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Difference between char and varchar

SQL comprises a different datatype which is highly efficient and beneficial. The most popular and commonly used one of these are Char and Varchar data types. The properties of all SQL data types such as NVARCHAR, VARCHAR 2, VARCHAR, and CHAR differ from each other. But all of these have one similarity that is the storage of alphanumeric values.


What is CHAR Data Type?

It is a fabulously significant datatype of SQL that is meant to store data. It performs the storage of the character string with ease. However, there is often the padding of blank spaces when the string length is small. When you observe the extra blank spaces, it is clear that fixed length is more while string length is small. The storage size of char data type is quite essential to determine. It is present in n bytes.  One must use this data type of SQL when the data values are of the same length and are present in the form of a column.

What is Varchar Data Type?

Varchar data type must not be confused with the char data type. It has the peculiar characteristics that grant reputation to it. Just like char data type, it also stores data. But in the case of varchar data type, there is storing of data with variable length. However, there is a specific maximum set length, while the char stores data with padding of extra blank spaces.

But varchar data type stores the data without any padding. When the string length is small while the fixed length is more than the storage would have extra blank spaces without any padding. This type of SQL data type is worthy of use when the data values are not of the same length. The variable-length data values suit the best for the varchar data type.


CHAR is the acronym of Character, while VARCHAR is the acronym for the variable Character. Many people go through the whole concept of the SQL data types, but they do not know what CHAR and VARCHAR stand for. It is mandatory to know the complete form of the terms you will use or choose.

Performance: Difference between char and varchar

Performance is the main criteria for making the final selection of SQL data type. One must stele for the option that comes up with more quality and better performance. If we talk about the performance, the CHAR data type is highly swift than the VARCHAR. Similarly, it performs pretty well as compared to the VARCHAR. VARCHAR often comes up with different performance issues.

Also read: Difference between overloading and overriding

In a Nutshell

CHAR can hold anyone data characters such as number or letter. For instance, it can have any one of these variables (#, four, or A) at one time. Most commonly programming languages that support and use char are Java, C#, C++, and C. When the length of values has variation, then VARCHAR seems to contribute generously. In such a case, VARCHAR ensures to save space. However, CHAR could be much better and sensible in terms of performance.



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