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Creating SQL Server tables and columns: Quick tips to know

Performance of a SQL Server table can depend on how you've defined data types, indexes, partitions and other components. Use this best practices guide when creating tables and columns for large databases.

Creating and maintaining SQL Server tables isn't rocket science, or is it? Anyone can use SQL Server Management Studio or the CREATE TABLE statement to put together a collection of columns. How well the tables perform depends largely on choices you make when defining data types, constraints, indexes, file groups where the table is built, as well as partitioning.

If you're building a quick-and-dirty application with a few thousand rows in each table and only a handful of users, you can create all tables in five minutes or less. On the other hand, if you are building an enterprise class solution you should carefully review your requirements and define the table structures accordingly. Subsequently you should maintain tables and corresponding indexes to ensure best possible performance for the application.

Here are some recommended practices for tables and columns when architecting large SQL Server databases. Note: The goal here is to alert you of potential issues and solutions, not to explain the details of each solution.

Creating SQL Server tables and columns: Quick tips to know

Part 1: Creating SQL Server tables: A best practices guide

Part 2: Creating SQL Server columns: A best practices guide

Baya Pavliashvili is a database consultant helping his customers develop highly available and scalable applications with SQL Server and Analysis Services. Throughout his career he has managed database administrator teams and databases of terabyte caliber. Baya's primary areas of expertise are performance tuning, replication and data warehousing. He can be reached at

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