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From:Heikki Tuuri Date:March 16 2006 8:38pm
Subject:Re: NULL columns
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: ""Martijn Tonies"" <m.tonies@stripped>
Newsgroups: mailing.database.myodbc
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:59 PM
Subject: Re: NULL columns

>> When doing an insert using NULL in the insert request,
>> what really is being written in the column?
>> Is the word NULL being written?
>> Is any real space being consumed?
> In the cases that you really want to store NULL ;-)
> No, it's not the word "null".
> Of course space is consumed.
> How much depends, see, for example:
> or
> This is for MyISAM, InnoDB behaves differently.

InnoDB's old table format in 4.1 and earlier kept a fixed-length column the 
same length even when the value NULL was stored. That, of course, wasted a 
lot of space. The advantage was less fragmentation in updates.

InnoDB's new table format in 5.0 does not use any space to store a NULL. The 
column itself needs one bit to indicate whether the value is NULL or not.

> Martijn Tonies
> Database Workbench - development tool for MySQL, and more!
> Upscene Productions
> My thoughts:
> Database development questions? Check the forum!

Best regards,


Oracle Corp./Innobase Oy
InnoDB - transactions, row level locking, and foreign keys for MySQL

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NULL columnsfbsd_user16 Mar
  • Re: NULL columnsMartijn Tonies16 Mar
Re: NULL columnsHeikki Tuuri16 Mar