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String Types

Hyper supports three genera-purpose string types:

textvariable length
character varying(n), varchar(n)variable length with limit
character(n), char(n)fixed length with padding

If in doubt, use text for your string columns by default.

There is no performance difference among the three types described here. While character(n) has performance advantages in some other database systems, there is no such advantage in Hyper. Because of internal storage compression, there is also no disk space trade-off between the three types. Also note that adding a length limit potentially makes insertions and operations slightly slower due to length checks. For these reasons, we recommend simply using text in most situations.

SQL defines two primary character types: character varying(n) and character(n), where n is a positive integer. Both of these types can store strings up to n characters (not bytes) in length. An attempt to store a longer string into a column of these types will result in only the first n characters being stored, while the remaining characters are dropped. If the string to be stored is shorter than the declared length, values of type character will be space-padded; values of type character varying will simply store the shorter string.

If one explicitly casts a value to character varying(n) or character(n), then an over-length value will be truncated to n characters without raising an error. (This is required by the SQL standard.)

The notations varchar(n) and char(n) are aliases for character varying(n) and character(n), respectively. character without length specifier is equivalent to character(1). If character varying is used without length specifier, the type accepts strings with length up to 2 GB.

In addition, Hyper provides the text type, which stores strings of any length up to 2 GB. Although the type text is not in the SQL standard, several other SQL database management systems have it as well.

In contrast to some other, older database systems, Hyper is fully Unicode-aware. All strings in Hyper are stored as UTF-8 internally, there are no character set considerations, as for some other database systems such as PostgresQL.


CREATE TABLE test (a text);
INSERT INTO test1 VALUES ('ok', 'good', 'just perfect');
SELECT b, char_length(b) FROM test2;

a | char_length
ok | 2
good | 4
just perfect | 12

CREATE TABLE test1 (a character(4));
INSERT INTO test1 VALUES ('ok');
SELECT a, char_length(a) FROM test1; --

a | char_length
ok | 2

CREATE TABLE test2 (b varchar(5));
INSERT INTO test2 VALUES ('ok');
INSERT INTO test2 VALUES ('good ');
INSERT INTO test2 VALUES ('too long'); -- implicit truncation

SELECT b, char_length(b) FROM test2;

b | char_length
ok | 2
good | 5
too l | 5