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odbc varchar/longvarchar default setting

From: Tom Hart <tomhart(at)coopfed(dot)org>
To: pgsql-odbc(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: odbc varchar/longvarchar default setting
Date: 2007-11-23 22:27:27
Message-ID: 474753CF.5050307@coopfed.org (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-odbc
Hey everybody, and hey again everybody I know from the General list.

I wasn't sure how to report this, as I don't see it as a bug, but I 
wanted to make you guys aware of it.

The default setting in the odbc driver is to pass pg 'text' datatypes as 
LongVarChar (with a default length of 8190). However in Access (and as 
I'm told Crystal Reports as well) it converts this into a 'memo' 
datatype instead of a 'text' datatype (in access text = varchar(255)). 
This can be fixed by deselecting that option, and making sure the 
varchar length is 255, but I'm curious as to why this isn't the default. 
Granted postgresql isn't developed for or targeted towards Windows 
users, but I believe that a large number of people using this odbc 
driver are using it to connect to things like access and crystal 
reports, and it seems to me that varchar(255) would make more sense as a 
default. Of course I understand that there's the possibility of lost 
data (if your text fields are past 255 characters), but there's the 
possibility of that with the longvarchar as well, and having 
varchar(255) as the default would foster a higher level of 
interoperability, especially with access users.

I'm sure you guys have heard this before, but why isn't this the 
default, and are there any plans or issues with making this the default?

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