Here is a very interesting question I received in an email just another day. Some questions just are so good that it makes me wonder how come I have not faced it first hand. Anyway here is the question –
“Pinal, I am migrating my database from MySQL to SQL Server and I have faced unique situation.
I have been using Unsigned 64-bit integer in MySQL but when I try to migrate that column to SQL Server, I am facing an issue as there is no datatype which I find appropriate for my column. It is now too late to change the datatype and I need immediate solution.
One chain of thought was to change the data type of the column from Unsigned 64-bit (BIGINT) to VARCHAR(n) but that will just change the data type for me such that I will face quite a lot of performance related issues in future. In SQL Server we also have the BIGINT data type but that is Signed 64-bit datatype. BIGINT datatype in SQL Server have range of -2^63 (-9,223,372,036,854,775,808) to 2^63-1 (9,223,372,036,854,775,807). However, my digit is much larger than this number.
Is there anyway, I can store my big 64-bit Unsigned Integer without loosing much of the performance of by converting it to VARCHAR.”
Very interesting question, for the sake of the argument, we can ask user that there should be no need of such a big number or if you are taking about identity column I really doubt that if your table will grow beyond this table. Here the real question which I found interesting was how to store 64-bit unsigned integer value in SQL Server without converting it to String data type. After thinking a bit, I found a fairly simple answer.
I can use NUMERIC data type.
I can use NUMERIC(20) datatype for 64-bit unsigned integer value, NUMERIC(10) datatype for 32-bit unsigned integer value and NUMERIC(5) datatype for 16-bit unsigned integer value. Numeric datatype supports 38 maximum of 38 precision.
Now here is another thing to keep in mind.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)