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A VARCHAR or variable character field is a set of character data of indeterminate length. The term varchar refers to a data type of a field (or column) in a database management system which can hold letters and numbers. Varchar fields can be of any size up to a limit, which varies by databases: an Oracle 11g database has a limit of 4000 bytes,[1] a MySQL 5.7 database has a limit of 65,535 bytes (for the entire row)[2] and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 has a limit of 8000 bytes (unless varchar(max) is used, which has a maximum storage capacity of 2 gigabytes).[3]

nvarchar is a variation of varchar,[4] and which is more suitable depends on the use case.[clarification needed]


  1. ^ "Database Concepts".
  2. ^ "MySQL :: MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual :: 11.4.1 The CHAR and VARCHAR Types".
  3. ^ edmacauley. "char and varchar (Transact-SQL)".
  4. ^ SQL Server differences of char, nchar, varchar and nvarchar data types