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MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

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  • MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

    in my quest to convert to MS SQL, which is going prety well so far, i am now at the stage of building the components for one of tables imported from .dbf.

    This table has a lot of fields for the user to enter text of about 500 characters or even more. i think there are about 30 fields like this plus another 100 fields of other data types such as dates, bigint and bytes.

    i have read that there is a maximum byte count per row in the table and i feel this will exceed it. so i just wanted to get opinions as to whether i am going to run in to trouble? do i need to split the table? or will i be ok?

    TIA

  • #2
    Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

    You should be fine. Maybe go ahead and create the table, fill a row with test data (Lorem Ipsum...) and make sure.

    Tables with rows this large do affect performance a little -- it takes a bit longer to collect all that data (even from one row) and get it to the client, and data rendered.

    So:

    1. If you can break the table into smaller logical pieces, this is a good time to consider that.
    2. Make sure your queries don't select * from the table -- just what you need
    3. Make sure your queries select only the records you need each time.
    -Steve
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

      If I remember correctly, the limit is 65,000 and change characters, so less bytes if you have double byte characters. But, I have a table with about 150 fields and I hate it every day. It works, but I am constantly scrolling back and forth to check something and it is painful. So, after 4 years of collecting data, with millions of rows, I'm starting to break that up into 5 different tables and joining them if I need data for more than one row. Take Steve's advice and do it now!

      There are two different ways to break it up. If you expect a large number of rows, you can put your text fields in one table (especially if you will be doing full text searches) and all the fixed length fields in another. The fixed length tables are much faster to search.

      The other way is to group them to minimize the number of joins by putting all the fields you expect to need in one form in one table.

      Or, like me, a combination of those.
      Pat Bremkamp
      MindKicks Consulting

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      • #4
        Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

        that's really helpful, thank you.

        i will only ever get one row of data at a time and the forms will only display a small number of the columns at any one time so the queries should be small. i'll try one table first with some test data and see how that goes.

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        • #5
          Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

          Hi Richard,

          I think what Steve and Pat are saying is that actually querying for that row will take more time based on the sizes of the columns in the query. Rendering it in HTML will take more time as well (so you might want that in a clickable detail view of some sort) but that's a front-end concern. As far as working with the back-end, their advice is golden, namely breaking up your table into multiple smaller ones and using joins only when needed. For instance, you could have one table containing only the 30 fields with the walls of text in them and link them with a unique identifier to your other table.

          For just one example on how you might do it, you could put all 30 of those columns into one column and have a unique id column along side it along with a foreign key unique id from your main table, so 3 columns. Your main table then would only carry the unique id of the wall of text from your "wallOText" table in all 30 of those text columns. This will make all operations on your main table way faster. If you need to search the walls of text, simply join them in when needed using the unique id's to do so (wallOText.UniqueID = MainTable.textField1) etc.

          As Pat says, you can also break up your tables further and group them into ways that make sense as far as how your using the application. Lastly, some of my own .02, you can create views based on common sections of tables and joins of them to use for search purposes.

          As Pat says, do it now, you won't regret it, you (or someone else) will just end up doing it later anyway.
          Last edited by -Jinx-; 03-22-2017, 03:48 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

            For your large text fields, I recommend you define the SQL data type as "nvarchar(MAX)". SQL will make better use of the storage used at the record level based on the amount of data entered into these fields. In your grid/UX, set the properties - control type to textarea which opens up additional choices for defining how the field will be presented to the user. Fields defined this way can be searched just like a text field.

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            • #7
              Re: MS SQL 2012 Max Row Size in Bytes

              So i took the advice given in this post and split the table. This turned out to be a very worthwhile excercise. Features added to the app over the last 10 years caused the app to become bloated and i also identified better ways to do things. Splitting the tables has allowed me to re think how we do things and i have been able to streamline the tables and our processes.

              I have been using nvarchar(MAX) for the large data fields.

              thanks again everyone.

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