Subject Re: [ib-support] Equivalent to TEXT field
Author Paul Reeves
Darryl VanDorp wrote:
> List members,
> Postresql, mySQL, and SQL Sever all have a 'TEXT' field type.
> This type of field is bascially for free form text entry of
> undertermined length. What would the best
> equivalent for IB/Phoenix be? A large varchar? i.e. varchar(3200)?
> The "problem" i see with blobs is the extra
> work to insert them etc.

I'd say Blobs are the way to go. Much of the headache with using Blobs has
gone from Firebird. There is now support in the engine to automatically
convert strings to blobs when doing inserts and updates. I'm not sure if there
is a limit on how long the string can be. For instance, if a script is used
there might be a limitation in ISQL on statement length.

Of course, there is still the issue of extracting the data back out from a
blob. But that shouldn't be too difficult. Most middleware that I can think of
can read blobs.

The main reason I can think of for not going the VarChar route is that
Varchars are sent fully padded to their maximum size across the network. This
is a know problem and will hopefully be fixed sometime soon. In the meantime,
large varchars can cause a lot of traffic.

Neither field type can be indexed. You may want to look at this link for a fuller discussion of when and
how to choose between the two.


Paul Reeves
taking InterBase further