View Full Version : The diference between tinyint(4) and tinyint(3)?

01-13-2013, 02:54 PM
1. What is tinyint(4)?
2. Is 4 the number of digits?
3. Could you tell me the diference between tinyint(4) and tinyint(3)?
4. Is it possible to have tinyint(7) ?

Thank u very much!

01-13-2013, 04:27 PM
The 4 in the tinyint should represent the zerofill of the number. You can have a tinyint(50) if you want. All that changes is the left padding of 0's that appear before the number stored. So tinyint(4) with a value of 56 would be 0056. It won't alter the range you are allowed. I believe that the zerofill only works with unsigned numbers, so with a tinyint you can still only have 0 - 255 as a valid range.

After a quick test the number does represent the display range regardless of signed/unsigned. It does not however appear to allow zerofill unless the number is unsigned, so if you were to set tinyint(0) that would result in tinyint(3) since you need three digits to display the range of tinyint. When its signed, it gives me tinyint(4).
So it will automatically dictate the minimum size for you based on the datatype and sign, but anything above and beyond is for zerofill. This would also indicate that it merely represents the number of chars required to display it, rather than to store it (since a tinyint can fit in a single byte).

Old Pedant
01-13-2013, 08:03 PM
And zerofill is, in my opinion, a bad idea.

It gives the mistaken impression that MySQL is actually storing numbers with leading zeroes.

Nothing could be further from the truth!


The *ONLY* difference is that, when you SELECT a field declared as TINYINT(50) ZEROFILL, MySQL must convert the *NUMBER* in the field to a *STRING*! Because ONLY strings can actually have zero fill.

On top of all that, when you USE a ZEROFILL field in a server-side language, such as PHP or ASP or JSP, you many be surprised at what the actual value is.

At least in ASP, for example, the zero fill is *REMOVED* from the number and the number is treated as a DOUBLE (a.k.a. REAL) number, not as an integer, at all.

So the best thing you can do, in my opinion, is *NEVER* use ZEROFILL.