max).

Adam Cogan
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