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The Growth of Data Types

By Steve Jones,

In the relational databases we have all different types of data that we store. We have the basic types of integers, character data, dates and times, and more. As the RDBMS platforms have evolved, we have also added spatial, XML, and other types of data that build on these base types. By classifying them as different types, even if we are storing numbers, or characters, we can more efficiently work with these data types.

As the world changes and expands, I think we will end up with more and more data that takes advantage of different data types, and perhaps even adds more. This week, I wanted you to look forward, and predict what changes we might see in our data storage in the future.

What types of data do you think will occupy the most space in our future databases?

Will we see more video files in our databases? More audio, spatial, or will plain numeric data continue to dominate the majority of the space we use in our data files? I used to think that numeric data would dominate, but the sheer sizes of some of the binary data types, along with the increasing use of these formats in applications makes me think that some type of binary data will dominate in the future.

Steve Jones


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