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format for phone number


format for phone number

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harri.reddy
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hi
i need to craete table which has phone number field,

format (345) 234 - 2345

what is the best data type i can use,int,varchar.

plz suggest me
Luis Cazares
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It should be char or varchar.
Ideally you should only store the digits and format the phone in the front end. However, you'll need an extra field for extension if needed.


Luis C.
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Numeric datatypes are inappropriate because telephone numbers may have embedded spaces, non-numeric characters and leading zero's. Length isn't constant either, so most folks use VARCHAR.

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Luis Cazares (8/29/2012)
It should be char or varchar.
Ideally you should only store the digits and format the phone in the front end. However, you'll need an extra field for extension if needed.


I can imagine international numbers introducing difficulties to this solution (different display formats, therefore need to parse the country code first in a separate column etc etc).

I'd stick with varchar & use suitable constraints and front-end validation to stop rubbish getting in there.


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Luis Cazares (8/29/2012)
It should be char or varchar.
Ideally you should only store the digits and format the phone in the front end. However, you'll need an extra field for extension if needed.


This. Believe me, you will be much happier writing code going forward when all you have to deal with is xxxxxxxxxx.
Luis Cazares
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Phil Parkin (8/29/2012)
Luis Cazares (8/29/2012)
It should be char or varchar.
Ideally you should only store the digits and format the phone in the front end. However, you'll need an extra field for extension if needed.


I can imagine international numbers introducing difficulties to this solution (different display formats, therefore need to parse the country code first in a separate column etc etc).

I'd stick with varchar & use suitable constraints and front-end validation to stop rubbish getting in there.

Display format should be defined for each user, not each phone. If managing international numbers, there should be a column designed for it. I'll prefer to store just the digits and probably in separate fields (according to the different attributes) to allow easy formatting. For me a phone number could be a composite attribute or even an entity, however it can be handled as a simple attribute.


Luis C.
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In my shop we store the 10 digit us number as a VARCHAR(16) (to allow for international numbers) but do not store any country code information or formating with the phone number (xxxxxxxxxx). we look up the country code based on other information in the database.


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harri.reddy (8/29/2012)
hi
i need to craete table which has phone number field,

format (345) 234 - 2345

what is the best data type i can use,int,varchar.

plz suggest me


I have to chime in with several of the others. Don't store formatted telephone numbers in the database. Do the formatting in the front end if you have one.

A better thing to do would be to break the phone number up into pieces for Area Code, Exchange, and Line Number. Of course, international numbers will require country code (1-3 digits), city code (0 to 4 digits), and line number (1 to 6 digits, IIRC). Well, except for Mexico which uses country code, band, and some other stuff.

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Use varchar . and don't save the formatted data in the database.
I had faced this issue , and it was a hell of a mess when a new company was acquired and we started using the data of their end. Format of phone number may differ based on the area or region or company, and you might loose flexibility.

why varchar ? I think it's better to do string operations on varchar in sql.

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