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Message Posted: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 @ 14:47:39 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Why previous format of a varchar field is preserved after alter size of the column
From:   John Hall

Anomy.Anom wrote:

  "Can somebody explain me why the previous format is still preserved? I know that if in my alter table statement if I explicitly mention the format as FORMAT 'X(20)') the modified format (x(20)) is accepted."  

I guess you could argue that it's some kind of oversight, but I think that you'll find that the previous FORMAT is retained because of the possibility of existing applications which were written expecting no more than a VARCHAR(10) field.

After all, you could be ALTER'ing the column just a few minutes later or years after it was defined - there's no way of knowing. By forcing the ALTER'd column to be FORMAT(x(10)), existing applications won't break because you performed the ALTER.

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